As one of Loose Women’s longest-standing panellists, we were keen to get together with the one and only Sherrie Hewson for a good catch-up. During our chat, Sherrie gave us the scoop on how she handles social media, what goes on behind the scenes of our favourite shows and what her essential desert island items would be.
What does a typical day in Sherrie Hewson’s life consist of?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, it depends, really. If I’m working, say, on Loose Women, I’m here at eight o’clock and we go on air at 12:30. If I’m doing Benidorm I’m up at five o’clock, in the makeup chair at six and film all day until seven o’clock at night in Benidorm.
If I’m at home, I’m usually with my daughter and my grandchildren. One of them isn’t at school yet. I go buying with my daughter, who has an online company called Keekee Boutique. So we go to all the wholesalers across the country and we buy-in for her online business. Then I usually take my grandchildren swimming. So my days are completely full on.
You’ve been in some of the nation’s favourite soaps throughout your career – did you make a conscious effort to continue watching the shows, or was it too surreal to watch after that point?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, I’m not a massive TV-watcher because I’m always out or working, so I don’t get much of a chance.
If I can, I will watch them. I still love both Coronation Street and Emmerdale, both of which I loved being in. I still totally admire the actors in them. I know how hard it is. I know how hard they work. I know how they have to learn scripts constantly, day in and day out, 24 hours a day, and how they still deliver amazing performances, I’m still gobsmacked by.
I admire them very much, so if I can, I will watch them.
On Loose Women, are there any topics you hope don’t pop up on a given day? Maybe something you and the other panellists just can’t agree on? Or do you not mind the confrontational side of things?
Sherrie Hewson: No. I think Loose Women is about that. I mean, I’ve done Loose Women for 13 years, so I’m the longest runner. In those 13 years, we have had a lot of controversial subjects. I think we should cover everything, but I don’t think we should talk about things we don’t know about.
For instance, I know about domestic abuse because I was in a relationship before my marriage. So when that comes up, it’s very controversial and these are specific sets of problems you have to go through. I know all of those because I’ve been there.
Loose Women isn’t about everybody agreeing, it should be a conversation where we can all discuss everything, whether we agree or not. It really doesn’t matter, as long as there’s a conclusion and at the end we say, “We agree to disagree.”
It’s important that we have those arguments.
What has been your best celebrity experience? Have you met anyone you were a fan of before meeting them?
Sherrie Hewson: I mean, we’ve met everybody on Loose Women. I mean, Robbie Williams. I wasn’t a big fan of Robbie Williams before he came on the show, or his music. Then when he came on we all fell in love with him. He was such a sweetheart, so lovely, and I’ve loved his music ever since.
Perceptions are wrong sometimes, aren’t they? People can take one look and completely make up their own mind about someone. Then when you meet them they are totally different. It goes for a lot of people on here.
In your experience, what happens behind the scenes of TV shows like Coronation Street and Emmerdale that fans wouldn’t expect or would be interested to find out?
Sherrie Hewson: The funny thing is, behind the scenes people expect glamour and exciting things happening. They don’t. The main thing is that people just have to learn lines and work very hard, sit on sets for hours not doing anything and wait. Well, people like me spend hours in makeup and hair dressing and things like that, obviously.
I mean, even on Loose Women, we’ve had a meeting now since eight o’clock. I’m waiting to go to makeup now. Then I’m going to do all my notes for the show and read the biogs for all the guests that are coming on.
It’s not what people might call an exciting life. They think it’s so wonderful and you’re meeting all these famous stars all the time and going to all these parties. Absolutely not true. You’re mostly going to bed early!
And lucky if you can do that, I imagine!
Sherrie Hewson: Exactly!
What are your five essential ‘desert island’ items? Or, I suppose, your essential Benidorm island items: the things you couldn’t live without?
Sherrie Hewson: I couldn’t live without not speaking to my grandchildren. I think I would probably die of heartache if I couldn’t speak to them and my daughter. So that would probably be Skype, wouldn’t it? Secondly, I‘d choose a mirror. Not through vanity, but just to make sure I’m still there, really… Make sure that my face is still on and have somebody to talk to!
