Soap starlet Samia - Samia Ghadie

SOUTH Yorkshire shoppers were treated to a surprise appearance by soap starlet Samia Ghadie, as part of the launch event for Meadowhall Shopping Centre’s Make My Year competition campaign.

The Dancing on Ice contestant, who is best known for her role as Maria in Coronation Street, signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans as they entered the centre's competition for the chance to win more than £20,000 worth of prizes.

The Meadowhall Make My Year campaign was launched by the centre after a recent survey revealed that South Yorkshire is still suffering from a prolonged case of the bad weather blues with spring getting off to an unseasonable start.

Meadowhall marketing director Richard Pinfold said: “Spring might have gotten off to a late start thanks to the snow, but we’re determined to lift shoppers’ spirits with an array of spectacular prizes in the hope that sunshine will be on its way shortly.”

JESSICA FOGARTY speaks to the 30 year old Manchester actress to discuss Dancing on Ice, 13 years on the Corrie cobbles and what’s next for Samia in 2013...

Q What would make your year?

A The first part of this year has already made my year — I don’t know if anything will beat performing on Dancing on Ice. It’s something I never thought I’d be able to do — I faced a lot of fears and challenges and I also met my boyfriend on the show (skating partner Sylvain Longchambon). I’m not sure my year can get any better.

Q If you could win any of the Meadowhall Make My Year prizes, which would you choose?

A The holiday to Thailand — I’m ready for some relaxation. The Fiat 500 car would be great too — winning something like that could really change your life.

Q Now you’ve finished Dancing on Ice, would you consider Strictly Come Dancing?

A I don’t know if I’d find Strictly as much as a challenge, now that I've done Dancing on Ice. I’m sure it’s hard work, but Dancing on Ice was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do — the training is so intense. But I met some of the best people on the show — I’ll always stay in touch with them.

Q You’re in great shape, how are you keeping your figure now the show has ended?

A I think I need to get back on the ice. I noticed that I was becoming less toned just a few weeks after the show ended so I need to start training again. I’d never ice skated before the show, I couldn’t even stand up in the skates, I looked like Bambi on ice, but now I love it. It’s a great way to exercise and great fun.

Q What has been the highlight of your career on Coronation Street?

A There’s been so many highlights to be honest. I’ve been on the show for 13 years now, I’ve grown up on the street and they’re like my second family. I feel really lucky to still be enjoying my job after such a long time. It’s a real honour to work for Corrie.

Q Do you see any similarities between you and your character Maria?

A I think we look like each other but that’s where the similarity ends, i hope. I like to think I've got more style than her and a bit more personality.

Q Who are you closest to on the show?

A Sue Nicholls who plays Audrey Roberts — my boss on the show. She’s like my second mum.

Q What are your plans for the rest of the year?

A I’m getting back into my routine again now — focusing on Corrie and being a mum.

Q How do you balance being an actress and a mum?

A Quite well I think. I have a great support network — my mum is always there for me and Freya’s dad is always around, plus, I don’t work every day so we’re quite lucky we get to spend lot of time together. She’s three years old now and goes to school two days a week too.

Q Do you think your daughter will follow in your footsteps and become an actress?

A She is definitely an actress; the tears can come at a click of a finger — I wish I could do that. I won’t actively encourage her to peruse an acting career, it’s a tough business to be in, but if that’s what she decides she wants to do, then I wont stop her.

Q Was acting always your career aspiration?

A Yes, acting is all I’ve ever known. I started acting lessons aged six and I was a catalogue model as a child, so it was a natural progression from there really. I went to drama school and went straight into Coronation Street.

Q What’s next for Maria in Corrie?

A Because I was written out for the first part of the year, I’m not really sure what’s next for Maria and Marcus. I’ve really missed it while I’ve been on Dancing on Ice. A lot of the Corrie actors came to see me on Dancing on Ice though, so that was nice. The only other time I’d been away from Corrie is when I was on maternity leave, it confirmed to me how much I love my job.

Q How do you relax when you’re not working?

A I like to have a massage — but I only have one maybe every two months. I also like to change my hair quite often, but I have a hairdresser who comes to the house so it’s not really relaxing. The dog is usually around my feet and Freya is making us cups of tea every two minutes.

Q Do you get recognised everywhere you go?

A Yes, I get spotted most places, unless I’m on holiday abroad. I like to pop to the shops whenever I get a break from work, but it’s hard to shop when you’re being photographed.

Q Where do you like to shop?

A I mainly shop on the High Street in Manchester when I get a break from work. I like Topshop, Zara and Serlfridges. I like to pop to the shopping malls too when I can. I’ve been to Meadowhall shopping a few times — It’s great to have everything under one roof.

The Make My Year competition closes May 17, 2013. Winners will be contacted on May 25, 2013. For more information visit: www.meadowhall.co.uk.

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