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SOAP MUMS; How screen mothers and daughters really get on after cameras stop rolling.

Byline: COLLEEN col·leen  
An Irish girl.

[Irish Gaelic cailín, diminutive of caile, girl, from Old Irish.

PLAYING a mum and a daughter in soap is never going to be dull.

More than any other on-screen on·screen or on-screen  
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.

2. Within public view; in public.
 relationship, be it on the Square, in the Dales, on the Street or in Night and Day, soap mums and their little girls seem to spend half their lives bitching, arguing, disagreeing, squabbling and, in general, just rubbing each other up the wrong way. So Mother's Day is the perfect time to give soap mums and their screen kids the chance to forget their problems and show the world the other side of their relationship - the one kept strictly behind the scenes.

Here, EastEnders Barbara Windsor and Kim Medcalf Kim Louise Medcalf (born December 8, 1973) is a British actress and sometime singer, best known for playing the character Sam Mitchell in the long running BBC Soap Opera EastEnders over a period of three years . , who play Peggy and Sam Mitchell Sam Mitchell may refer to:
  • Sam Mitchell (basketball) (born 1963), American NBA head coach
  • Sam Mitchell (footballer), Australian rules player for the Hawthorn Football Club
  • Sam Mitchell (EastEnders), fictional character in the TV series EastEnders
, Night and Day's Lysette Anthony and Stephanie Leonidas Stephanie Leonidas (born February 14 1984) is a British actress of Greek Cypriot ancestry.

Notable credits include the television drama Daddy's Girl, soap opera Night and Day.
 (Roxanne Doyle and Della Wells), Emmerdale's Freya Copeland and Vicky Binns Vicky Binns (born 27 August 1982 in Tottington, Bury, Greater Manchester) is an English actress who is best known for her roles in the two veteran ITV Soap Operas Coronation Street and Emmerdale.  (Angie and Ollie Reynolds Olivia "Ollie" Reynolds was a fictional character on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. She was played by Vicky Binns. Family
  • Father: Sean Reynolds
  • Mother: Angie Reynolds (deceased)
  • Brother: Marc Reynolds
  • Grandfather: Len Reynolds (deceased)
) and Hollyoaks' Kathryn George and Sarah Dunn (Helen Cunningham Helen Cunningham (previously Richardson) was a fictional character on the long-running Channel 4 British television soap opera Hollyoaks.

She was played by actress Kathryn George between 1997-2004.
 and Mandy Richardson) reveal how they really get on - once the cameras have stopped rolling.

Despite their on-screen bickering bick·er  
intr.v. bick·ered, bick·er·ing, bick·ers
1. To engage in a petty, bad-tempered quarrel; squabble. See Synonyms at argue.

, it turns out that all four partnerships enjoy deep friendships away from the set.

To find out more about your favourite soap, and the stars, pick up the current edition of Inside Soap The Magazine
Inside Soap
, on sale now.


Lysette Anthony and Stephanie Leonidas

(Roxanne Doyle and Della Wells)

NIGHT and Day's mysterious mother and daughter Roxanne Doyle and Della Wells have a pile of secrets.

But off-screen, the relationship between Lysette Anthony and Stephanie Leonidas could not be more open.

"I recently became single again," says Lysette. "And Stephanie has been giving me loads of great advice about the dating game. In return, I try to share my years of experience - I'm 38 and she's 18, but I don't try to be mumsy. We're just great friends."

Stephanie says: "Lysette is a mum to everyone on set. But I see her more as a big sister, because we have a real giggle together, and she's not as strict as a real mother.

"We socialise Verb 1. socialise - take part in social activities; interact with others; "He never socializes with his colleagues"; "The old man hates to socialize"
 and always have fun. But all my screen family are protective of me. If I'm going out, Kevin Sacre Kevin Sacre (born Kevin Bignell in 1978) is a British actor.

He is most famous for playing the role Jake Dean in the British Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks, which he has played since 2002[1].
, who plays my brother Dennis, will demand to know where I'm off to and when I'll be back."

