Interview: Vicky Binns of Coronation Street
HOW many girls get to live out their fairytale wedding day, wear the dress, ride in a horse and carriage, be generally treated like a princess — and at the end of it all not have to be married at all?
Lancashire actress Vicky Binns, who plays Molly Dobbs in Coronation Street, has done just that.
She spoke to us about life on the Street, her amazing weight loss and her new love life away from Weatherfield.
AS Vicky Binns and Alan Halsall they’ve known each other since their early acting days on Children’s Ward — and this week, as Molly as Tyrone, they were married in the latest Weatherfield wedding.
“We knew all along that the wedding day wouldn’t run smoothly, before we even got the scripts,” Vicky tells me.
“They never do, do they? But we knew that it would be a lighthearted roller coaster ride because that is what suits Molly and Ty.
"Bless them, if everyone else just left them alone they’d be OK,” she said.
This week we’ve seen Molly and Tyrone tie the knot in a big white wedding, complete with all the trimmings, including the grand church and even a harpist.
And, of course, there was the traditional reception in the Rovers Return and a few hiccups along the way, just to keep us guessing.
But the Bury-born actress says it is not something she plans on repeating in her own life.
“For me, big weddings are such a charade,” says the 26-year-old.
“Having to do things in a certain order and at a certain time, I mean why?! I always thought I wouldn’t want a big wedding like that and now it has confirmed it for me.
"I don’t even know if I’d ever get married at all.”
She continued: ”It’s that thing where you always have a better time at someone else's party rather than your own.
"It was a lot of fun though getting to design the dress and do the whole thing without having to actually be married afterwards,” she laughed.
“Filming was funny, too, because we don’t film in order any more.
"I was in one set filming my hen do and next door filming me and Ty splitting up.
"You have to switch different emotions on and off pretty quickly,” she added.
A dress designer from Leeds, who is a friend of Vicky’s, created the dress and Vicky even got to enjoy the "honeymoon" with her new off-screen boyfriend — well, sort of.
“Filming big storylines is so consuming,” she says.
“You practically live at the studios. You are just there all the time.
"So after we’d finished all the filming I had a bit of time off and went straight on holiday to The Gambia with my boyfriend.
"I said 'It’s great, this. We actually get the honeymoon for real!”
Vicky met her new “romantic” boyfriend six months ago at a fancy dress party, where she was dressed as Marge Simpson.
“If I knew all I had to do to meet someone was to yellow up I wouldn’t have bothered making an effort like girls do,” she joked.
But what does her new man think about her having an on-screen husband?
“When you date an actor you have to accept that they are going to have on-screen relationships,” says Vicky.
“So they have to just live with it. lt’s not a problem for us.
"And Molly and Tyrone aren’t exactly a sexy couple, so there’s no bedroom scenes.
“Maybe that’ll start now they’re married,” she giggled.
“Plus we’re friends in real life, so it’s easier.”
Off screen, Vicky has been busy too. Last year she lost two-and-a-half stone in weight and dropped four dress sizes before releasing a fitness DVD, Dance It Off With Vicky Binns.
But unlike most dieters, Vicky has managed to remain at her target weight one year on.
“I did work really hard but it seems like such a long time ago now that its just not even an issue, which is great for me.” says Vicky.
“I don’t have to give a thought about if something will suit me so much, or if it will hide something. I just wear it if I like it.”
She added: “I keep motivated with my fitness. That's the main thing for me and I’m planning on doing a charity race with some Emmerdale, The Bill and Holby City actors soon.”
As we chat away she’s even more bubbly, if it’s possible, than her screen character Molly and it’s clear Vicky loves her day job, which is something of a dream come true.
“I never had a specific ambition to be on Coronation Street.” she says.
“But I always wanted to be an actress from being at school.
"And now that I’m here I sometimes can’t quite believe it.
“I started out on The Street as a butcher’s daughter with a three-month contract and now I’m in there with the Duckworth’s!
“When Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) left it was such a momentous time and I thought, how on earth have I become part of this, what am I doing here? I used to watch these people on the telly!”
Vicky revealed that Liz used to be a little hard of hearing and often missed her cue, which sparked the giggles.
“It was so funny and it’s definitely different without her. We do miss he,” Vicky says.
“But there are pictures up everywhere of her. She’s had such an amazing life and she deserves the break.
"But now when it goes wrong we don’t know who to blame.”
Before her Coronation Street days Vicky hit our screens as Ollie Reynolds in Emmerdale, with some pretty racy storylines.
So which side of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border does she favour?
Vicky says: “I learned so much on Emmerdale. You can’t buy the kind of experience I got there.
"But there is something really special about Corrie. It is its history and its heritage.
"And I really like the way it’s written and the comedy elements it has.”