Michelle Keegan has admitted she regrets posing for men’s magazines at the start of her acting career.
Keegan, 33, told Cosmopolitan UK: “It wasn’t something that I necessarily really wanted to do. I remember feeling very shy because I was really young. But I thought it came as part of being on TV.
“Now that I’m older, I realise that it is OK to say no to something that you don’t feel 100% happy with. You don’t have to do it because you think you have to do it.”
She added: “But I will say, this is no reflection on Coronation Street. I had a brilliant network and team and the PR team were fabulous and really looked after me and it was a different time back then. Everyone did it at that time.”
Keegan won the Sexiest Female gong at the British Soap Awards for six years in a row during her time in the ITV soap, before her character was killed off in 2014. The Sexiest Female and Sexiest Male categories were axed in 2015.
The actress – who married The Only Way Is Essex star turned TV presenter Mark Wright, 33, in 2015 – also admitted she resents being asked if she is planning to start a family.
Keegan said: “A few years ago it didn’t bother me and I answered the question, but now I think, ‘I don’t need to answer that because nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors.’
“I remember when I finished Our Girl people were like, ‘Is it because you’re going off to have a baby?’
“I know for a fact if Mark finished a job, nobody would ask him if he was going to have a baby. It’s not fair. It does make me feel frustrated.”
The fourth series of BBC military drama Our Girl aired earlier this year and Keegan has been taking the time in lockdown to write her own TV scripts.
She said: “I’ve had meetings with production companies on Zoom. Hopefully it’s something we can get off the ground. It’s exciting.”
The full interview is available in the August issue of Cosmopolitan, on sale from 2 July, 2020.