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THE SOAPRANO; EXCLUSIVE: LIFE AFTER Emmerdale bitch AMY NUTTALL has left the Woolpack behind and, look out Charlotte Church,she's releasing a classical CD CHLOE IS JUST LOVERLY FOR MY FAIR LADY STAR.

Byline: By John Dingwall

SHE was the white trash bitch of Emmerdale, but Amy Nuttall's musical leanings show she's a real class act.

Amy, 23, is hoping to show teen diva Charlotte Church a thing or two with the release of her debut album - a classical music one - on November 14.

The album, Best Days, is being released by EMI Classics and reveals her talent as a soprano. But despite being the daughter of a barrister and part-time judge, Amy insists she's not a posh bird putting on airs and graces.

Amy,who played Chloe Atkinson in Emmerdale, is hoping her time in the soap won't affect her chances of success in the music business.

She said: "The album has had great reviews and I'm very happy with it.

"People in the classical world have been very positive but being an ex-soap star you never know how the public will react.

"I'd rather people listened to me first rather than just criticise me because of my time in Emmerdale."

The Lancashire lass is already proving her worth as Eliza Doolittle in Cameron Mackintosh's touring production of My Fair Lady, which opened this week and comes to Edinburgh later this year.

In the show, she stars alongside an impressive supporting cast including Honor Blackman and Russ Abbott.

The classic tale of a Cockney girl who is taught how to behave like a high-society lady proved a tough call for Amy.But only because she had trouble with the old apples and pears.

The producers decided Amy needed elocution lessons so she could speak with an authentic Cockney accent.

She admitted: "They brought somebody in to go over the Cockney lines because I'm a northern girl.

"I'm generally quite good at picking up accents except for the Scottish one because I only embarrass myself"I found the Cockney difficult but I'm obviously doing okay because nobody has said anything about it."

Although Amy is known as a soap star now, she has trodden the boards before.

She said: "A lot of people don't know that I started off with Phantom Of The Opera in Edinburgh years back and have performed at the Edinburgh Festival."

Like most actors, Amy thrives on live theatre.

She admitted: "It's more difficult.With TV you can fluff your lines and do it again but on-stage there's just one chance. But the buzz and the immediate feedback from the audience is so exciting.

"I love everything about the theatre; the smell, the orchestra tuning up and people all filing into their seats.

"It makes you want to give your best performance."

Amy's break came when she appeared on Celebrity Stars In Your Eyes in May 2004 as Sarah Brightman and won.

The response from that led to her quitting the soap in search of fame as a singer.

She said: "The appearance led to the album. I decided to take the plunge but it is a big risk. Emmerdale is a great job for any actor.

"I'd been in the show four and a half years but I felt that if I stayed too long I might be typecast. I have great memories from Emmerdale and it has opened doors for me.

"They haven't killed me off and the producer has said the door is always open for me."

She added: "Never say never. It wouldbe great for me to go back in later life.

The last viewers saw of bed-hopping Chloe was when she was dramatically run out of town after the locals found out what a schemer she was.

Amy said: "Chloe was a great girl to play. I was so pleased with my storyline. I'm grateful I wasn't killed off even though it can be nice to be killed with a bang."

Emmerdale fans would sometimes stop Amy in the street to have a go at her about Chloe's behaviour.

She said: "I find myself having to throw my hands in the air and saying, 'I'm not like that; I'm a nice girl really'."

She does, however, admit to having made some mistakes during her time in the soap - such as posing for raunchy photoshoots in men's mags.

"I was 18 and naive.To be honest it helped my career. When I was talked into doing my first shoot I was told it would help me in Emmerdale.

"It was expected of you if you were playing a sexy character. At the time I didn't know how to say no.The pictures weren't that obscene and I didn't do anything disgusting.

"But how those pictures came across wasn't good and I won't do that now.The pictures are in a box in the attic of my parents' house.

"I can always look back and say, 'I had a good figure once'."

She insists the pressure to be thin never led to her having an eating disorder, although she has put on some weight now.

"I did get very thin on Emmerdale, but I've never had an eating disorder," she said. "Like any teenager, I had a boyfriend for the first time and had joined a gym.

"On top of that I was working hard and that combined to make me very thin.

"I've discovered my appetite and put on weight but I am happy with it.

"Obviously, in this business it's important how I look. If I was out of shape I'd do something about it."

Meanwhile, Amy is a happy singleton after splitting with long-term love Ben Freeman last year after she discovered he had been cheating on her.

She said: "There's no time for a man in my life.

"I'm enjoying being selfish, independent and doing my own thing without having to tell someone every five minutes where I am.

"I'm still very good friends with him. I've forgiven him.

"It was all over the papers that I broke into his house and got scissors and cut up all his clothes.

"That's absolute rubbish

CAPTION(S):

AS SHE WAS: Fresh-faced Amy, above, regretted posing in her undies for men's mags but admitted it helped her career as Chloe, below, with Nathan Gladwell as Syd
COPYRIGHT 2005 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 15, 2005
Words:1021
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