I couldn’t live without music, because music is the one thing I can calm down to. I also love cooking, so I’d need a way to cook. I’d probably take a wok with me, because I like Thai food. Lastly… I think probably lipstick.
Looking back over the past ten years, what jumps out at you when it comes to professional and personal highlights?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, I’m very passionate about Loose Women. I have been in it so long. I’ve always been passionate about it. I think it’s a very unique show in that there’s nothing like it on television. It’s just a brilliant, brilliant, unique show of four women discussing life. So that’s my big passion. The other one, of course, which came to me four years ago was Benidorm.
Joyce Temple-Savage is one of the best parts ever written by Darren Litten. He thought of me for the role, and it’s just the most amazing role anybody could be given. I mean, I’ll be lucky in my lifetime if I find anything as brilliant as Joyce Temple-Savage.
You’re active on social media and have a huge number of followers on Twitter. Do you enjoy being able to engage with fans of the show in this way?
Sherrie Hewson: I do, I do. Sometimes you get people that aren’t very nice, but I think that’s the case across Twitter a lot these days. You get people who can sit and be anonymous and send you messages for no reason whatsoever, and to be horrible to you because they can. I find that a little bit disturbing. It sometimes makes me want to come off both Facebook and Twitter and a lot of my friends have.
If you learn to disregard them though, block them or whatever, and not let them enter your life in any way, ignoring them, then I think you can get through it. I’m one of the celebs who does react to my fans on Twitter, but I won’t if they are abusive, obviously.
I think there’s a good reason to be on it, but I also think there’s a bad element in there. We all know that. As long as you govern that and you edit it out of your life, I think it’s a nice thing to do.
Who would be your dream guest on Loose Women?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, Judi Dench has never been on, and I think she would be wonderful. I did work with her husband, Michael Williams, on a drama many years ago. I loved him, and I met Judi at the time. I just think she’s one of the best actresses we have in this country and she’s very, very funny, so I think she would be brilliant on Loose Women.
It might be that Judi Dench serves as a good answer to our next question as well then. Who would be your dream…
Sherrie Hewson: …Panellist? Yes, she would a good panellist. She would be very funny, and she would be very feisty, I have to say. She’s very opinionated in the sense that she knows right from wrong, if you like. She knows what she thinks. She’s very aware of who she is. That’s what a Loose Women is, to me: a strong woman. So Judi would be absolutely fantastic.
You’ve had such a successful career so far, but are there any roles you’re absolutely dying to play, either on stage, on TV or otherwise?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, first of all, I would love to do Strictly Come Dancing. That’s my only reality TV show that I’d like to do.
Secondly, I would like to do films again. I haven’t done films for a long time. So I’d love to play… You know the Exotic Marigold Hotel?
Sherrie Hewson: Well, the second one has just come out now. It’s my favourite film of all time right now, so I would love to be in something like that. If they ever make a third one, I’ll put my hand up and say, “Can I please be in it?” I love the process of filming more than theatre.
Sherrie Hewson: Yeah. I love it. That’s my wish now, is to be in another film and to be a Strictly Come Dancing contestant.
What are the best things about being part of the Loose Women show?
Sherrie Hewson: Whoever you are, whatever age you are, there will be something you can relate to. We’re not afraid to cover things, even if sometimes it’s controversial to the point of being splashed all over papers.
I think it’s important that the show exists. It’s important that we have many, many different types of people on it. Not just women, everybody across the board, and that anybody can discuss anything. There’s no holds barred, apart from the fact that you can’t swear.
You can actually discuss anything. I think it’s a very important show of our time.
And the secret to Loose Women’s success?
Sherrie Hewson: We look at Loose Women and know, even if you don’t agree, even if you get angry at somebody, you’re watching it and it brings issues into people’s consciousness. We’re open for discussion for anything, and long may that remain.
Indeed! Thank you for talking to us, Sherrie.
Sherrie Hewson: You’re welcome.
We’d also like to give a big thank you to Lela from LelaLondon.com for putting forward some of the questions for Sherrie’s interview. You can catch Loose Women, in association with tombola, on ITV every weekday at 12.30pm.