My Secret Life: Claire Sweeney, 41, actress

 

My parents were... great role models, especially my mum – she was my best friend. My dad really helped push my career, to the extent of taking me to gigs in the back of his meat van.

The household I grew up in... was a terraced house in Liverpool. It was just a normal area, but with great neighbours who all looked out for each other.

When I was a child I wanted to be... From the age of 11, I went to stage school so I knew what I wanted to do – I wanted to perform. But before that I went to a Catholic school and wanted to be a nun! Really, I wanted to be a nun until I discovered disco dancing.

If I could change one thing about myself... I would love to have a photographic memory.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... tap dancing.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... learning lines.

I wish I had never worn... my whole wardrobe from the days when I was on the cruise ships. Particularly, a pair of gold hipster trousers with a yellow Caribbean-style blouse with puffy sleeves and a gold leather bra – but it was the Eighties.

What I see when I look in the mirror... I just see me. I don't analyse.

My favourite item of clothing... at the moment it's a cashmere cardigan from Marks & Spencer. It's the comfiest item, it's like my comfort blanket.

It's not fashionable but I like... my cardigan from Marks & Spencer!

My house is... a four-storey townhouse in Pimlico.

My favourite work of art... anything by Toulouse-Lautrec. He really inspired me when I was at school, and I fell in love with Paris through his art. I was lucky enough last year to meet someone who owns a lot of his original sketches and I got to see them – it was brilliant.

My favourite building... the Houses of Parliament. Every time I drive past that building, it amazes me.

Movie heaven... anything with Barbra Streisand in.

My greatest regret... not accepting a job at the Moulin Rouge to be the lead singer in my early twenties... I'd agreed to do a summer season in Llandudno! And I hadn't even signed the contract, I just felt quite loyal.

My secret crush... Ray Winstone.

My real-life villain... cakes and sweets. They immediately find my bum.

The last time I cried... when a friend of mine told me she was engaged a few days ago – I was so thrilled for her.

My life in six words... blessed with good friends and family.

A LIFE IN BRIEF

Claire Sweeney was born and raised in Liverpool. She went to the Elliott-Clarke Theatre School, and started singing in working men's clubs at 14. After a stint on P&O's cruise ships, Sweeney had her break in Brookside. She's appeared on reality shows including Celebrity Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing and My Big Fat Diet. Last year she was in the musicals Tell Me on a Sunday and Legally Blonde. Sweeney is starring in Educating Rita at the Menier Chocolate Factory, till 12 May, and on tour. She lives in London

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

SharePoint Administrator/Developer (C#, VB.NET, VISUAL STUDIO 2

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...

European HR Director, London

£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit