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Sadie is just like Alexis in Dynasty.. a bitch; Patsy Kensit on why she loves being soap villain and won't quit Dales for Hollywood.


Six months as a soap superbitch have made Patsy Kensit a woman to be reckoned with.

As the wealthy and wicked Sadie King, she has brought some well-heeled malice to Emmerdale and a dash of Dynasty-style glamour to the Yorkshire Dales.

Sadie's sneaky scheming won Patsy a nomination at last year's National Television Awards and - much to the 36-year-old star's delight - have led to her being talked about for professional reasons rather than personal.

Sadie has been making life hell for most of the inhabitants of the village, especially previous villainess, gold-digger Charity Tate (Emma Atkins).

Charity has her claws into Sadie's rich father--in-law Tom King (Ken Farrington) - but not for long if Sadie has anything to do with it.

She sets Charity up to be jilted at the altar by fabricating an affair with her cousin Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) - and with Emma set to leave the show in the new year, there is likely to be an explosive showdown.

Patsy said: 'Before the end of my second episode pushed Charity downstairs! They hate each other but think Charity has met her match.

'I'm going to miss Emma because I love the scenes we do together and Emma has become a good friend. But when Charity does go she will leave a big mess and I suspect Sadie will be in the centre of it. I'm interested to see how I work my way out of the mess I find myself in.'

Being bad has been very good for Patsy's career and put her firmly back on the map in the UK.

Well, almost. When she is at home in West London with her sons, James, 12, and five--year-old Lennon, she is plain old mum - and Sadie's fame struggles to compete with Marge Simpson's.

She joked: 'James doesn't watch Emmerdale because The Simpsons are on at the same time. I am up against Marge Simpson - that's my competition.

'But that's okay. I think that's healthy. I'm not offended at all. Lennon watches the show although I think he just likes to look at his mum.'

James - whose father is Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr - and Lennon, Patsy's son with Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, are spending every moment they can with their mum while she enjoys a month- long break from filming Emmerdale in Leeds.

The star hates being away from them but having made 40 films in her career, many in the US, it's something she's had to get used to.

Patsy said: 'The last three months have been gruelling but I've got time off for a month so I'm excited about just being at home for a while.

'I commute a lot. The most I'm away from home is four nights a week but sometimes I drive up and down, depending on the schedules.

'I would actually move up here because Yorkshire is so beautiful but James has been at the same school since he was five and it goes straight through until he is 17. I just couldn't pull him out. It would be too disruptive.

'I've been living in London and working in America for years and I couldn't be pulling the boys across the world anymore.

'I've got five weeks off and I'm just going to enjoy being mum. It will be nice just to be nice for a change. Sadie is such a bitch.'

Sadie made her presence felt from the second she arrived in Emmerdale last May, stepping out of a private helicopter wrapped in a fur coat.

Her entrance caused tongues to wag in every household in the village. The same reaction occurred in homes up and down the country when Patsy's arrival in the soap was announced.

She wasn't supposed to do that sort of thing. She used to be the Queen of Cool Britannia. She made films in Hollywood, such as Lethal Weapon II with Mel Gibson. Soap? That was a bit of a come down wasn't it? According to Patsy, nothing could be further from the truth.

She said: 'More people watch me in Emmerdale than any film I've ever made. I don't sit and try and analyse people's perception of me. I have very little control over that.

'I've been well known for whatever reason for years but people know me now for the right reasons - because I'm on TV six nights a week. It's huge exposure as an actress. I've been off doing films in the States - independent movies that have been critically acclaimed and won awards at film festivals - but nobody really gives a monkey's.

'But come on to this show and within six months it's turned my career around completely.'

Patsy was approached by Emmerdale producer Steve Frost and Sue Jackson, the head of casting at Yorkshire TV, about the role of Sadie when she was appearing on stage in West End hit See You Next Tuesday in 2003.

She said: 'Steve and Sue said they were introducing a new character into the village and would I be interested? I said yes, started watching the show religiously and became totally hooked. But that was in the November and I didn't hear anything until February. I came up in March, had a meeting with everyone here and got offered the part.

'When I came I was in awe of them a little bit. There were all these characters I had been watching and if anything I was a bit starstruck. But people have been kind and welcoming.

'It's a nice place to work. People have a great respect for one another.'

Patsy initially signed a three-month contract but Sadie has proved a huge hit and Patsy has already signed a contract up until December next year. She said: 'I grew up watching Dynasty and Joan Collins was the iconic superbitch. I was hoping I'd get the opportunity to make Sadie a character like that, someone people would remember.

'She's great fun to play but she's the antithesis of the person I am. She has no conscious at all and the way she treats people is terrible.

'She's a manipulative control freak and acts in quite extreme ways in case she loses control. I couldn't go through life like that.

'She does have a softer side, though. While her treatment of humans is a bit suspect, she loves her horse. There is a heart there, it's just well hidden.

'Nothing is out of the question. When I get the scripts find them real page turners to see what happens next.

'My initial contract was three months because it could have been a disaster. You just don't know. I was untested in this format and you have to hit the ground running.

'You have to be so focused, lucid and on top of what you are doing. And that kind of schedule may not be what you can deal with or what you want.

'But the main thing has been the audience reaction and the fans of the show enjoy Sadie.'

As well as making life hell for Charity, Sadie has also had an affair with teenage mechanic Robert Sugden, which meant Patsy had to get in a clinch with 22-year-old Karl Davies.

She said: 'Karl's a brilliant actor and a lovely, lovely guy. I adore him but he looks very young. In fact, he looks like one of James' friends.

'My first thought was, 'Oh my God, I'm 36!'. I've taken some stick from my girlfriends but thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good fun, he's great to work with and in the world of soap, the possibilities are endless.

'That's why we love soaps - anything can happen. You've got to embrace it and enjoy it.'

Patsy certainly seems to be taking her own advice. She hasn't turned her back on Hollywood but is very happy in Yorkshire and resists the temptation to look beyond the end of her contract.

She said: 'I tend to look at each day as it comes. I'm shooting six episodes for the new series of Bo Selecta in May, which I've got a break to do, then I'm back here and we'll see what happens.

'But I'm very happy and content here. It's a very supportive environment. It's hard work but it suits me rather than being on location on the other side of the world.

'I've been offered a couple of movies since I've been here but this is where I want to be. This suits me and my family and ultimately that's what comes first - your family.'


First husband, Big Audio Dynamite's Dan Donovan

Patsy wed Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr in 1992

Third hubby, Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher

Patsy with beloved sons Lennon and James


Patsy as Emmerdale super bitch Sadie, right, rows with gold-digger Charity Tate (Emma Atkins), who is marrying her father-in-law Tom; Joan Collins as evil Alexis in hit US soap Dynasty
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 2, 2005
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