Claire Sweeney has admitted she regrets not being a part of Eurovision when she was younger.
She told MailOnline in a new interview that she had the ‘perfect song’ to enter with, saying: ‘I look back with a bit of regret that I never entered it when I was younger.
‘Because I had a song on my album called when you believe and that would early 2000s and that would have been perfect to enter.
‘And I kind of feel like I’ve missed out on being part of this family. I would have loved to have done it. I’m a bit old now for it [to enter Eurovision].’
The Scouse Brookside actress, 52, is doing alternative coverage for Saturday’s 2023 event on the BBC’s red button.
‘I would have loved to have done it’: Claire Sweeney has admitted she regrets not doing Eurovision and said she had the ‘perfect song’ to enter the contest in the early 2000s
Coverage: The Scouse Brookside actress, 52, is doing alternative coverage for Saturday’s 2023 event on the BBC’s red button
Claire is hosting her alternative coverage alongside a man called Paul Quinn, who was chosen as her co-host after a search for the ‘other voice of Liverpool’.
She said: ‘He’s a Eurovision geek. He knows all the stats he knows everything. So we are the voices of Liverpool.
‘With the BBC you’ve gotta be impartial. There’s so many things I’d love to say. I could be honest but I don’t know how honest I can be. You’ve gotta be fair and I am fair.
The actress revealed that she loves the UK entrant for 2023, Mae Muller, as well as her number for the final I Wrote A Song.
She said: ‘Mae Muller is fantastic she’s brilliant. I think that song is fabulous. It really grows on you.’
The Scouse star, who was born in Walton, is very excited that Eurovision is being hosted in her home city.
She revealed: ‘I feel Capital of Culture is quite instrumental in all of this because that’s when the city was injected with a load of cash and regenerated and rejuvenated. It was kind as if we started preparing then for this.’
Team: Claire is hosting her alternative coverage alongside a man called Paul Quinn (centre), who was chosen as her co-host after a search for the ‘other voice of Liverpool’
New role: The actress is absolutely delighted to be joining the Coronation Street cast as Evelyn’s (Maureen Lipman) daughter Cassandra and Tyrone’s biological mother
The mother-of-one also discussed the fact that she is very proud of where she is from and the celebrations happening on Saturday.
Claire said: ‘It’s the perfect time for Eurovision to happen here. We’re a cultural city, we’re united by music, comedy, art. Liverpool is the perfect place to hold it.
‘I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve always been proud of the city, I love it so much. I’m just so proud of this city.
‘Walking from the arena the other night along through the village past the river front, the police and security guards said “we haven’t had a minutes trouble, everyone’s been brilliant”. As they say in the song, all you need is love and that’s what it’s been.
‘We’ve just been so inclusive, we’ve really embraced hosting Eurovision for Ukraine, the city is blue and yellow everywhere you go it’s a real homage. The city has stepped up. We stand shoulder to shoulder and we include everyone.’
She also praised Alesha Dixon’s rap about Liverpool, describing it as ‘brilliant’ and ‘amazing’ as excitement built for Saturday’s grand final.
Claire has been in showbusiness since 1991 after she landed her first major role in Brookside and since, the star has appeared in everything from Celebrity Big Brother to her most recent role in Coronation Street.
The actress is absolutely delighted to be joining the Coronation Street cast as Evelyn’s (Maureen Lipman) daughter Cassandra and Tyrone’s biological mother.
Co-star: Claire has had a busy week, and revealed that on Tuesday she went from filming Coronation Street with Maureen straight to Eurovision
Claire has had a busy week, and revealed that on Tuesday she went from filming Coronation Street with Maureen straight to Eurovision.
She admitted that they had been filming ‘very heavy’ scenes on it and to go and watch the semi-final of Eurovision after made it the ‘most mental day’ in her career.
Claire said: ‘I had a weird first day [on Tuesday] because I spent the whole day filming with Dame Maureen Lipman who’s a masterclass in acting, we filmed very heavy scenes very dramatic scenes.
‘Then I had to do a quick shower, a quick turnaround, get my makeup on and go to Eurovision. So it was from one extreme to another so I was there watching the semi final.
‘It was the most mental day in my career, and I can’t believe it’s happened to me at the age of 52. Filming Corrie and then going to my hometown to watch Eurovision. It was just brilliant.’
She revealed that she had great fun starting work on the show and is excited for more filming.
Claire said: ‘I’ve only done a few days on it now, but it was a big epic for me because I’m a massive fan of the show. My first day on the cobbles I couldn’t believe it.’
The star also spoke about the possibility of a Brookside reboot as she makes her return to soaps.
Claire said: ‘It’s a big success on STV. Who knows? Stranger things have happened. Oh I don’t know, my head’s in Corrie at the moment so I don’t know.’
Reprise? The star (pictured left in Brookside) also spoke about the possibility of a Brookside reboot as she makes her return to soaps
Son: She also revealed that her son Jaxon, with her ex-partner Daniel Reilly, does not ‘get’ what she does yet
She also revealed that her son Jaxon, with her ex-partner Daniel Reilly, does not ‘get’ what she does yet.
Claire said: ‘He’s eight. He doesn’t care. He’s obsessed with art, he loves music and his friends and he loves his life. He’s really kind. He’s a beautiful boy.’
Although she added that she would not discourage him from following in her footsteps if it makes him happy.
She said: ‘This business has brought me a lot of joy. I’m 52 and I still love what I do. I still get excited seeing the show. I still get excited and nervous. It still stimulates me.
‘So if he can be as happy as I am doing what I do, that’s all I want. You just want your kid to be happy. And if he wants to do it, great, I wouldn’t stop him.
‘As long as he’s happy, I can’t say I don’t want to go him into the business because it’s brought me a lot of pleasure.
‘It’s afforded me to meet brilliant people, travel the world, be challenged when I’m scared to do a show, and conquer my fears.’
She admitted that conquering her fears is something that she is still working on and it is sometimes tough.
Claire said: ‘It’s a funny thing because I’m peri-menopausal so anxiety kicks in and you can’t let the gremlin get you, and it’s hard sometimes. It’s a battle and you’re trying to keep yourself together.
‘If I didn’t love what I do I wouldn’t do it. That’s what gets me through: the love of it. Because sometimes it can be scary and you think: “I’ve gotta love it to do it.”
‘I will never be that person who goes: what am I worried about? I will always be grateful, I will never take it for-granted and I will never be complacent. I will always be a bit nervous and question myself.’
Royal meeting: Claire admitted that the industry makes her happy and has given her a lot of opportunities (pictured right meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2005)
Friend: She has also praised Sheridan Smith for her interpretation of the actress in the new cast
Alongside the plethora of roles in her career, Claire has also starred as Shirley Valentine in the theatre production.
And now, she has praised Sheridan Smith for her interpretation of the actress in the new cast.
She said: ‘I did Shirley Valentine just before lockdown and I remember getting a late night call of Sheridan going: “how did you learn this, with all of the lines?” But I think she’s a quicker learner than me, and she was fabulous.
‘She reached out because for anyone who’s played Shirley Valentine, you feel like part of a little family because you know the learning that goes into it.
‘I started learning 6 months before. Watching her do it I was like “there’s more, I forgot about that bit. Omg how did I learn all of that?”
‘There’s a moment that shows you how good she is: I was watching it, relieving it and then I forgot, I got transported and lost in Shirley Valentine’s story. She’s so good. She’s a star.
‘She’s just got funny bones Sheridan. Not only is a great dramatic actress. It was almost had a stand up quality to it, with the accent that was flawless. She’s brilliant.’
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