Belfast Telegraph

Michelle Collins rules out ever reprising EastEnders role

Michelle Collins is taking her career into her own hands as she attempts to get rid of her "soap star" label.

Michelle Collins would never return to EastEnders, insisting a Cindy Beale comeback would be too unbelievable.

The 55-year-old actress played the character on the BBC soap from 1988 to 1998, with Cindy killed off when she apparently died as she gave birth to daughter Cindy.

While Gillian Taylforth is among the stars to return to the show, reprising her role as Kathy Beale in the soap from 2015, Michelle has ruled out her own comeback on the programme.

“I don’t know whether people would buy it though,” she told The Sun Online. "She is dead. I’ve always dismissed it because she’s been dead so in a way they sort of did me a favour because I can never really go back. But in a way I think I’d spoil it if I go back."

Another reason Michelle wouldn't consider returning to the soap is that she's attempting to move on with her career. She also starred in Coronation Street from 2011 to 2014 and thinks she has been unfairly labelled a soap actress, insisting her talents extend far beyond that genre of television.

“It’s difficult out there, particularly for me because people think they know me," she admitted. "Even though I’ve done a huge body of work between EastEnders and Corrie, having gone back to Corrie you’re labelled a soap actress.

“There’s no disrespect at all and that’s fantastic but if you want to break out and do other things it’s quite difficult.”

Michelle is currently starring in play A Dark Night in Dalston at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London, which she is also co-producing. But without taking on a managerial role in projects, Michelle notes that sexism in the television industry is still rife - meaning she struggles to land roles on the small screen as she gets older.

"There’s a difference between men and women full stop in our industry,” she said. "Women, there aren’t as many parts for us at all. Look on TV – most things are male led. It’s hard for women, it’s also hard for women of a certain age, you don’t see many women of a certain age in leads in dramas.

"I'm not whinging about it, I'm just going and taking it into my own hands and that's what you do."

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