Maxine Peake left ‘in state of high anxiety for weeks’ over role on BBC’s Talking Heads

MAXINE Peake was left ‘in a state of high anxiety for weeks’ over her role on BBC’s Talking Heads.

Tonight the 45-year-old will perform the monologue first made famous by Patricia Routledge, Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet, and admitted it was daunting following in her footsteps.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Maxine said: "These are classic pieces of writing performed originally by the best in the business.

"I said yes straight away then spent the next few weeks in a state of high anxiety.

"The magnificent Patricia Routledge is unsurpassable and also I’m 20 years younger than when Patricia did it, so I didn’t know if I could convince people I’m a suitable Miss Fozzard."

The Talking Heads monologues are something Maxine grew up with, and she revealed she used to perform Her Big Chance – read by Jodie Comer in the new series – when she auditioned for drama school.

Being such a fan of creator Alan Bennett's work, Maxine was delighted to speak to him about the new project and her role within it.

She continued: "I did give Alan a call. More because I’m a huge admirer of his work so I wanted to say hello.

"He was delightful! So complimentary and encouraging. It was definitely a career highlight for me.”

Meanwhile, viewers of Talking Heads have been left shocked to discover the series was filmed on the EastEnders set.

The BBC soap is currently off-air for the first time in its 35-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic so the production team made use of many familiar locations around Walford. 

Taking to Twitter fans couldn’t believe their eyes as they spotted the Carters kitchen with ex-Corrie star Sarah Lancashire sitting in it. 

One wrote: “Is lockdown getting to me or is #TalkingHeads ep 2 being filmed in the upstairs of the Queen Vic as in the pub in Eastenders????”

“Is Sarah Lancashire in the kitchen of The Queen Vic? Raquel in The Vic. Never did I think I'd see the day,” added another.

Talking Heads continues tonight at 7.35pm on BBC One.

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