The popular Lucy Mizen may have sung in most of the live venues of Harrogate since she first performed publically as a teenager in the 1990s - big and small - but it turns out she has also quietly been a professional actor the whole time.
Still, walking on set in the nation’s favourite soap opera to make her debut appearance felt like one of the more surreal experiences for the likable and down to earth Lucy herself.
“I remember watching Georgia Taylor, who plays Toyah Battersby, deliver an incredible and emotional scene decades ago and at the time it made me feel both inspired and a bit sad because I’d strayed so far from where I wanted to be” she said.
“I remember thinking 'I wanted to be like that and now I’ll never even get the chance to work with someone as good as that'.
“It had just become an impossible dream. So, to be on set with her 20 years later was one of those moments in life where you just go 'blimey'."
Despite studying acting in Edinburgh 20 years ago and winning the occasional role since, most of Lucy’s time in and out of the spotlight since she was a teenager has come as a highly regarded singer, appearing on her own or with well-known local bands such as Kassius or as one half of popular acoustic duo Becky and Lucy back in the good old days of the early Noughties.
Married with two daughters to Dan Mizen, one of Harrogate’s most respected musicians and producers and son of Frank Mizen, a key member of legendary Harrogate rock band Wally, the multi-talented Lucy has never given up on her passion for acting, even if music did take centre stage for a long time.
“I knew from the last year of primary school that acting was my biggest love after I played Gollum in the Year Six play,” she said. “I studied performing arts at Harrogate college and then went on to Edinburgh for further training, but did nothing with it for years, clearly distracted by music.
“As I was approaching 40 I was really feeling the need to scratch the acting itch again so I did screen acting classes at the Yorkshire Academy Of Film and Television Actors.
“I got myself an agent, applied for whatever paid work I could find to keep going and and and just kept on working.”
Long-time followers of Lucy’s career in Harrogate may have been impressed by her barnstorming acting performance in a recent Harrogate Theatre production of Rachael Halliwell’s epic community play on the streets of the town.
But nothing could have prepared them for the delight of watching Lucy’s ‘Corrie’ debut on October 13 in front of millions of TV viewers when she made her big debut.
Playing social worker Lou Breslin, the episode saw Lucy helping Toyah Battersby (Georgia Taylor) and Imran Habeeb (Charlie de Melo) through their fostering process, a plotline which will continue in future episodes.
“It was an amazing and surreal experience to be working on set,” she said. “My family were over the moon about it. It was sacrilege to speak when Corrie was on in our house when I was a kid and it’s still the same now.
“I’m so glad I kept on going as an actor over the years. I think it’s important to realise that no job is above you or below you. I’ve found myself on telly one day then dressed as a Viking in the basement of a shopping centre the next.
“There’s no snobbery when you just really love the work. I just embrace it all. Since I got back into it, I’ve done anything from theatre in education to panto, live and immersive theatre to commercials, film, voice-overs, Emmerdale and now Corrie.
“I’ve just thrown myself wholeheartedly at it. It just goes to show that life really isn’t too short and if you feel like there’s something missing in your life, fill it.”
Lucy’s appearance on one of Britain’s most popular shows is a small but significant role - and, in a way, she is relieved she has missed recent storylines which have seen carnage and disaster come to the soap opera in the shape of floods, fights and sudden sinkholes.
“They had just finished filming those scenes when I was last in. The cast were all wet and shattered,” she said.
Lucy has already filmed two further episodes of Coronation Street and there’s a possibilty of more on the way
“I am back for a couple of episodes as the story of the adoption unfolds in early November then I may well be making some more appearances at the start of next year but I can’t say too much,” she said. “We always tell ourselves excuses like “it would take too long” etc but the alternative is looking back in a few years and still being at the starting point instead of well on the journey.”
As if Lucy’s life wasn’t busy enough already, she has just taken on a new sideline, which may be of interest for any couple thinking of tieing the knot.
“I always wanted to be a wedding celebrant, so I’ve just completed my training to do that too. I’m hoping it will be the perfect side hustle. ’I’ve been told I’m a but like a real-life Joey from Friends!”