Lysette first found fame in the 1980s, starring in the popular sitcom Three Up, Two Down, alongside Angela Thorne Angela Thorne (born 25 January 1939) is an English actress who is best known for her roles in To the Manor Born and Anyone for Denis?. Early life
Angela Thorne was born in Karachi, British India, in 1939.
 and Michael Elphick Michael Elphick (born September 19, 1946 in Chichester, West Sussex; died September 7, 2002 in London) was an English actor.

Elphick was known primarily in the UK for his trademark croaky voice and his work on British television, in particular his roles as private

And she reveals her relationship with her former screen mum influenced her friendship with Stephanie.

She says: "Angela took me under her wing, which I've always been grateful for.

"So I spend time with all the kids, but Stephanie is special - as an actress she's instinctive and hard-working, and as a person she's kind and good-natured. I think our relationship will last for life, like my bond with Angela."

Stephanie says: "On screen, Roxanne and Della are very close and they look out for each other. It feels the same with me and Lysette, because although we've only worked together for 10 months, it's as if we've known each other for 10 years. I love her."


Kim Medcalf and Barbara Windsor

(Sam and Peggy Mitchell)

JOINING the cast of a soap is daunting daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
 enough for any actor, but to step into the shoes of another actress is twice as hard.

Luckily, help was at hand for EastEnders newcomer Kim Medcalf when she took over the role of Sam Mitchell from Danniella Westbrook Danniella Westbrook (born 5 November, 1973 in Essex) is a British actress and presenter, known for playing Samantha Mitchell in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders from 1990 to 2000. , as her screen mum, Carry On legend Barbara Windsor, explains.

"It was difficult for Kim," says Babs. "I took over the role of Peggy Mitchell from another actress, so I know what it's like.

"However, it was much tougher for Kim because Danniella - who I am still close to - was so popular and her life is always in the papers.

"Kim does ask my advice, and after 51 years in the business, I give good advice - at least, I hope I do. And I think Kim will be very popular as Sam." The EastEnders role is Kim's first television job and she admits it is very strange to have an instant on-screen family, especially with a showbiz legend playing your mum.

"It is weird to have Barbara Windsor as my mum. It makes my own mum laugh," says Kim.

"Barbara is fantastic, she's so professional, loves her job and does it very well. She has helped me out a lot. I am very privileged to be working with her - it's great."

When Kim first started on the show, the pair made an effort to spend some time with each other away from the cameras.

"We filmed for the first time together in Spain, so we went out and got to know each other over a few drinks," says Barbara. "But when you go back to normal, working in the studios, you lose all that - especially since we have gone four nights a week. Everyone is just so busy."

While Peggy may be one of TV's best-known mothers, showing her maternal side is not something that comes naturally to Barbara.

"I'm not a mother myself so it was difficult to get my head round it," she admits. "In fact, I'd never held a baby before EastEnders. I had to ask Patsy Palmer Patsy Palmer (born Julie Harris on May 26, 1972 in Bethnal Green, London) is an English actress and television personality.

She made an early television appearance on the children's drama show Grange Hill
 (Bianca Butcher) to show me how to do it."

Peggy hasn't had an easy time with her children, and Kim's version of Sam is no exception.

"Sam is man-mad, a lot like Peggy when she was younger," reveals Barbara. "Peggy is a bit blinkered blink·ered  
Subjective and limited, as in viewpoint or perception: "The characters have a blinkered view and, misinterpreting what they see, sometimes take totally inexpedient action" 
, but she knows her children aren't angels. It is lovely to have another Mitchell now Sam's back."

Kim, 27, agrees and hopes Peggy and Sam will have a less rocky relationship this time around.

"Peggy and Sam are both strong characters and are very similar," she says. "You get a bit of sparring spar 1  
1. Nautical A wooden or metal pole, such as a boom, yard, or bowsprit, used to support sails and rigging.

