Interview: Laura Whitmore's gory new role in Milton Keynes

Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore

Shane Richie and Laura Whitmore

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Most actors when they take on a part have to do some background research.

However for Laura Whitmore who will play pathologist Cleo Morley in Not Dead Enough coming to Milton Keynes Theatre running from Monday January 30 to Saturday February 4, she just had to access her memory.

She said: “I studied journalism and did was crime reporting. There was a pathologist by the name of Marie Cassidy, and I got always very excited whenever I saw her because she was always quite glamourous.

“So it is nice to be able to use that little bit of my past in preparing for this part.

“But it is a very gory part, it’s a million miles away from the styles of red carpet which I have been used to."

Not Dead Enough is set on the night Brian Bishop murdered his wife, he was sixty miles away, asleep in bed. At least that’s what he claims. But as Detective Superintendent Roy Grace continues to deal with the mysterious disappearance of his own wife, he starts to dig a little deeper into the chilling murder case and it soon becomes clear that love can be a dangerous thing.

While Laura might be best known for presenting, acting isn’t as much of a departure as you might think.

Laura added: “I have been an actor when I was in my early 20s and then I did years of presenting with MTV, ITV and Eurovision. I like to learn by doing and to get the chance to work alongside the likes of Ant and Dec who are the best in the business for doing live television and to work alongside them was incredible.

“I think that was part of the reason why I wanted to do this because what better experience to get back into acting than to do live theatre as it is such a challenge.

“And I am getting to work with brilliant people like Shane Richie and Stephen Billington, just been around them, I’m absorbing a lot.

“I don’t think there is a world of difference between acting and presenting. When you are on a show presenting it, there can be times when you are tired and you have to find the energy to be a different version of yourself rather than being the tired one."

And for Laura, it was an obvious choice to appear in the show.

She said: “I had met Peter about 2 years ago to talk about one of the other books adapted as a play Dead Simple and I was well aware of his work.

“I’m in airports a lot and whenever I see a bookshop I always see one of Peter’s books in the top 10 and end up picking them up.

“It is quite overwhelming being in the rehearsal process and working with all these wonderful people but it is such a great team.

“I also have the attitude that I don’t want to do something that I didn’t want to watch myself."

She is primarily known as a television presenter and while many would admit to hating the prospect of doing a show live, it is a challenge which Laura appears to relish.

“I actually really like doing live television. At the end of it, you wrap and that it is. Whereas on a pre-recorded show, it can take a lot of time. It’s an exciting part and I really like watching live television.

“But even the professionals I have worked with and alongside, they make mistakes, but they find a way of covering it up, especially when you are working on a live show. Presenting might look effortless but actually it is very hard job, especially when you work on something like I’m A Celebrity when you have got to time everything to go to ad breaks at the right time.

“I was talking to Dermot O’Leary who is someone I look up to enormously and he makes presenting The X Factor look so effortless. He also said I was a really good live television presenter which was a real thrill."

But she first came to prominence hosting I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! Now! the companion show to the ITV series. But would she go on the parent show?

“I think I know a little bit too much about how the show works to go on it now."

Laura was also a contestant on the most recent series of Strictly Come Dancing, another challenge which she relished.

She said: “I love to get on the dance floor and I can be stone cold sober. People had been saying for me for ages that I should go on Strictly and I was very honoured to be chosen because a lot of people want to go on that show.

“And it was great because I got professional training and improved. It was slightly ruined when I injured my ankle and was told by the doctors I could only train 12 hours a week rather than 8 hours a day I had been doing. I felt like I wasn’t able to give it a 100 per cent.

“I missed a show and coming back was quite difficult because essentially I am quite a private person and it was very much all eyes on me.

“But I loved the dancing side of the show."

Not Dead Enough runs from Monday January 30 to Saturday February 4. For tickets call the box office on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/miltonkeynes.