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The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Fair City - Kate Thompson & Helen Norton

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Kate's Character - Justine

Justine arrives in Carrigstown in a whirl of confusion. She lands on Dolores door and announces that she is Wayne's (Dolores son) much older wife. Dolores is shocked as Wayne told her he was divorced. Things become even more muddled when we learn that Wayne stole €50,000 from Justine to pay his second wife to leave him alone!

Justine is rich, successful and arrogant. She has arrived in Carrigstown to bring Wayne back with her. She is determined not to lose him and will manipulate any situation to ensure she gets what she wants.

There is also a question mark over how they met...what could it be!!!

Helen Character - Vivienne's

Helen is back as Zumo's and the Bishops long lost mother. She left Carrigstown thirteen years ago and abandoned her sons - or so they believed. It soon transpires that Vivienne was a victim of severe domestic abuse and was forced to leave her sons after being raped and knifed by her husband.

But she didn't return on her own but has brought a daughter called Charlotte with her to Carrigstown. Vivienne is secretive about her daughter and it appears that she may be sick - but she is really anxious for Zumo to meet them.

Fair City is on Sunday at 8, Tuesday at 8, and Wednesday at 7.30 and Thursday at 8pm on RTE ONE.

Kate Thompson

How did you get into Acting?

Oh god that's centuries ago. It was something I always wanted to do but my mother wanted me to get a degree first so I got a French and English degree to Trinity and then got into acting in the end anyway.

People obviously remember you from Glenroe - what was it like playing man eater Terry?

Do you know it's funny the younger people don't remember that anymore. I went into the role 20 years ago and it's off air 12. I was in it for 9 years. I loved it for the first 5 and then after 9 years I was in it nearly a decade and I wanted a change.

Did people ever stop you in the street to say anything to you?

I remember the day after my first appearance and people kept approaching me and I got quite frightened. I rang the creator of the show as there was such a furore on the radio about it as it had never really been done before - an adulterous affair. I said to the creator Wesley - this is quite shocking and he said Kate that's exactly how I wanted it.

After Glenroe you focused on your writing career - was that always an interest of yours or was it another way of making a living when you weren't acting?

That's right. It was something I consciously set out to do as I was hitting the danger age as an actress so I was starting to look around at something I might be able to do. I thought perhaps I might be able to write and low and behold I was terribly terribly lucky.

I wrote a book a year while I was out of Glenroe which is just about right. I have my 13th book due by the end of June.

You are now in Fair City - why did you return to acting?

It's terribly terribly lonely being a writer. I met Martina Stanley who plays Dolores in Fair City and she was asking me when I was going to go back to acting. I said never - i'll never go back. Then just before Christmas last year I met a radio producer and I said I would love a small role in a radio play and do you think you might be able to manage that?

He then got me a small part in a Tom Kilroy play which I recorded before Christmas with a dozen talented actors. I had such a great time and then I approached my agent and asked was there anything else going and talk about Serendipity then the part of Justine in Fair City Came up.

Tell me about your character Justine?

I got my character brief that said she had a number of husbands and she's English of Irish parentage and she set up a hugely successful business in the States and then she met Wayne. She came back to Ireland to find Wayne and get him back. (Wayne has also stolen some of Justine's money).

What's Justine's relationship like with Dolores?

At the moment it's quite good.

Were you a fan of the show?

I watched a lot when I was living in the West but when I'm writing I try not to get too involved in soaps.

Helen Norton

Tell me about your character 'Vivienne' in Fair City?

She is the mother of Zumo, Decco and Denzo and the daughter of law of Eileen. She left Carrigstown 13 years ago as her husband brutalised her - she did want to take the kids with her but he attacked her with a knife.

Last Sunday Vivienne was moving flats and she dropped a box with teenager's clothes in it. She then revealed that the clothes belonged to his little sister but she hasn't appeared yet.

Who is Charlotte's Dad?

The same father as the boys - Paddy. She left while she was pregnant.

Is there any chance that Zumo will reconcile with his mom?

She is trying to rekindle it but he was 7 when she left. He was the one who would remember her the most. It's really hard to rekindle those relationships but she is back for a reason. You'll have to tune in to see why she's back.

I believe Barry has a thing for Vivienne?

She has been seen with him for lunch and he has been very good to her. But Zumo doesn't get on with Barry. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

In last night's episode (Wednesday) you got mugged?

I get mugged by my sons - can you believe it. They were away doing dodgy deals in Belfast. It was quite veracious. They did it in broad daylight but Vivienne and the sons haven't met yet.

She does recognise them. I think what has happened is that someone has been keeping her up to date about what has been going on since she left.

Where was she when she left?

She is originally from Malahide. Then she married Paddy and had the kids and lived with Eileen. Then she left because of the violence and then she went to Leeds and she became a nurse. Then she moved back to Arklow and lived with her sister there.

Why won't she take a job offered to her in the doctor's surgery?

Because of her daughter.

Were you a fan of the soap before you joined?

I watched it on and off.

You have an extensive career in the theatre is that a lot different to a soap?

They are so different but in theatre you know where the character ends but in Soap land you don't. In film you are in the mercy of a lot of people. In Fair City I hadn't done anything like this before. It's smaller but it's like a big family. It has a very fast pace but it's also so rewarding.