A special meeting of Equity, the actors’ union, has heard that Operation Yewtree has ‘spoiled things’ for actors who finally make it on to TV.
One soap actor, who has asked not to be named, explained the grim realities of an actor’s life. “First you have to learn your craft at drama college, building up student debt while pretending to be a tree in the wind or somesuch nonsense. Then it’s years of on-off work at rep theatres, punctuated by spells of unemployment or crap waiting jobs. Most actors die or become drama teachers before they make it big. The lucky ones die.
“The only thing which keeps most of us going is the thought of the power we can wield over ‘muggles’, as we call the audience. They love us! I got my first gratuitous grope after appearing in a cat food commercial. It was a non-speaking part, so sex was out of the question - Equity has a tariff. Speaking parts are guaranteed full sex, and if you get a regular slot in a soap then women actually aren’t allowed to say no. It’s the law, I think.
“Next I had a speaking part on The Bill, playing a hit and run victim, so my Equity rep lined up a parade of muggles and I picked one for the night. If my character had lived I’d have been up for a threesome.
"Now that I’m in a regular soap slot the sky’s the limit – I’ve been reading Roman history just for ideas – I’ve completely run out of bizarre sexual practices. The Emperor Tiberius had some good ones, and of course there’s Caligula for the real classics.
“Then Jimmy had to go and die and it’s as if somebody’s popped a bubble. Apparently we’re supposed to check their ages now, and make sure they want it. Of course they want it, I’m a f*ck*ng soap star! Sometimes they don’t know they want it, but that’s all part of the fun”.