Corrie’s Samia Longchambon reveals lockdown has helped ease her crippling anxiety

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CORRIE’S Samia Longchambon has revealed how the soap’s actresses have their own WhatsApp group — while the male cast members send each other naughty messages.

Since telly bosses halted filming, the show’s stars have been using the messaging service to stay in touch, just like work colleagues in lockdown all over the country.

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Samia Longchambon says that her anxiety has greatly improved while in lockdown[/caption]

Weatherfield’s finest have two groups — with Samia joking that it is like a “school disco” as the boys and girls are separated.

The 37-year-old actress, who is approaching her 20th anniversary playing hairdresser Maria Connor, says: “Corrie is like an extended family. We’ve all been checking in with each other.

“The girls have been chatting lots on our WhatsApp group.

“The boys have their own group. Theirs is all a bit rude. The guys all send each other naughty things and we don’t want to see what they are doing.

Getty Images – Getty

Samia pictured with her husband Sylvain, her daughter Freya and her son Yves[/caption]

“One or two of the girls have been brave enough to have a look and join it but I’m not on it.”

Samia has also revealed how the less pressured pace of life during lockdown has helped to ease the crippling anxiety she has battled for years.

She had previously struggled with panic attacks, which she describes as “all- consuming”.

Speaking about lockdown, Samia says: “Actually, this period has been OK for me.

ITV

Samias charcater Maria Connor first appeared on-screen in Coronation Street in May 2000[/caption]

“I’ve always preferred a night in to a night out. It takes a lot to get me out to a party, so I was fine with the thought of staying at home.

“But the biggest impact has been on my anxiety, which I have really, really struggled with for a long time.

“I’ve found it’s finally eased while being on lockdown. I’ve had social anxiety most of my life which has been very challenging. But I’ve found that now everyone has had to slow down and I don’t have that pressure to attend social events. The bustle of life has lifted.

“I’ve been trying things for years to help and some of it has been good. I do yoga every day and I did a webinar about anxiety yesterday with a clinical psychologist, but this period has really helped me.

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Samia is married to Dancing On Ice skating professional Sylvain[/caption]

“I hope that by talking about it I might be able to assure other people that it’s normal too, and that it’s something you can deal with.

“Although, I’m now going to the supermarket in a mask and gloves so that’s a different sort of anxiety.”

Samia lives near Manchester with ten-year-old daughter Freya from her previous marriage, son Yves, four, and her husband, Dancing On Ice skating professional Sylvain, 39.

She insists that throwing herself into the trappings of a showbiz lifestyle is “totally not for me”.

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Samia was a competitor in the eighth series of Dancing on Ice in 2013[/caption]

Samia explains: “I want my kids to have as normal an upbringing as possible. I’ve never been into showbizzy parties and events. I like to stay grounded and this could all end tomorrow.

“I don’t want my life to revolve around going to showbiz events for it to then all end. My filming schedule is very busy but when there’s downtime what I have outside is real.

“Our best friends aren’t famous and the novelty of what I do for a living has totally worn off.”

Samia has become one of the ITV soap’s longest-serving stars — and the lockdown has marked her lengthiest period away from the cameras.

‘I’M NOT RUTHLESSLY AMBITIOUS’

Bosses shut down production in March amid growing concerns about the safety of cast and crew in the wake of coronavirus. Samia now plans to celebrate her 20-year Corrie anniversary at home with her family — but admits she would have liked to share it with her co-stars, too.

She says: “I was away for the final week, and it’s my 20th anniversary coming up on May 19. I hadn’t thought about celebrating but now I’d love to go for a drink with everyone else to mark it.

“Sylvain and I will have a glass of champagne at home instead, but I guess I’m a lifer now on Corrie.

“I love Maria. I know she’s ditsy and the character has made bad decisions, but I’ve lived her life story as well as my own and she’s a part of me now. Maria feels like my second name and, to be honest, I’m not ruthlessly ambitious. I have my kids and they are my main priority.

PA:Press Association

Samia says she is enjoying spending more time at home with her husband and two children[/caption]

“Being on Corrie means I am able to come home every night to my husband and my children and do the job I love, acting, all year around.

“There has never been any major reason for me to ever want to leave. I’m totally happy.

“I do other things in my life which I’d wanted to do — a few years ago I did a course in reflexology which was completely different — but I love my balance.”

After shutting down the show’s studios, bosses now face the unprecedented prospect of the soap dropping off air for the first time in its history — just months before its 60th birthday — as the number of pre- recorded episodes begins to dwindle.

ITV

In Coronation Street, Maria lost her baby earlier this year[/caption]

As The Sun previously reported, the cast will need to return to the set by late June to avoid running out of episodes as producers work on a plan to work within social distancing guidelines.

Samia says: “I never thought Coronation Street would ever stop production — it’s crazy. Being at home has been great for my family. I’ve loved the extra time with my husband and children.

“We certainly won’t be a lockdown divorce — it’s been lovely — but of course I’m looking forward to getting back on set.

“I don’t know the exact date they have in mind but we’re hoping for June.

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Samia Ghadie attending the National Television Awards 2019 held at the O2 Arena[/caption]

“Everything is crossed but they will have to sort all the safety measures and social distancing first. Nothing will happen until they are sure we are all safe.

“But it will be very different, almost like going back to school because many of us are so used to doing what we do.

“The show will look a bit different when we come back. We might not have big scenes in The Rovers or the bistro for a long time.

“They are going to write Covid into the show because they still want viewers to be able to relate to it, plus it would be strange if we didn’t mention it. But it will be light-hearted too — that’s a big part of the show.”

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Samia at the BAFTA TV awards, held at the Royal Festival Hall in London[/caption]


And with the show’s milestone birthday approaching, Samia hopes the cast will still be able to mark the occasion with a fitting celebration.

She adds: “It’s December 9 we turn 60, and of course we have to do something. It’s being planned at the moment but I’m not certain what it will be.

“It makes you think back to all those strong characters over the years who became iconic, like Bet, Audrey, Vera — characters who make you smile just saying their name.
“They’re what Corrie is all about — the matriarchs who ran the show, and they still maintain that to some extent. It’s an amazing legacy to be a part of.”

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