Corrie’s Ellie Leach says cousin Brooke Vincent looks out for her ‘in work and life’

We know and love (or sometimes love to hate) their characters on screen, but now it’s time to discover all the behind-the-scenes secrets from our favourite soap stars.

In our exclusive interview, Soap Stars Coming Clean, OK!'s finding out all the juicy gossip about what happens when the cameras stop rolling, as well as the actors’ favourite memories with their co-stars so far.

We recently caught up with Coronation Street actress, Ellie Leach, who plays Faye Windass, to speak about her time on the famous cobbles so far, the cast member who never fails to make her laugh and how co-star cousin Brooke Vincent has helped her every step of the way.

What’s your favourite memory on the show so far?

The first one that springs to mind is a few years ago when me and Colson [Smith, who plays Craig Tinker] did a scene together in Dev’s shop. In it, Colson had to knock a bag of tea bags off the shelves so I could then steal a pregnancy test as it was when the pregnancy storyline was going on. But instead of knocking the box of tea bags off, he knocked the full shelf over! It was hilarious. We tried to carry on but we just couldn't stop laughing.

Who’s your funniest co-star?

Probably Colson. We always have a laugh. And I think it's good when you've got big storylines. Because the scenes can be so serious, it's good to have that balance.

Who else are you closest to from the cast?

Definitely the people I work with the most like Sally [Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe] and Joe [Duttine, who plays Tim Metcalfe]. I'm quite close to them, even though they're a bit older than me. Because we have a lot of scenes together, you do form a bond with the people that you work with the most.x

Are you still in touch with any of your former co-stars?

I keep in touch with Debbie Rush, who played my mum, and also Ian Puleston-Davies, who played my stepdad. It's hard because they're busy, and I'm busy and sometimes you lose touch for a while, but we’ll always send a happy birthday message, and it's nice to know that we keep in touch when we can.

When you first started on the show, did you get any advice from anyone?

With Brooke [Vincent, who played Sophie Webster] being my cousin, I did. She was on Corrie before me so she would always look out for me, in life and at work. She always used to say, ‘If you ever ever have any problems, you can always come and talk to me or ask any questions.’

What’s the best night out you’ve ever had as a cast?

We went out one time in the summer. It was the cast and the crew as well. You get to see everyone outside of work. And people dress up and you’re like, ‘Oh I didn’t recognise you, you look so nice!’ Not that they didn’t look nice at work but it's just a different way of seeing people.

What do you always have in your dressing room?

I always bring snacks with me in my bag. I love a bag of cheese and onion crisps or a KitKat.

Who is the messiest member of the cast?

Personally, I would say I'm quite clean. But a few weeks ago, Colson sent me a picture of his dressing room and it was a mess , so I’m going to put him forward for that (Laughs).

Which celebrity would you love to see doing a guest role?

I love, love, love Gillian Anderson so I think it would probably be her. I’d be so starstruck, thinking, ‘Oh my God I’m working with you!’ She's quite versatile so can be quite serious and then funny, so I’d say to her, ‘You can take any role, whatever you want to do, just please come!’

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If your character could have a romance with anyone in Weatherfield, who would you like it to be?

I still love Faye and Craig together. They're so different, but they're also quite alike. Craig’s a bit more head in the clouds and Faye knows what she wants, but they balance each other out.

If you could play another character on Corrie, who would it be?

Someone actually asked me this at work the other day and I said Sally. I think she's so funny. And she has a really good balance of playing a hilarious part but also having quite serious storylines so it's a good balance.

Are you recognised a lot?

Some people immediately know and say, ‘Oh you’re from Corrie’ and other people are like, ‘I really recognise you, where do I recognise you from?’ And then always get like, ‘Oh, you look different in real life’ – which I don’t mind because Faye’s not very glam! But neither am I so when I put a bit of makeup on people say, ‘Oh don’t you look different!’

What’s the strangest or funniest fan encounter you’ve ever had?

I was in Barcelona once with my boyfriend and we've been out all day so decided to get the underground back to our hotel. And obviously, in Barcelona, it’s mostly Spanish people and then some tourists as well, so I wasn’t expecting to be recognised. Then someone came over and said, ‘Are you on Corrie?’ I thought, ‘This is so random, I'm in a completely different country!’

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing? What was your plan B?

Corrie just kind of happened. I started when I was nine years old, and, at nine, you don't really know what you want to do. But I was so lucky to be able to be at Corrie from such a young age. I would never take that for granted.

How did the part come about?

When I was younger, my mum put me into a drama school because I was like her shadow. I wouldn't speak to anyone, I was so shy. So she put me into drama classes to help build my confidence. I really enjoyed it, so I kept going. Then my agent put me forward for an audition for Corrie and I got the part!

It’s not unheard of for actors to swap soaps. If you weren’t in Corrie, which soap would you like to be in?

I do love Emmerdale and I also think Hollyoaks has a really good, younger cast. I wouldn't ever want to swap but if I had to, it would probably be either of them.

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