Exclusive: Sarah Harding on why Corrie bosses have been recruiting talent show stars

Published Tuesday, Jun 30 2015, 00:01 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Sarah Harding is the latest TV talent show winner to head to the cobbles of ITV's Coronation Street – joining the likes of Kym Marsh and Shyane Ward.

The singer and actress - who shot to fame when she won ITV's Pop Stars: The Rivals to become one fifth of Girls Aloud – is set to star in four episodes in July, playing a rival to feisty Tracy Barlow.

Sarah Harding pictured in her first scene in Coronation Street, she plays a rival of Tracy Barlow.18th May 2015

© Rex Features / MCPIX

Sarah on the set of Corrie

She follows in the footsteps of Kym Marsh, who - after winning Pop Stars in 2000 with the band Hear'Say – made the move into acting, playing Corrie's Michelle McDonald since 2006. And 2005's X Factor winner Shayne Ward, who has taken on the role of Michelle's cousin, Aiden Connor in the soap.

Kym Marsh outside ITV Studios today, 22 May 2015

© WENN / Rocky

So, why are Corrie's producers recruiting former TV talent show winners?

"I think a lot of people who got their break on a TV talent show are all rounder entertainers," says Sarah, 33.

"You kind of have to be in this industry. It's quite difficult sticking to one thing if you want to be constantly working."

Shayne Ward performing live at the Olympia Theatre - 26 March 2011


Shayne Ward

She adds: "Acting is something I've always liked doing as well. I've done a few things now [Sarah starred in films such as St Trinian's and Run For Your Wife] so it's not like I'm a newbie to it. But obviously I am in soap land!"

Sarah – who says she enjoys acting in both films and soaps, admits the two are completely different. 'The turnaround in soaps is a lot quicker,' she says. "You don't have as long to learn your scripts and you don't have a read through. On films, it takes a lot longer. I love both."

Sarah Harding joins Coronation Street - 1 April 2015.

© Twitter / @SarahNHarding

Sarah on the Corrie cobbles

Sarah Harding after trying out Virgin Media's high speed selfie booth

© Virgin Media

Sarah after trying out Virgin Media's new high speed selfie booth

But the bubbly star says she draws the line at taking on a stage role. 'It's a bit too scary,' she says. "That's one step beyond me. I prefer being a singer and a performer on stage. That's more my forte."

Reveal magazine cover, 2015
issue 26
Sarah has been working on a new album and says writing it was a good way to let out her emotions. "It's a bit of rockier than what I usually do," she says. "It's a bit gritty for a first single, so we'll see. When I was writing it, I drew on life experiences. It's good to pour all of your feelings out onto paper, it's quite cathartic."

It's been a hectic month for Sarah. As well as filming for Corrie and working on music in the studio, she's been working with Virgin Media to promote their new super fast broadband.

When we catch up with her, she's in the middle of getting glammed up to film the video for her upcoming track. "It's good to be back with a bang," she says. "There's so much going on right now, but it's great to be busy.

"I'm really looking forward to what's to come. My life has been so colourful that I've learnt not to expect anything. Appreciate the unexpected!"

To read about Sarah's experiences as the new girl on Corrie, pick up a copy of the magazine, out now…

To be blown away by Virgin Media's super fast broadband, homeowners and businesses all over the UK can now express their interest by registering their details at virginmedia.com/cablemystreet