“I’ve never been one to make obvious choices”
She dated Prince Charles, found film fame playing a rape victim, and now the seventies icon is on the wrong side of the law in Albert Square. After 40 years in acting, she’s still out to shock

Welcome to the polite, coy world of the seventies, when actresses were jolly good sports and could have a discreet relationship with the Prince of Wales without selling the details, where sweetness and good manners reigned and one looked after mummy and daddy, a gentle “luvydom” before the dread word was invented. Oh, she may have had an affair at 21 with a thrice-married American singer of 33, but nothing so rancid as the vulgar shenanigans of Albert Square’s stricken inhabitants where she now finds herself ensconced for ten weeks as a con woman, Margaret, who moves in with landlord Terry Raymond.

She sits prettily in a chair, eager to please, repeats sentences for actressy emphasis, hugs her legs, is touchy-feely, a man’s woman who responds to one question by saying, “I love your tie.” She has many other interests – a stud farm of 20 Arab horses in Northamptonshire which she runs with her actor husband Simon MacCorkindale; a production company, Amy International, named after the rape victim she played in Straw Dogs with Dustin Hoffman 30 years ago; and a collection of teddy bears, one of which, Merrick (given to her by actor Simon Merrick with whom she starred in The Country Girl by Clifford Odets in 1985, her last appearance on the London stage), travels everywhere with her. “I send one with Simon when he’s away from me, too,” she says happily.

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