Anyone who watches Shameless might expect Tina Malone to be just as loud, brash and aggressive as Mimi Maguire, simply because her performance as the character is so convincing that you can't imagine her being any other way.
It may come as a surprise then to know that in reality, Tina is the complete opposite to Mimi- something which does shock a lot of people. “It always amazes me when I meet people and they go ‘you’re really quite nice aren’t you?’.”
Wondering what the Toxteth-born actress is really like when she’s off set? “Life on the edge for me is Corrie, Emmerdale and a cappuccino,” she confesses. “My idea of heaven is sitting at home in my pyjamas with a face pack on and with my dog, Bob, and my husband, Paul.” She adds: “I am opinionated like Mimi and some days I do spend longer being her rather than Tina, but they never run into each other. I’m much more intelligent and worldly and I don’t use explicit language all the time or go out drinking.”
Does she actually enjoy her part as a foul-mouthed Maguire then? “It’s brilliant! I’ve played her for eight years (I wasn’t in series one) and it’s still a privilege and an honour," she says. "I think there are very few female roles in TV where you get to play somebody who’s so challenging. Mimi’s vile and a matriarch; she’s like Tony Soprano in a frock really.”
When she’s not filming for Shameless, the 48 year old loves to cook. “I make a Christmas meal for my family of 26 every year,” she says. “I also do a Christmas meal for the makeup and wardrobe department and the actresses on the show. That’s a six course meal cooked for them by my own fair hands.”
Tina showed off her culinary skills in January when she appeared and won Celebrity Come Dine With Me. “It was bizarre because people like me never usually win things…so it was really nice.” This was the actress’ second stint on a reality TV show, as she was in Celebrity Big Brother in 2009 and Celebrity Four Weddings 18 months ago (which she won).