So Heather, your new show Lip Service will be on our screens next week (Tuesday, 12 October on BBC Three), can you tell us a little bit about it?
"Lip Service" is a story about a group of friends living in Glasgow. As much as it is about gay girls there are straight main characters in the show, namely Ed, Cat’s brother and Jay their best pal. The story revolves around the unfinished love between Frankie and Cat. It is funny, sad and intriguing all at the same time. Although we will be compared to the “L-Word” I think it is a lot more like "This Life" in the way it is more character rather than issue based. I am very proud of the show and hopefully it will cross boundaries and be enjoyed by a broad audience.
We’ve heard that you play a detective sergeant called Sam, what’s she like?
Sam is Cat’s new girlfriend. She is a Detective Sergeant, funny, calm and measured. She can assess any situation until it comes down to Cat. She knows deep down that there is unfinished business between Cat and Frankie but does not want to believe it as she falls very quickly and very hard for Cat.
How did it feel to play a lesbian character?
It felt very comfortable playing a lesbian character, its not the first time for me though. I played a gay girl in "Crazy Lady" a theatre play that was with Shobna Gulati. We did it at the Contact in Manchester actually. We may do it next year for Pride as well. Sam was fun to play as she is everything I would like to be. She's very cool which I have to say I am not, I am a complete Goober!!
As well as singing and acting you’re also a patron of Manchester Pride. What made you decide and become a patron and what do you love about the festival?
I became a patron of Manchester Pride whilst I was appearing in "Macbeth" at The Royal Exchange. Jackie Crozier got me very drunk after one of the shows and she promised me I would be looking after a certain celebrity, (who cannot be named), over Pride’s Big Weekend. The person in question never materialised but my patronage did!! I love the festival as it does so much more than simply give everyone a great party. There are exhibitions and theatre and of course the parade. Manchester Pride continues to be on of the only pride events in the UK that raises money for LGBT and HIV charities.
You attended the most recent Manchester Pride festivities. Did you have fun and what was your fondest memory of the Big Weekend?
I had a great time overall at Manchester Pride this year but have to say was very disappointed to be unable to sing on the women's stage due to me losing my voice (which I have to say did not heal completely for nearly a month and was getting a bit worrying!) My fondest memory was sitting at the front of the stage with Jackie Crozier with no one else in the space whilst Beverley Knight did her sound check!! I was going to miss her sing on the Monday as I had to get home but instead had my own little private concert!
You used to attend university in Manchester and then moved onto Brighton? How do both cities compare? Do you get out in Manchester much?
I loved Manchester when I lived there and still have a great fondness for the city. It is very liberal and opened minded just like Brighton. I have been in Brighton now for ten years and can’t really imagine leaving. I would consider moving back to Manchester if the weather were better!! When you watch the national weather report on TV notice how many times it will say "rain everywhere except for those of you in the south east" . . . Promise!!
And finally, apart from filming Lip Service and supporting Manchester Pride, what else have you been up to?
I have just completed work on a new film directed by Reg Vardis about corruption in the prison service called "Screwed". Back in uniform working with all boys again!! Its not a huge part in the film but i think the movie itself will be fab, it has fantastic actors in it, James Darcey, Jamie Foreman, David Hayman and Frank Harper to name but a few. Also I have started gigging on quite a big scale all around the UK so check my website for a venue near you!! I think the music is where I am going with things at the moment.
You can catch Heather in Lip Service on BBC Three this Tuesday (12 October) at 22:30.
Follow heather on twitter @heatherpeace and check out her website http://heatherpeace.com/