Interview - Elaine Lordan: I'm Nothing like Lynne Slater I Want to Have Fun; Who'd Have Thought It? the Woman Behind EastEnders' Strait-Laced Lynne Slater Loves Waltzers and Is Best Mates with Kathy Burke. Elaine Lordan Talks Exclusively to Colin Wills

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 13, 2001 | Go to article overview

Interview - Elaine Lordan: I'm Nothing like Lynne Slater I Want to Have Fun; Who'd Have Thought It? the Woman Behind EastEnders' Strait-Laced Lynne Slater Loves Waltzers and Is Best Mates with Kathy Burke. Elaine Lordan Talks Exclusively to Colin Wills


Byline: Colin Wills

Can this really be Lynne, the most grounded, most sensible of the EastEnders' Slater sisters? The one who works in the caff and whose biggest adventure is when a customer can't get the brown sauce to pour?

It certainly looks like her - pretty, dark-haired, slim figure - but Lynne would never wear a T-shirt like that. Elaine Lordan, the actress who plays her, would though, and then some.

The one she's got on now says: "When I'm Good I'm Very Good." She pirouettes to show me what's printed on the back. It reads: "When I'm Bad I'm Better."

She roars with laughter at my reaction. "Good, innit?" she says. "I like T-shirts, they break the ice. I had one done the other day. It says, `My Mate Fancies You'."

Elaine is the eternal sunny child who, at 34, has never seen the need to grow up, if by growing up you mean getting dull and serious.

How wonderful, after decades spent interviewing actresses scared of their own shadows, to find someone who treasures warmth and laughter above all else.

"Yeah, that Lynne," she says of her character, "she's a bit straight isn't she? I wouldn't fancy going for a night out with her."

Kathy Burke, however, is quite a different matter. Kathy - star of Gimme Gimme Gimme as well as playing Waynetta Slob and Perry the teenager in the Harry Enfield series - has been Elaine's best mate since way back when.

They were out on the town only the other night. "She got a fire extinguisher out and sprayed everybody with it," Elaine recalls.

"Mind you, we were at a theatrical party, we were among our own. The other day she ended up being pushed down Oxford Street in a supermarket trolley. I wasn't with her then though," Elaine says in self-defence, as though that would have made any difference.

They met at the Anna Scher theatre school 20 years ago. "It was an after- school thing and cost 25p a session. It wasn't one of those stage school places, all smiles and teeth.

"My dad, who was a brickie, couldn't afford it and for that I say, `Thank God'. They taught us the reality of showbusiness, like there'll be times when you are out of work. They were right. I got a flying start when I was 15, playing Todd Carty's girlfriend in Tucker's Luck, but then in my early twenties, things tailed off. I had a Cockney accent and all I got offered were drug addicts and prostitutes. I never got to play a grown-up person with a mortgage."

Playing Lynne is her second really big break, but it has done nothing to curb her youthful spirit.

"Me and a mate were on the Waltzers at the fairground the other night," she says. "We like a good spin, but do you know they do it by pressing a button now? When we came off, I said in a loud voice, `I preferred it when the fair boys did it by hand.' As you can tell, I'm a mature and sensible person."

Her character is currently involved in a huge storyline. Lynne's boyfriend Garry Hobbs, played by Ricky Groves, is an out-and-out womaniser, who to prevent her learning of his latest dalliance, suggests marriage.

"Lynne accepts because she's afraid of being left on the shelf," says Elaine. "There's a dream sequence when Garry sees me in a wedding dress at the foot of his bed. Then he wakes up and I'm in a nightgown with a towel round my head."

Elaine has been in a relationship for 11 years. She and her boyfriend see no reason to rush into marriage. "It's too stressful, isn't it? We're happy as we are for now. I'd like to have kids, but you can do it so much later these days. Anyway, my fella has enough to put up with as it is. I'm not easy to be with. I like getting drunk on planes for instance. We went to Spain for a holiday one year and when we arrived in the hotel I was so far gone I took off all my clothes, dived into the pool and left him to carry the cases up to the room."

Unlike Lynne, she says she's been lucky in that most of the men she's been with have taken care of her. …

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Interview - Elaine Lordan: I'm Nothing like Lynne Slater I Want to Have Fun; Who'd Have Thought It? the Woman Behind EastEnders' Strait-Laced Lynne Slater Loves Waltzers and Is Best Mates with Kathy Burke. Elaine Lordan Talks Exclusively to Colin Wills
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