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Anna Nightingale Talks About Her Big Exit

We spoke to Anna Nightingale about her big exit after we said an emotional goodbye to Andrea.

Wow! What an exit. Is Andrea's death something you've known about for a while?

I’ve had such a great time playing Andrea but after playing her for two and half years I thought now was the time to try something new. I spoke to the producers and the storyline they created for my exit was beyond what I expected.How did you feel when you were told how big your exit was going to be?

A combination of terror and excitement. I wanted to give it my all and go out on a high. The conversations around stunts and story with production got more exciting each time I spoke to them. Obviously, they knew I was expecting and very much wanted me to be safe and comfortable first and foremost. The most important thing for me was navigating the balance of keeping me & baby safe but doing the best job I could.

Are you glad the secret is finally out?

It’s been a non-stop whirlwind. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to playing Andrea but what a way to go.What was it like to be at the centre of such a huge week?

It was amazing, a lot of pressure but I took it a day at a time!How did you find filming in the maize maze?

So we heard about the maze months before seeing it in person. It became like something from a horror movie in itself. Members of the crew would talk about going down to plan the scenes and the atmosphere and scale of it. The art department worked so hard to design and create something special, just as impressive in real life as on screen.And can you talk us through the fire stunts? It looked intense.

I’ve not worked with fire before and it goes without saying the level of safety and departments who are involved across the whole process was huge. Fire safety, special effects, stunt team, paramedics, as well as the crew in charge.

How did you find working your last few scenes with Paige? Meena is one scary character.

Paige and I spoke really early on about making sure we looked after each other and how we would stick together to enjoy each day and the process. Paige brought me snacks, as a pregnant woman it doesn’t get much more supportive than that!What was your last day on set like?

Emotional! It was my last Andrea scene which doesn’t always happen with filming. The tears and emotions didn’t take much acting that day.What have you liked the most about playing Andrea?

Andrea has always stood her ground. Rightly or wrongly she’s been strong in her beliefs and fighting for her and her daughter, for obvious reasons I love her for that.

What has been your favourite storyline?

I’ve loved so many different storylines for different reasons. I’ve loved the drama of her feuds but the touching friendships she's formed and she’s always been one to stick up for those she cares about.Can you remember your first day on set?

I actually can’t! I remember the morning and arriving at the studio for the first time, heading into hair and make-up and stepping into the dressing room.What's your most memorable moment?

So many! When I think about it I see one of those flipbooks you have as a child with so many different scenes playing out. Lots of firsts - first time at the village, in The Woolpack, and the whole of survival week.

Are you going to miss working with Claire, Kevin, etc?

I’ll miss everyone. The cast but also the crew too. Everyone works so closely together for long days and weeks at a time and it’s a special place to be a part of.What's next for Anna?

Next is some time at home with the family, some home-cooked meals, my own bed, and hopefully some sleep before the newest sleep thief arrives!

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Weekday evenings