Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien talks wild hormones, childhood regrets and enjoying life

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Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at… juggling. I can do three confidently but I’m a bit rusty doing four. I’m an only child so I had to find ways to amuse myself. I also like messing around with gymnastics and can do headstands and handstands. 

My best friend is… Esther Morgan. She’s been my best friend since I was 11 years old. We went to high school together and were in drama classes together, and she’s always been there for me. 

My nickname is… I’ve got a few. T, TOB, and Adam calls me Chick. There’s a lot of “Chick” and “Chickens” in our house. And at school my nickname was Titch because of my height. 

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is… Strictly Come Dancing in 2010. It was so far out of my comfort zone, I can’t actually believe I agreed to do it. But I absolutely loved it. 

My favourite TV show is… Hunted. I’m obsessed with it. I want to go on it. Me and Adam would love to do it together. I love all shows like that, including Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins. Nikki Sanderson [who played Candice in Corrie] was so incredible last series that I messaged her saying, “I’m in complete awe of you.” 

My perfect evening would be… a night in, which sounds crazy when we’ve just spent three months inside. We’d have friends round, a bottle of Champagne and a good takeaway. 

I’d like to say sorry to… When I was about nine years old there was a girl sitting against a wall and I kept throwing a ball over the top of her head. She got quite upset and walked off. It’s one of those things that has always stuck with me. I felt like I was a bit of a bully and I wish I could go back and apologise. 

My first kiss was… at Butlin’s camp. He was Irish and we had a smooch up against the back of the entertainment venue. 

The one thing I’d change about myself is… my hormones. I really struggle with monthly hormones and go from feeling completely content in my life to five days before my period struggling with confidence and anxiety. I’d love to find a way to mellow myself out a bit. 

The best thing my parents taught me was… to not take myself too seriously. I was never put on a pedestal and they always said to just enjoy life.

The last time I cried… at work. I had to do some scenes where I’m quite heartbroken. I don’t know if I still can, but when a director used to ask, “Can you make yourself cry from your right eye so we can get it on a side shot?” I could do it straight away. 

The first record I ever bought was… Boyzone or Eternal. 

It’s not good for my image but… I don’t like the hairdressers or getting my nails done. I don’t like to sit still for too long and I’m not a very girlie girl. 

My greatest weakness is… impatience. 

If I could pass any law I would… introduce a three-day weekend. 

I drive… a Range Rover Evoque. It’s like a little squashed down Range Rover. 

The shop I can’t walk past is… an antiques shop or a shop where they sell lots of bits and bobs. I love anything that sells a collection of odds and ends. 

The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on is… an £8,000 painting. It’s a naked woman swimming, but you only see the silhouette from the back. I didn’t know how big it was and it fills up the entire wall. 

Who would play you in a film? If we dye her hair blonde, my daughter Scarlett. She’s a really good mimic. And the most incredible singer. She’s brilliant and she’s getting better and better. I’m really excited for her when she’s older. 

The worst job I’ve ever had is… I went into acting when I was 15, so I’ve always done it. However, I did do an acting job once where I worked with an actor who wasn’t very nice. 

My favourite place in Britain is… North Wales. We go there quite a lot and I love the beaches and climbing up the hills. 

My last holiday was… to Barcelona. Adam was working out there just before lockdown and I went out there for 48 hours to meet him. We had the best time ever. 

I’m currently reading… Purpose by Jessica Huie. It’s a self-help book about finding your purpose and it’s really good. I follow her on Instagram, too, and she’s great. 

The best day of my life was… my friend Cheryl’s wedding. It was the perfect night. My husband and all my best friends were there and we were eating, drinking and being merry. I really appreciated every second of it. My grandma had recently died and we were very, very close and I realised on the night that life is absolutely for living. 

If I had half an hour left on Earth I would… hug my whole family very close and cuddle up together until the end. 

You can follow Coronation Street on Twitter @itvcorrie and Instagram @coronationstreet. 

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