Claire King talks about what the future holds for Erica and Dev on Coronation Street and also talks about appearing on Emmerdale and Bad Girls. Coronation Street can be seen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings on ITV.
How have Erica’s feelings for Dev changed over the past few months? She wasn’t interested at first, was she?
Erica wasn’t looking for a relationship when she first arrived. She’d been through quite a bad experience with her ex-husband in Spain I think. She came back over here and became friends with Dev. She thinks he’s a good egg, he’s got a kind heart and they have fun, but she’s been backing off from a relationship. They’ve got progressively closer but she has resisted his charms. Now everyone around her is telling her it would be a good thing for them to get together.
What does she get out of their friendship?
As well as a job and somewhere to live they do have a great friendship. It’s often a good basis for a relationship if you’re friends first. The best relationships I’ve had is when we’ve been friends initially. Erica can be herself with Dev. They have a laugh, crack jokes and just enjoy each other’s company.
At what moment does she realise that she fancies him?
There’s a moment between them when Mary has too much to drink and Erica and Dev are helping to get her home, but then Mary falls off the sofa and the moment passes. I think the green-eyed monster really appears when Dev introduces a new potential girlfriend.
Does Erica have any idea how Dev feels about her?
I think she does know deep down at this point that he likes her but to what extent?
How does Erica feel when Dev introduces his date Karen from the golf club?
That’s the real tipping point, it’s when Erica decides to make her move and she has Mary on her side telling Dev not to ignore what’s right under his nose.
Is she nervous when she dresses up and makes her move in the pub? Or is she confident she’s going to get her man?
There’s an element of nervousness to showing Dev how she feels about him - she’s not 25 or even 35 any more and I think any woman would think there’s still that slight doubt this could go badly wrong, and right in the middle of the Rovers as well!
What’s the atmosphere like between them the following morning?
Dev shakes Erica’s hand the next morning! So she rushes off to the Kabin to buy women’s mags to try to work out why he’d shake her hand rather than kiss her. She’s a bit bemused by it all.
They agree to be friends with benefits, but would Erica like more?
Yes, she would. She would like to claim her benefits more often!
Is Dev holding back on getting into a relationship?
He is, but only because he’s not sure what Erica wants. So he asks her outright and Erica has to be honest.
Do you think they make a good couple?
I think they make a great couple. But that’s because, as I say, they’ve been friends first.
What did you think when you heard you’d be teaming up with Jimmi Harkishan?
We did work together 30 years ago on something called South of the Border so I knew Jimmi way back then. It’s fantastic to work with him.
You’ve played opposite various love interests throughout your soap career - who else have you enjoyed working with and why?
Obviously, I worked with my ex-husband on Emmerdale (Peter Amory who played stepson Chris Tate). Ian Kelsey who played Dave Glover was fantastic and Paul Opacic played my husband in Emmerdale and my boyfriend in Bad Girls so I worked with him twice. I tend to be really lucky with my leading men, it’s great.
Are Corrie fans rooting for Dev and Erica?
I think they are. I hope so, they’re both good characters.
How much fun do you have filming the girls’ nights out episodes?
Not as much as you’d think! You usually end up outside filming when it’s dark and cold and you’re tottering around in high heels. It’s not glamorous.
Erica gravitates towards Liz for a gossip, but who in the cast do you enjoy a good natter with?
Beverley Callard (Liz) in real life too. And I love Helen Worth, she’s a lovely lady, very funny. Sue Cleaver and Patti Clare I’m close to now because of the work we’re doing, and Debbie Rush too. They’re all strong women playing strong characters, which is what Corrie does so well.
Can you sum up your move to Corrie and what you’re enjoying most from your time on the soap?
Doing Coronation Street, which is such an institution, and an even more established soap than Emmerdale because it’s been going longer, well, it’s the one really. And it’s more relaxed than I thought it would be, more laid back.
Do people still recognise you from playing previous characters from other programmes, for example Emmerdale or Bad Girls?
Yes, but I’m getting people calling me Erica rather than Kim (Tate in Emmerdale) a bit more these days. I’m still getting used to that. Kim was such a big part of my life. I played her on and off for nearly a decade and she was such an icon, such a big character. It was a bit of a double-edged sword because she was so well known that hardly anyone would give me another job for a while!