Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tricia's Heart in New Role

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tricia's Heart in New Role

Article excerpt

Fans of Heartbeat might be a little disappointed with the new series, as one of the show's biggest stars, Tricia Penrose ( who plays barmaid Gina ( won't be in it as much.

"It's because there's so many new characters," admits Tricia. "They've had to push certain ones to the back so they can introduce the new ones."

But you won't hear any complaints from the actress, who gave birth to her first son, Jake, last year. "I think it's fantastic," she laughs. "It means I get to go on holiday and stay at home with the baby a bit more. But them using less of Gina was nothing to do with me becoming a mum," she adds.

"I'm forever getting letters saying I'm under-used and that Gina should be in it a bit more, and I suppose I would have liked that before I had the baby. But now it suits me fine.

"My husband Mark (Simpkin) presents a programme called I Want That House and he flies away quite a bit. Now Jake and I get to fly out to see him, it's great."

Tricia had Jake last September after marrying presenter Mark the previous April ( they met when he interviewed her on GMTV.

"Before 30, I wasn't interested in having kids," says Tricia. "I didn't get broody at all. So my family were shocked when they found out I was having a baby. But it was good timing."

At 34, Tricia says she feels like it was the right point in her life to become a mother.

"I don't miss going out at all. This is just the perfect time for me to have done it really."

Tricia's pregnancy was written into Heartbeat, but it gave the producers the go-ahead for a dramatic storyline that would take its toll on the actress. While her own pregnancy was going well, Tricia's character Gina would lose her baby and then split up with the father, PC Phil Bellamy.

"It was hard to do," admits Tricia. "I'd only recently had Jake when we did those episodes so it was a bit traumatic to have to go and film that. …

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