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I'm such a big feartie; ROSE, Tomorrow, BBC2, 9.00pm.

Scots star Katy Murphy laughed when she heard they were remaking Wonder Woman.

"Well, that's another part I WON'T be getting," she said to herself.

Anything that requires leaping tall buildings with a single bound is out as far as Katy's concerned.

She admitted: "There's no other word for it - I'm a feartie. Always have been, always will be."

The girl who shot to fame as Tutti Frutti's Miss Toner challenges that assumption in a chilling new drama - but it's just an act.

Thirty-three-year-old Katy - who stars in BBC Scotland's Rose - said: "I'm scared of anything that involves risk - swimming skiing, horseriding, the lot."

The petite actress looks like she'd be blown off her feet by a hair-dryer, but she's not about to make excuses.

She said: "I was asthmatic as a kid so I didn't do sport at school. Even the high jump terrified me. I always felt I'd have an argument with the bar and end up in a mess.

"That's my big problem - my imagination. It runs away with itself.

"I always dream up the absolute worst-case scenario, like I'm lying in a hospital bed, covered from head to toe in bandages like a cartoon character.

"I tried horseriding once but I fell off. I also had a go at ski-ing, but just getting on to the chairlift terrified me."

Katy can't swim, but is at least having a go - wearing water-wings, of course.

"I've got a friend who's a swimming instructor and he's determined to get me to do it.

"There's a psychological barrier I've got to overcome, but these things get harder as you get older.

"And in my water-wings I feel just a bit sad.

"I admire people who are physically brave and I'm more or less resigned to the fact I'll never be like them.

"But don't feel sorry for me. My phobias haven't cost me a part. I'm never going to be the horse-riding heroine - I get the donkeys!"

A feartie she might be, but Katy - who also starred in Your Cheatin' Heart, Takin' Over The Asylum and A Mug's Game - was attracted to the role of Rose because it scared the pants off her.

It's a little Hitchcockian nerve-jangler that plays on our anxieties about loneliness, confined spaces and telephones with minds of their own.

KATY plays Mary Kee, a thirtysomething lawyer who moves into a new flat after the break- up of a romance.

She finds an old phone in a cupboard and plugs it in. But when it rings and a woman called Rose is on the other end of the line, Mary is drawn into a mystery from 30 years ago.

Katy said: "When I read the script it sent shivvers down my spine.

"In the beginning, Mary is in control. Then Rose appears, although you never see her. A power struggle develops, sometimes Mary's on top, other times she isn't.

"You wonder why she doesn't stop answering the phone, throw the thing away, or move house ... and then you start to think that maybe it's all in her head.

"Is the whole situation a product of her vivid imagination - and is she heading for a breakdown?

"Loneliness does strange things to people - we've all been there to some extent.

"When a relationship ends, all the friends of your ex can vanish from your life along with him. When contact with other people shuts down it can be shattering.

"I've never had a breakdown, but I can imagine what it might be like when you're alone in a house that has an atmosphere to it."

Katy lives in London but surprisingly says the Big Smoke doesn't scare her.

She said: "I'm a city girl, so I'm not frightened of walking alone at night. It's important you don't inhibit your own freedoms by assuming something awful is going to happen to you. After all, you can't go around being afraid of your own shadow."

Katy, who recently married long-term journalist-boyfriend Andrew Mayers, will next be seen on screen in the pretigious period-drama Our Mutual Friend.

She stars with Anna Friel and Keely Hawes in this Beeb adaptation of the Dickens classic, playing the seamstress Jenny Wren.

Katy explained: "She's a girl with an indomitable spirit - my first non-Scot."

And you can bet she's a non-swimming and non-ski-ing one as well.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Smith, Aidan
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 14, 1998
Previous Article:Out of this world; AINSLEY'S MEALS IN MINUTES, Monday, BBC2, 8.30pm.

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