It's hard to imagine Jennie McAlpine, better known as Coronation Street's Fiz Brown, playing anything other than a kind-hearted character. She is so warm and good-natured herself, it seems to ooze out of every pore.
Right now, however, Fiz's generosity of spirit is being put to the test by her somewhat deranged boyfriend, John Stape. Whether their love can survive the latest hurdle - that John kidnapped Rosie Webster, the school girl he once had an affair with, and locked her up in his grandmother's house - remains to be seen. It's a tall order being able to forgive something like that but Jennie (24) has firm rules when it comes to advising people on matters of the heart.
"I don't think one should ever judge other people's relationships," says the actress, shaking her head of fuzzy red curls. "That's a road to disaster. People ask me, 'What would you say to Fiz?' and I say, 'Nothing', because, I tell you, she would not thank you for it. I never say things to friends about their boyfriends, full stop. I know if it were me and someone tried to tell me what they thought I'd be stubborn and say, 'Well sod you, I'm going to do it anyway!'"
Thankfully, Jennie has a much more stable relationship in real-life. "I do have a boyfriend," says the star softly, "and his name's Chris but I don't like to talk about him because he's not in this business.
"And you won't be seeing our wedding in a magazine!" she adds, breaking into a grin. "I couldn't stand the pressure!"
That's not the only aspect of her life that Jennie, who has been appearing in the show since she was 17 years old, plans to keep behind closed doors. "I've been asked numerous times to do a fitness DVD, which I can tell you now I will never do. That's definite. In fact, that's more definite than Peter Andre and Jordan not getting back together!" she says, laughing. The star admits that after losing a significant amount of weight last year, she has been plied with numerous offers to reveal her slimming secrets, but the whole notion goes against her personal values.
"They're offering me loads of money but I just wouldn't," she says, her big blue eyes growing serious. "I think role models are important to young girls so they can have something they can follow. I did lose weight a while ago but I don't diet and I don't have anything to do with the bathroom scales. Also, I can't bear exercise!" she shrieks, collapsing into laughter.
The most important message she hopes her youthful fans will take from seeing her looking fabulous on the red carpet is that she buys all her clothes from chain stores rather than donning designer gowns and adorning herself in diamond jewellery. "I'm dead tight, that's what I am," she says, smiling.
She's also dead generous. Jennie devotes lots of her time to working for a mental health charity in Manchester, to which she also donated her share of the $110,000 she won on the celebrity version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It's an impressive attitude for someone who has been around the influences of show business from such a young age.
"I wasn't like some of the actors who were still in school when they started, but I have grown up on Coro," Jennie explains. "I was always sure I wanted to do this job, but I never knew it would be this
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