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24 September 2014
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Beth Cordingly as Vienna Keen


Starts this autumn on BBC THREE


Beth Cordingly plays Vienna Keen


Age: 27

Lives in: Clapham, London.

What's she been in before? Beth has played PC Kerry Young in The Bill and Sara Warrington in Family Affairs.

Did you know? Beth's father is an expert in pirates and was a consultant on the film, Pirates of the Caribbean.


Beth Cordingly spent more than two years playing PC Kerry Young in The Bill, but now she has swapped the police uniform for false eyelashes, fake tan and platform heels in her latest role as a pole-dancer in Funland.


"I play Vienna Keen, who is a pole-dancer in a Blackpool nightclub," explains Beth. "She is a very cool character, very detached and very aloof, totally different to Kerry.


"Kerry was always very animated and wore her heart on her sleeve, whereas Vienna doesn't give anything away."


Playing a pole-dancer has been a huge challenge for Beth, not least because she had just a few weeks to learn all the tricks that Vienna has been performing since she was 14.


"I've had a few lessons and watched some pole-dancers perform at a club in London. I've learnt some of the spins that they do but the biggest thing that they taught me was not to be self-conscious about my body.


"I'm not a dancer and I'm not someone who feels naturally sexy, but my character has to look confident because she's been dancing for years.


"I've had to get used to walking around on set in just a bikini! The cast have all been really supportive, which helps, and the costume that I wear is amazing – false eyelashes, fake tan, hair extensions and amazing make-up, which all really helps me feel the part, and I don't feel like me at all!"


As well as all the pole-dancing lessons, Beth has spent a lot of time getting fit for the role.


"I've been trying to do exercise every other day. I do quite a lot of running and yoga already. I've got a personal trainer when I'm filming in Manchester - that's been good because he really pushes me. And when I'm at home in London I do a body pump class which is such a brilliant way to start your weekend.


"I'm normally quite an anxious person but with doing so much exercise I'm feeling so much calmer and happier, it really makes a difference!"


And all this exercise will prove invaluable as Beth sets out on a trek to Cuba for Christmas to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading children's cancer charity.


"CLIC is such an amazing charity and I'm really pleased to be able to get involved and help raise funds to help children suffering from cancer, and their families.


"Each and every day, children with cancer are fighting their own challenge, overcoming the stresses and strains of their treatment. This challenge will give me the chance to escape the commercialism of Christmas and make a real difference to help these children."


The other challenge in taking on the role of Vienna has been the accent. With Vienna being born and bred in Blackpool, Beth has had to get to grips with the Lancashire accent - but fortunately help was at hand!


"It's been interesting having a go at the Blackpool accent! Fortunately, Emily Aston, who plays Ruby, is from Lancashire so she has been giving me some tips - but I will let the people in Blackpool be the judge!"


And although pole-dancing has proved to be a fantastic way to keep fit, there is a downside!


"My knees are absolutely covered in bruises," laughs Beth. "With all the rolling around on the floor that you have to do, I have got loads of bruises on my knees and legs so I look like an eight-year-old child!"



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