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~.~ .~ one is the glitzy image of Hotel Babylon manager Rebecca. In her latest TV part, exEastEnder Tamzin Outhwaite is more likely to be elbows-deep in washing-up than swishing around in designer gear. Tarnzin, 35, talks to 'IV Quick about new drama Vital Signs and her role as Rhoda, a young mumof-three who decides to pack in her monotonous job as a supermarket shelf-stacker to become a doctor.

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Tamzin Outhwaite is far from glamorous in her new role as a mum-of-

three and struggling young doctor in drama VitalSigns

What did you think when you first read the script? I thought it was incredibly quick and witty. Even though it's very clever at times, it's also a simple story set in a working class town. A lot of people will identify with the kind of woman that Rhoda Bradley is. What's Rhoda like? She's hot-headed and passionate. I love the fact that she's flawedshe's not the best mother, the best wife, she's not perfect. It's always more interesting to play characters like that. Where did you look for inspiration? Rhoda is a mixture of a few different

women. One of the things I remember when I was growing up is that my mum was always busy. The only time she was ever still was when she was asleep. It was important for me to make that come across. Do you feel you've played this kind of character before? There are parts of Rhoda in me, and parts of her in a lot of the roles I have played before. Like my character in Out Of Control [a TV film in which Tamzin played the young mum of a youth offender], she desperately

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trouble. Rhoda lives and breathes for her children.

Vital Signs, which is great as I love a bit of diversity.

And you've gone brunette... I am probably looking the worst I have ever looked! But I am enjoying the fact that I can let go. I don't have to watch what I eat as my character is allowed to be chunky. Plus, Rhoda bites her nails - it actually says that in the script, so all my false nails are off.

Who were your favourite guest stars on the show? Steve Pemberton [TheLeague Of Gentlemen] was a lovely, lovely man. Working with Joan Collins was brilliant too.

Willyou be back to blonde for the new series of Hote/ Baby/on? Filming starts in July and I will be back to blonde and looking glamorous again! Hotel Babylon is so much fun. It's so stylised, the total opposite of

Would you like a career as lengthy as Joan's? JIT It would be lovely to do what she does at her age, to pick and choose her roles. However, it would be nice to be a mother and just make jam and knit.

Oliver Cousins in EastEnders? Tom came to see me in the play Breathing Corpses at The Royal Court. I was playing opposite James McAvoy[Shameless], and Tom is his best mate, so I met him and we started dating.

Rumourhas it the theme to your wedding is a garden party? Wedon't have a theme yet. We're leaving it to the last minute.

WOULD

BE NICE

Willyou be selling the rights to a magazine? It's a possibility. I do understand the reasons why people do those kinds of things. I've got a few celebrity friends, like the Appleton sisters, so hopefully they will all be there.

TO BE

A MOTHER'

Are you looking forward to working with Max Beesley and Dexter Fletcher again? Yes,they're brilliant!Wehave a laugh. It's one of those shows I call classy bubblegum. It's a shame because I think some people just didn't get it.

Was it strange when Tom got the part in EastEnders? He came home and told me and I did actually say, 'Oh my God, that's going to be weird.'

back. We went to the EastEnders 21st birthday party and it was almost like I'd never left. To act has always been a dream of yours, did it come easily? The loss of inhibition came easily, but the work didn't come on a plate. I was quite a little grafter. Do you still yearn for that part in the musical Cats? It was my dream, but I was offered it at the same time as another musical. I remember thinking, I've got to do Cats, but the other job was a better part. So I turned down my lifelong ambition. And if Hollywood came calling? We get some great scripts for television in the UK, and the fact that I have my family and friends here, it would be crazy to move to the States. Not that anybody is offering! Plus I've turned into a bit of a homebody. Aspen Weatherburn

Did you give him any tips about joining the soap? Not really. He's better at giving me tips - especially doctor tips, which came in useful for Vital Signs. He's played a nurse in No Angels as well, so he's very good at helping me pronounce all those big medical words.

Congratulations on your engagement. ., Thank you! We got engaged last November, and are getting married this summer.

Who are you in touch with from EastEnders? I hadn't really been in touch with anybody for a long time, then Tom went into the show and it's funny how it all comes

How did you meet your fiance Tom Ellis, alias Dr

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TV Quick - Vital Signs  

"~"'" .-.'::: f ~ oneistheglitzy imageofHotel Babylon manager Rebecca.Inher latestTVpart,ex- EastEnderTamzin Outhwaite is more likelytobe el...