The 5-minute Interview: Pauline Fleming, Actress

'People think I'm tough but I'm not – it's just a defence mechanism'
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The Independent Online

Pauline Fleming, 47, gave up her role as Penny King in 'Coronation Street' last year to work on The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, production of 'The Vagina Monologues'. She is now starring alongside Lisa Riley and Jo Farrell in 'The Naked Truth', a touring comedy about five women learning to pole-dance for a breast cancer charity event.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

In rehearsals.

A phrase I use far too often ...

"Lovely". It has become my response to pretty much everything.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

The planet, global warming and cruelty to animals.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was ...

The birth of my daughter, Cornelia. That is still the best surprise of my life. She is 17-and-a-half now. It really doesn't compare to anything else at all.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I'm tough. I'm not really. It's just my defence mechanism. I'm not as tough as people seem to think I am.

I am not a politician but ...

I do have an opinion on what happens in the world.

I'm good at ...

Talking.

I'm very bad at ...

Computers and maths. For computers, my head just doesn't work in that way at all and my maths head is non-existent.

The ideal night out is ...

Having dinner at one of my favourite restaurants and eating too much food and drinking too much red wine. Also having lots of pudding when I shouldn't be eating that at all. I like European cuisine: anything from Italian to French. Although I do love Thai as well.

In weak moments I ...

Go for a run. It stops me from feeling weak. I go for runs often.

You know me as an actress but in truer life I'd have been ...

I think I would have been a businesswoman. I'm very organised. I like the public relations side of things and I think I would have got into business.

The best age to be is ...

Definitely not in your 40s. I would say perhaps in your 30s, because I had my daughter then. In your 30s you have your youth and you are still physi-cally attractive. My 30s have been my best era by far.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this ...

To have, and to maintain, integrity.

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