Michelle Keegan said she had genuine fears over never working again after leaving Coronation Street in 2014 following her six-year stint as cobbles favourite Tina McIntyre.
The actress has since landed a handful of roles in popular TV programmes, including the BBC’s Ordinary Lies and Our Girl, and is soon to appear as Tina Moore, the wife of footballer Bobby Moore, in a new ITV series.
But leaving the ITV soap opera nearly three years ago was a risky decision, particularly because her character was killed, ruling out any chance of a future return.
Michelle told The Daily Express’s Saturday Magazine: “I was nervous – I didn’t know if I was going to work again.
“There was no going back, because Tina died. But I didn’t want to look back in 10 years’ time and think: ‘What if?’
“That’s why I did it and, touch wood, it’s gone okay up until now.”
Michelle, 29, first appeared in Coronation Street in 2008 after beating nearly 1,000 people to the role, and enjoyed a successful run in the serial drama, winning the British Soap Award for Best Newcomer in her first year.
Despite her TV triumphs in recent years, Michelle has hinted she is keen to branch out into movies and work in Hollywood, after an inspiring visit with husband Mark Wright.
She said: “I went out last year with Mark and we had a great time, so if anything did come up there that would be great.
“I don’t think I would move, just because I’m quite a home bird, but I would love to have a job over there.”
Michelle said she feels “very privileged and lucky” to be where she is.
She said: “I pinch myself every single day and sometimes stop and think: ‘How on earth am I doing this?’
“Coronation Street was my first acting job ever and I always used to think I shouldn’t be there and that they’d find me out.
“I’m a lot more confident now that I’ve got a few more things under my belt, but I think I’ll never lose that.”
Michelle will appear in ITV’s three-part series Tina and Bobby opposite Lorne MacFadyen as the England and West Ham star from January 13.