Ex-Coronation Sreet actress Gaynor Faye, 49, on her biggest regret and celebrity crush

SHE has starred in Coronation Street, Emmerdale and now Gaynor Faye returns to our screens with The Syndicate.

The actress, 49, talks her biggest regret, favourite word and celebrity crush.

What scares you?

Ghosts. I’ve been haunted.

What is your favourite word?

Nam myoho renge kyo – it’s a Buddhist chant. I’ve been a Buddhist since I asked a friend 25 years ago what skin cream she used because she was so glowing and she said: “It’s not cream, it’s because I chant.”

What’s your worst habit?

Picking my cuticles. 

Who would you invite to a dinner party?

Nelson Mandela, Tina Turner, and RuPaul. We’ll have a big chat about philosophy and politics and then Tina and RuPaul will get the party started.

What is your experience of grief?

The Christmas before last I lost my gramps to pancreatic cancer. It was heartbreaking to watch him deteriorate – he was a lively man, always popping in on people.

What makes you angry?

Disrespect and disloyalty. 

What is your all-time favourite movie?

The Goodbye Girl with Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss. I watched it every day of my young life. 

What’s your earliest memory?

I tried to make my guinea pig and rabbit mate when I was about four. I thought it would be really cute to make little “gabbits”. 

Which public figure do you most admire?

Daisaku Ikeda, my Buddhist mentor. He dedicates his life to helping others find their happiness and trying to abolish nuclear weapons.

What is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced?

Labour. Twice [with son Oliver, 19, and daughter Lily, 17]. And trapped wind, which is nearly as bad as contractions.

What is your biggest regret?

Not carrying on piano lessons. I’d love to be that person at a party who can play a few tunes. My daughter plays and I’m always encouraging her with music she loves, not just the stuff from her lessons.

Tea or coffee?

Good coffee. Instant coffee tastes like gravy.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

Being able to maintain a career I love while bringing up two children. 

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry, Be Happy. A funeral isn’t for me, it’s for the people there. I’ll be on my journey to the next life.

What do you think happens when we die?

I believe we reincarnate. I got through the grief of Gramps quicker knowing that he will be reborn into the family again.  

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

I’ve written episodes of TV, but I’d like to make a whole series on my own.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Merlin from First Dates. I recently found out that he has a bar, so I might have to go!

What are your best and worst qualities?

I’m kind and compassionate, but I’m a demon in the car and I get annoyed with other drivers.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

James Corden – we did Fat Friends together. He was always destined for great things.

Who would you like to apologise to?

My pet guinea pig and rabbit. 

  • Watch Gaynor in The Syndicate on Tuesday, 9pm, BBC1.

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