Great Britain

Ex-Coronation Street star Paula Lane reveals Barbara Windsor helped her prepare for new Call The Midwife role

Ex-Coronation Street star Paula Lane turned to Barbara Windsor for help when preparing for her new role in Call The Midwife.

The actress, from Huddersfield, said she binged the star's iconic Carry On films in order to nail a cockney accent in the London-based drama.

Paula, 35, revealed she emulated original East End girl Babs, who sadly passed away in December, and her infamous twang when she took on the guest role of Vera in the BBC show.

"I mean, she’s the Queen of EastEnders, isn’t she?"

Paula is best known for her time on Corrie as Kylie Platt, who was bumped off the soap in 2016.

She filmed her guest role in the Call The Midwife back in January.

She added to The Mirror: "Obviously making a return to television, I needed something to completely take me away from Manchester and Coronation Street.

“For me, personally, I couldn’t have wished for more because people can be like, ‘Oh my god, she’s completely different to Kylie!’”

Barbara was born in Shoreditch, East London, in 1937 and grew up in nearby Stoke Newington.

She was evacuated to Blackpool during the bombing of World War Two before returning to London in 1944.

After a string of minor film roles she rose to national prominence with her roles in nine Carry On films.

Her first was Carry on Spying in 1964 and her buxom blonde looks and saucy laugh became an iconic feature until her final appearance in Carry On Dick in 1974.

Her most memorable appearance came in Carry on Camping where her bra flew off during an exercise regime in one of the series' most famous moments.

Paula is mum to four-year-old daughter Penny and son Arthur, six, who she has with her actor husband Tom Shaw, 34.

Her Call The Midwife character also has a four-year-old daughter called Elaine who is diagnosed with ­phenylketonuria, or PKU – a rare metabolic disorder that can cause brain damage.

Having spent the last five years doing theatre, Paula jumped at the chance of taking part in the new series of Call The Midwife which started again on Sunday nights last month.

Barbara Windsor's Best Moments

Speaking to the Soap From The Box podcast she said: “I think the excitement that was buzzing around me when I first went on set, obviously under slightly different circumstances being behind masks and everything, I was just like, gosh.

“I remember being in the green room. I’d just watched the Christmas episode which was magical with my mum on Christmas Day.

“And I was sat with all these amazing actress like Linda Bassett and Jenny Agguter, I couldn’t believe it.

“You never lose that excitement and that is why I’m in this job and why I’m built for it.

“When you have those low times and there’s no work on the horizon, all that gets washed away as soon as you get a job and you’re on set.”

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