Denise Welch: "I loved playing a lesbian!"
Roxy Bourdillon gets to know actor, activist and ally extraordinaire, Denise Welch
When I ask TV legend Denise Welch how she feels about playing gay in the new series of Different For Girls, her answer is immediate and unequivocal. "I loved it. Loved it! Listen, I'm such a friend of the gays, I might as well be a lesbian. A dykon, they call me."
We're giggling away on set, squeezing in a natter between scenes. She tells me her character, Maeve, has very specific taste in women. "When they said, 'Would you play this LLL - later life lesbian - who realises she fancies Theresa May?' I was completely sold."
Denise is a seasoned pro who's appeared in mega hits like Corrie, Waterloo Road and Loose Women, but I'm curious: just how colossal an acting feat was it to convincingly portray someone with an almighty crush on the PM? "Even Judi Dench would struggle with that one! I thought, if there's a challenge ever to be had, it's to play a lesbian who fancies Theresa May." I tell her I've not met one yet and she hoots with laughter. "No! Exactly! But I bet when this comes out, they'll be coming out of the closet in droves."
Denise is fabulous company - the kind of person you want to have at your party. She's got the gift of the gab and a mischievous glint in her eye. You feel you could ask her anything, so I cut straight to the juicy stuff. How was her first onscreen same-sex smooch? "It was very enjoyable, thank you very much! I had a great time. When I did it I thought, 'I don't think this is my first. It seems far too familiar!'"
Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Denise Welch in the July issue of DIVA, available to buy in print or digitally here.
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