Patsy Kensit: ‘I was always kissing and cuddling Michelle Keegan!’

Patsy Kensit stars in ITV's new drama about England's 1966 World Cup hero Bobby Moore and his real life marriage to his wife Tina…

England football captain Bobby Moore shot to international superstardom in 1966 when he lifted the World Cup trophy. But the win had a huge affect on his marriage to his wife Tina, as depicted in ITV’s new drama Tina and Bobby. Former Emmerdale and Holby City actress Patsy Kensit stars alongside Michelle Keegan and Lorne MacFadyen as Tina’s loving mum Betty and What’s On TV caught up with her on the set in Cheshire to find out more…

What’s Betty’s relationship like with Tina?
“In some ways it’s like the one I had with my mum, so there’s lots I can draw on! Betty was Tina’s soul mate in many ways. It’s funny because Tina herself told me that her mum used to send her to school with smoked salmon sandwiches and my mum did the same. Betty was very much ahead of her time!”

What did Betty think about Bobby?
“Betty just adored him. But marrying him wasn’t the only route she believed her daughter could go down – Tina had prospects. But then this adorable guy came in and wanted to protect and nurture her daughter and it wouldn’t have mattered who it was as long as he cherished her.”

Betty ends up dying of cancer in the second episode. Was it emotional filming those scenes?
“Yeah it’s hard to say goodbye to someone. It’s heartbreaking – that’s why playing Betty was such a gift of a part. My mum died a long time ago when I was 22 and there’s a part of you that will never be loved that way again. I kept thinking about my own experiences. My mum said some beautiful things to me before she died and I asked the director if I could share them. What I say as Betty to Tina is very similar to what my mum said to me. It made it authentic.”

How did you find the costumes?
“I had to wear an old lady hat, but that’s the character! I had to look appropriate for the time – I wasn’t there to look like me!”

Tina and Bobby were the subject of huge media attention. Is that something you can relate to?
“There was a moment when the media were focused on my private life, so it’s an adjustment when that shift happens and you actually get your private life back. It’s a much nicer feeling and something I’m able to enjoy now. You have to be a strong person to ride it that massive scrutiny, but it’s been my priority to keep my children out of the public eye. I’ve been working for 40 odd years so there’s a part of me that just wants to bake and do the school run!”

What was it like working with Michelle Keegan?
“She’s really fabulous and very wise. She’s got that something that I’ve seen with people who go all the way. She’s wonderful, I adore her. I’m always kissing and cuddling her!”

Tina and Bobby premieres on ITV at 9pm on Friday January 13

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