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The Fall: New star in cop drama says she's just a mum who embarrasses her kids

Belfast beautician Shelley Armstrong tells Sunday Life that new found fame hasn't fazed her family.

By Ali Gordon

Published 29/03/2016

Shelley says her kids still find her embarrassing despite joining the cast of the hit BBC series.
Shelley says her kids still find her embarrassing despite joining the cast of the hit BBC series.
Shelley on set at Belfast's Custom House Square during filming of The Fall. Pic: Colm O'Reilly/Sunday Life.
Shelley on set at Belfast's Custom House Square during filming of The Fall. Pic: Colm O'Reilly/Sunday Life.
Family first: Shelley with partner Stephen.

Stunning Shelley Armstrong is the latest addition to The Fall - but to her kids she’s still as embarrassing as ever.

The beautician from Belfast was snapped on the set of the hit BBC crime drama with leading lady Gillian Anderson last month.

“After the pictures came out of me on set I asked my kids had they told anyone about it, but they weren’t interested,” Shelley told Sunday Life.

“They just think I’m an embarrassing mum, that’s all I am to them. I have them tortured but sure mums are supposed to be embarrassing!”

The 36-year-old admits she would rather have been “a bit more prepared” for the sneaky shots taken in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.

“There are so many other people who are in The Fall — people with much bigger parts — so I was surprised more than anything that people even noticed me,” she said.

“It was unfortunate that I happened to get photographed with a big fleece wrapped around me, but it was absolutely freezing outside The Merchant.

“We were well looked after though and everybody was so lovely. It was good fun.”

Shelley was snapped with series regular John Lynch, who plays PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns, and Gillian Anderson who plays DSI Stella Gibson.

But with the plot for series three being kept firmly under wraps, Shelley, who also works for local casting agency Extras NI, has to keep her role under wraps.

However she did let Sunday Life into one secret.

“I’m not allowed to say anything but it was a nice thing to be a part of,” said Shelley.

“I’m so excited to see it — I just hope they don’t cut out the bits that I’m in!

“I definitely didn’t kiss Jamie Dornan though!”

Shelley, who lives with partner Stephen, three kids Stephen, 17, Kirsty, 14, Ashton, 3, and stepson Ethan, 6, added: “I’ve done advertisements and a few programmes but nothing as big as The Fall before so it was really exciting.

“I’m a qualified beautician and make-up artist, but I’m not actually working in a salon at the moment because I’ve been so busy.

“Over Christmas I was standing in the middle of Boots painting faces, so it’s a bit of a change to be in the newspapers and on TV.

“I’m just a normal mum who works and is down-to-earth. I’m not chasing stardom or anything.

“But it’s a nice change from cleaning, making dinners and going to Funky Monkeys (an indoor play park).

“It’s always good to get back to the children though. Working a lot makes you realise how precious your time with them is, but on  the other hand stops you from going insane!

“I’d get so bored of doing the same nine-to-five job every day so it’s great to be able to be flexible with what you do and I love being able to spend time with my kids.

“We’re a close family and for me, that’s what it’s all about. I love being a mum and a stepmum.

“My stepson has cerebral palsy and he has taught me how much we take for granted. Him and my son Ashton are best friends as well as brothers — they’re the best craic.

“But who knows what will happen down the line?

“I’m just taking things as they come at the minute — if something’s for you, it won’t pass you by.”

agordon@sundaylife.co.uk

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