This Summer has been one of the busiest ones to date, with Swan Parties taking shape promoting luxury hen parties for 2018, Rocco starting his new pre-school nursery, Paul set to launch new offices in Leeds and London, and Romeo getting a six month contract on one of Britain’s most longest running TV soaps, Coronation Street!
Paul and I had just landed back from an amazing week away in LA & Las Vegas in May this year when I got a call from our agent asking if Romeo was available to audition for a featured role on the TV drama. The next day we drove to the ITV studio’s in Trafford Park and waited to be seen by the casting director. Romeo had just turned nine months old and has already filmed a BBC drama in February called Moving On, but this was potentially an on-going role.
His audition was super chilled, with Romeo gurgling and giggling his way through it. They filmed him whilst chatting to me about his daily routine and how he interacts with other people. He smiled and gave lots of cuddles before we left and we were feeling positive.
We left the studios, arrived at home, and three hours later we got a call to say he has been offered the role of George Appleton, part of a brand new family on Coronation Street. It was literally that quick! I was so proud that he won this role all by himself, and was looking forward to seeing what was in store for him. We did have to cancel our family holiday due to him being story-lined in the upcoming months, but it is such a great opportunity, we decided to commit to Coronation Street.
We had a few weeks to digest his new role, and then it was straight into and his first scenes at the ITV studio’s on the cobbles, in Roy’s Rolls and on location for a family wedding. I take him every time he’s on set, as his chaperone and we have so much fun meeting all the cast and crew, some of which I know and remember from my Waterloo Road days!
Being his TV chaperone can be challenging. I have to get everything ready the night before, all his food, snacks, milk, toys, blankets, nappies and all the baby paraphernalia to keep him happy and entertained. I must admit it is a military operation doing this and the nursery run, but Paul and our childminder help out too. I’ve even taken his jumperoo and baby bouncer with us to make him feel at home. He has his own dressing room with a TV and DVD player and tons of other toys that all the babies and toddlers on set share.
Every time we are filming, we set off an hour early so he can have a sleep in the car. I usually drive around Trafford in circles or pit-stop at the Costa drive-through and catch up on my emails until he wakes up. Then we unload the car with his baby bag and buggy and head to his dressing room. I set up his TV, give him a bottle of milk and head to the cast canteen to heat up his lunch and have a catch up with the rest of the cast and crew. He’s already got an army of fans, everyone is so welcoming and cannot do enough for us.
All babies have their good days and bad days and ironically Romeo cut his first tooth three weeks into filming, so some days hes bright, chirpy and smashes his scenes in one take, and some days he’s irritable, in pain and just wants his blanket and mummy cuddles. His baby blanket has made a quite few appearances on TV too!
There can be a little bit of waiting around, so timing his naps and meals times around a very tight filming schedule can be tricky, and sometimes hes too unwell to film, but all the cast and crew are fully aware his time is precious and if he needs a break to drink a bottle or have his Calpol its totally encouraged. Its amazing how well looked we are, and Romeo just takes it all in his stride. He has eight teeth, learnt how to crawl and will eventually take his first steps on one of the most famous streets in the world.
So far he has had a fair amount of press coverage, including one that went viral on Romeo following in my acting footsteps. I also auditioned for Coronation Street last month and secured the role of a nurse, which will be aired in November with Kym Marsh. Its great to dip my toe back into acting again and long may it continue, but Romeo is my main focus at the moment, hes the busiest baby I know!
We are delighted that Romeo’s contract has been extended until next year, so he will be on-screen for a whole year. He is back on screen on Friday 13th October tonight on ITV, and we’ve managed to squeeze in a family holiday next week to Halkadiki for a well deserved break! Happy days!
Tune in to Coronation Street, Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s at 7.30pm & 8.30pm on ITV, and see how baby George’s new storyline unfolds.