The Sun

Acting is a ‘filthy’ business - just ask former Corrie star Sacha Parkinson.

While filming her latest drama she has revealed she didn’t change her clothes for more than eight weeks - and hardly washed herself. It was all to get under the skin of a 19th-Century teenage orphan cotton worker for her role in The Mill.

Sacha, who played Sian in Coronation Street, wanted to get back to basics in preparation for the part. While hard labour, 12-hour working days and cold wooden floors to sleep on aren’t most people’s idea of fun, Sacha was ready to get stuck into the gritty four-parter and confessed she was happy she was barely recognisable.

She said: “They never washed our costumes for the whole set - they were horrible by the end but we needed to feel grimy and dirty. I didn’t really wash either, as it helped me get into the role. They slathered us in fake dirt every day, it just embedded into my skin. It was particularly disgusting when you were eating.”

“Wearing wooden clogs also makes you walk in a funny way. It’s a world away from what Corrie was like. It was amazing not having to worry about looking glamorous and my skin was perfect afterwards,” she added.

The drama is based on real-life accounts of life at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. Much of the filming took place at the National Trust property.

Sacha, who has appeared in BBC drama The Crash and Casualty since leaving the Corrie cobbles, added: “I went to Quarry Bank Mill as a child and it was incredible to go back there and film. We learned a lot about the lives of the apprentice workers and how to use the machines. They were dangerous, especially because of the long hours they worked. The conditions they lived in were really difficult.”