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I've a great body for a 40 year old ... the only problem is I'm only 38; Siobhan Redmond was not afraid to show a bit of flesh, as she reveals to KATHLEEN MORGAN.

It is difficult to keep your dignity when your bottom is hanging out of your costume - especially when Richard Wilson is standing behind you laughing.

Siobhan Redmond blushed with embarrassment when she squeezed into a red rubber costume for comedy thriller In The Red.

The flame-haired Scot was filming her first scene as Soho madam Ms Sin - with co-star Richard literally bringing up the rear.

This was the first time she had worked with the One Foot In The Grave actor. She reckons it could be her last.

Siobhan said: "It was the first time I wore my costume, which was this red rubber band with holes cut out where the bottom should be.

"Richard was meant to come out of my flat, brush past me and go down the stairs. He came into the set from behind me and just started laughing.

"He has seen me in the flesh and lived to tell the tale."

Siobhan plays the red-hot connection in a series of murders that sends reverberations along the nation's corridors of power - from the BBC to the Government.

It took a wardrobe team hours to pour Siobhan into her tiny red rubber suit and thigh-length boots. Then began the long walk from the BBC film unit along the street to where the series was being filmed.

Siobhan said: "It only took about 15 minutes, but it was the longest journey of my life. I had to be given an escort because there were people falling off their bikes."

The actress had been taken to a specialist shop in London's Hammersmith to choose her eye- popping S&M gear.

The enormity of what she was about to do didn't hit her until days before shooting began, when she was getting out of the bath in her London flat.

She quipped: "I looked at my body and thought `I'm not bad for a 40 year old'. Then I remembered I was 38."

Siobhan dealt with her revealing role like a real professional - by laughing at herself and refusing to go on any crash diets.

It hasn't done her any harm - she looks fabulous in her rubber bustiers and fishnets. And, whatever else Ms Sin earns her, the role should win her a new army of male fans.

In The Red boasts a cast of big names, including Stephen Fry, Rik Mayall, John Sessions, Warren Clarke and Keith Barron.

It's a topical tale, set in spring 1998, a year into a New Labour Government and, with the country starting to feel good about itself, a serial killer starts murdering bank managers.

A satirical comedy thriller, In The Red is also a murder story, political satire and a tale of politicking within the BBC itself.

The series marks a TV comeback for the actress who made her name as lesbian cop Mo Connell in the excellent police drama Between The Lines and The High Life's hyperactive air hostess.

In recent years, she has been concentrating on her first love, theatre, after netting a contract with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Her next project is Beautiful People, a film which begins shooting in London next week. Her co- stars will be Thief Takers' Gilbert Martin and Charlotte Coleman, of sitcom How Do You Want Me?

This summer she will appear at the Edinburgh Festival in Liz Lochhead's play Perfect Days.

IN The Red looks likely to set the small screen alight - with Siobhan as the star attraction. If it does nothing else for her career, she says it will give Britain's taxi drivers something new to ask her.

Years after she shocked the TV viewing nation by playing likeable, level- headed, but lesbian Mo, they still ask her whether she prefers women or men.

She is anticipating a few awkward questions about her thoughts on sado-masochism after this latest starring role.

Siobhan said: "If taxi drivers give me any cheek, I'll give them a tongue lashing."

There's no messing with Ms Sin.

IN THE RED BBC2, Tuesday, 9.00pm
COPYRIGHT 1998 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Morgan, Kathleen
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 23, 1998
Words:666
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