I've never played a role that has been involved in much high drama before, so the stunt world is quite new to me. I have had just one screen fight before, and the war wounds (bruises) lasted for the following two weeks. I therefore should have known better, but when I read the word 'scuffle' in the script, and saw that it would be with Michelle Keegan, I almost scoffed. Surely that would just involve me pinning her up against the wall? After all, I'm sure you may have noticed that she's a slip of a girl, and I stand almost a head above her! 'Besides', thought I, 'I'm reasonably fit, it won't take much out of me to give her a quick shove, and she'll be on the floor!'
Renee, our fight co-ordinator, is marking us through three easy moves that would work for a scuffle, where Michelle and I lock arms to make sure we always stay on balance and neither of us gets hurt. At this point I'm still protesting 'But Kirsty is so much bigger than Tina, surely she would just knock her to the floor'. I of course hadn't counted on Tina'a spunk, or indeed Michelle's freakishly superwoman-like strength. We try out the scuffle at full force, and after I all too carefully push Michelle to one side, she rallies back at me with such momentum that I fall backwards onto the car behind me. OK, time to put my upper body training to the test...
Several takes and camera angles later, I'm still taken aback by Michelle 'Super-Strength' Keegan, and I need to put all my body strength into essentially just pushing her slightly. I even almost lose my balance several times when she pushes back, and you may see me hopping about when the episode airs. As Chris Fountain rushes over to pull us apart, the director asks me to spit out my lines at them furiously, but this becomes a challenge, as I'm getting more and more out of breath. Tina wins the day and Kirsty stalks off to her car, but the only thing furious about me is my panting.
The next day, my upper arms are killing me, and I hear Michelle telling someone in the green room that she doesn't know her own strength.
Must. Try. Harder. At the gym.
Watch the episode on Monday 9th January