Great start to soap career.(Ents On the box)
Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England); 2/10/2004
Byline: By Gordon Barr
Geordie actress Charlie Hardwick has landed her dream role - stirring
it up in top soap Emmerdale.
Millions of viewers saw her make her entrance as hedonistic Val
Lambert, sister of Woolpack landlady Diane Blackstock.
And she got off to a `lying' start, claiming her black eyes were
the result of a domestic dispute, whereas they were really the results
of cosmetic surgery.
"And there's a lot more of that to come from Val, I can assure
you," laughed Charlie, who is relishing her new role.
"I've been a massive fan of Emmerdale since day one.
"In fact, I watch all the soaps so to now be in it truly is
a dream come true.
"And what a character. Let's just say she has the potential
to get more flamboyant.
"She's a good-time girl. She devours life and all it has to
"I love her. There are some elements of me in her but she looks
after herself a bit better than I do."
Charlie, who grew up in Wallsend and worked as a civil servant before
becoming an actress, is now renting a flat in Leeds, close to the
She also rents a pad in London and her parents, Bill and Eve, stay
at her home in Wallsend.
"We work about 14 hours a day, six days a week so there is
little time for other things but I'm certainly not complaining," she
"I had thought I would be able to see Newcastle United play
more often, and thought about getting a season ticket as I was closer
to home but I'm working most Saturdays."
Getting the Emmerdale job has meant working with one of her pals,
John Middleton (Ashley), again.
Both have worked with the Newcastle-based Amber film collective. "We
had cameo roles in Eden Valley and John did the voice over at the
start of The Scar."
It was her performance in The Scar, about a Durham pit community
in crisis, which brought Charlie the best actress award at the Monte
Carlo International Television Festival in 1998.
"Although I don't think John and Val will cross swords too
often," she said. "I don't think their paths will really
meet. Or will they? Who knows?
"We don't know ourselves what is going to happen until we get
our scripts every fortnight."
Charlie, 44, has signed a six-month contract with Emmerdale, and
there is every chance it will be extended.
"I'm working with a great team of people.
I've always admired Elizabeth Estensen who plays my sister Diane.
"We just hit it off. My first day filming meant 12 hours with
just Diane and the chemistry was there from the start. She's a great
Charlie's parents are also watching the soap avidly.
"Mum was always a fan, but dad always went and did the dishes
when Emmerdale was on," said Charlie.
"Now, though, even he's telling everyone to tune in."
Home to the stars
Charlie is the latest in a line of North East acting talent to appear
in Emmerdale over the past few years.
Dale Meeks, who plays fish man Simon, joined the cast at the end
of last year and John Middleton, who lives in North Tyneside, has
been an Emmerdale stalwart since the mid-90s.
NOne of Charlie's best pals, actor Trevor Fox, played a nasty copper
in the soap.
NHe has starred alongside Charlie on numerous occasions, including
in the smash hit stage show Cooking With Elvis.
NCharlie is widely regarded as one of the region's finest actresses.
Her film roles include Billy Elliot, The One and Only, Purely Belter
and The Scar.
NHer TV appearances include roles in Byker Grove, Colour Blind,
The Tide Of Life, The Royal, Casualty and Our Friends In The North.
COPYRIGHT 2004 MGN Ltd.