Best known for her nine year role as hairdresser Maxine Peacock on Coronation Street – a part which made her a household face and name – actress Tracy Shaw (pictured right) is making her Blackpool Grand Theatre debut this week in Jack Popplewell’s comedy thriller Busybody.
“It’s actually quite nice for me now to be not so famous,” she admits. “When you are bringing up a family (she has two children aged four and six) not being in the limelight is lovely so it suits my lifestyle.”
She admits that whilst it was a tough decision to leave the soap – especially as she agreed to being murdered which automatically removed any second thoughts about returning at some stage in the future – it has been an invaluable experience being back on the “outside.”
“Then again I was part of the Coronation Street family for more than nine hears and even though that family kept changing it’s still always like one unit and I’ve still got lots of friends from my time there,” she says.
“When I was there it was my life but I was younger. Now I’m juggling my own family with my career.”
She admits to still watching it – “probably more than when I was on it though not as much when I’m touring” – and she thought the live episodes were “terrific” for the 50th anniversary.
“That’s probably the only time I wondered whether I’d made the right decision agreeing to be murdered,” she says. “It’s just that I didn’t think I’d ever leave the series otherwise and I thought it would be a good ending. I knew that if I didn’t die I’d end up wanting to go back and then I’d never leave it.”
Having trained as a dancer from the age of three she’s also pleased to be able to get back to choreography and loved her panto debut last winter in the title role of Robinson Crusoe.
“It was jolly good fun but quite gruelling,” she says. “It was good being able to use my dancing training again – especially all that thigh slapping!”
She’s loving being in Busybody which she says is well written and a must for anyone who likes to try and guess who actually has “dunnit” but will tuen her tapents to anything.
“I don’t have a dream role because there are so many parts I’d love to play,” says Tracy. “One thing I would love though is a part in Dr Who because it would so boost my credibility at home. I’d finally be appreciated by my family.”
In the meantime she says she will make do with another visit to the Who shop in Blackpool.
“I’ll be going home with presents for everyone,” she says.