Coronation Street's Michelle Keegan back on TV in Tina And Bobby
What is it about actress Michelle Keegan and characters called Tina? Keegan made her name as Coronation Street barmaid Tina McIntyre, a role she played for six years until 2014 when she quit to pursue other acting opportunities.
Those other opportunities have included roles in Ordinary Lies and Our Girl and now she is back as Tina – this time playing Tina Dean in the three-part drama series Tina And Bobby, about the life of England football star Bobby Moore (Lorne MacFadyen).
When England won the Football World Cup in 1966, Bobby and his wife Tina became the nation's golden couple. The series tells the story of Bobby's life – his rise from humble beginnings to play for West Ham, marrying his childhood sweetheart Tina Dean, and hitting the dizzy heights of superstardom.
Keegan, 29, admits she didn't know much about Bobby and Tina before doing the series, but her husband Mark Wright was more than happy to help her out.
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"Mark is a West Ham supporter and knew a lot about both of them," says Keegan. "Being from Essex, Mark told me what Bobby meant to people here, how he was regarded as one of the greatest defenders, what a legend Bobby was and what he meant to football. To hear it firsthand was unbelievable."
The pressure of the role grew for Keegan when the real Tina Moore (Dean) attended rehearsals.
"As soon as I saw her I thought, 'Oh my God, it's Tina Moore. She's here at the read-through.' I panicked," admits Keegan. "It's a really daunting thing to do. I'm portraying Tina and I want to tell her story to the best of my ability.
"After the read-through, Tina shared a lot of stories and memories about their life together. It's a real coincidence as I now live in Essex, so we had lots to talk about."
Keegan says Tina fully accepted that in her relationship with Bobby, football would always have priority.
"Football took over," says Keegan. "Tina wasn't just married to Bobby, she was married to the game. One of the footballers' wives says to Tina, 'You married a footballer. You might be his wife but the game will always be his mistress' and that's exactly how it was."
Tina And Bobby, Rialto, starts Tuesday June 13.
- TV Guide