2. A usually metal pole used as part of a crane or derrick.

, but they are looking out for each other. Peggy likes to boss Sam around - but Sam can give as good as she gets."


Freya Copeland and Vicky Binns

(Angie and Ollie Reynolds)

DADDY'S girl Ollie Reynolds has given mum Angie more than her fair share of grief.

Off screen, it's a different story for Freya Copeland and Vicky Binns, who play the mother and daughter. They've been a tight team since they met on Vicky's first day of filming.

"Freya had already been on the show for a while," says Vicky, 19. "She asked me loads of questions, and wanted to know how old I was. When I told her I would turn 17 the following month, she said, 'Oh, OK - I'll stop patronising you, then.'

"When I first started, people thought I was younger than I am and treated me differently. Freya was always fighting my cause, and I love her for it."

Freya, 32, says: "We've always got on. Although I'd done a lot of acting, Vicky had done more television than me. So neither of us felt as if we were better than the other.

"At times she's been a complete rock - I've gone to her in tears before now and she's been a really good friend. We don't see a lot of each other outside work.

"But when we do, Vicky dances like a mad woman and so do I, so we always end up dancing together. We text each other a lot, too. It's great, having her there."

Back in Emmerdale, however, it's a different story. The pair have had some fiery arguments.

Freya says with a laugh: "Obviously everything went a bit pear-shaped when Ollie Ollie may refer to the following:
  • Shortened form of the given name Oliver
  • Ollie (skateboarding trick), the skateboarding trick invented by Alan "Ollie" Gelfand
  • Ollie Impossible, a variant of the trick first performed by Rodney Mullen
 started sleeping with Cain Dingle Cain Dingle was a fictional character on the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. He was played by Jeff Hordley. Angie Reynolds
After arriving in Emmerdale in 2000 for the funeral of his cousin Butch Dingle, Cain took an immediate dislike to millionaire businessman Chris
 while he and Angie were having an affair. Ollie is a teenage girl and that's never easy."

Vicky also sticks up for her screen mum. "I think it would be easier for Angie if Ollie hadn't had such a close relationship with her dad, Sean," she says. "She and Angie were never really able to develop a bond."

But the actresses don't always see eye to eye about their characters.

"We row about Angie and Ollie all the time," says Vicky. "I think Ollie's right, and Freya sides with Angie."

But Freya and Vicky are both hoping the pair's on-screen relationship will become as close as their own.


Kathryn George and Sarah Dunn

(Helen Cunningham and Mandy Richardson)

WHILE Hollyoaks mother and daughter Helen Cunningham and Mandy Richardson have had a tough time since the tragic death of Helen's beloved son Lewis, the pair are now slowly rebuilding their relationship.

And no one could be more delighted at this reconciliation than actresses Kathryn George and Sarah Dunn.

"Having to do all those scenes where we shouted at each other was horrid hor·rid  
1. Causing horror; dreadful.

2. Extremely disagreeable; offensive.

3. Archaic Bristling; rough.
," says Sarah, who plays Mandy.

"But because I trust Kathryn, I didn't mind her hitting me for real when it happened in the script - it looks so much better on screen that way.

"Mind you, she might be little, but she's tough."

Kathryn agrees. She says: "We get on well. Sarah is very caring and generous and with someone as professional as her, you can giggle, do your work, then giggle all over again.

"I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd want a daughter just like Sarah.

"Our approach to life is quite similar, and we do have girly girl·y  
Variant of girlie.
 chats about boyfriends and life, but Sarah is so mature I often think she is the one who is looking after me."

So as their relationship on screen returns to the closeness of the past, how does Sarah explain their off-screen friendship?

She says: "Maybe my brain is telling me that Kathryn's a mother figure.

"And even though she's older, we're on the same wavelength - and she's the best person to gossip with.

"My real mum and screen mum are quite similar.

"They're both laidback - but it's funny, when I go to work, my mum says, 'Oh, you're going to see your second mum, are you?'"
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 10, 2002
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