Spotlight On… Actress, Gemma Dobson

Gemma Dobson has given birth in front of the nation, which not many people can say! In fact, what ACTRESS, Gemma Dobson has done is taken her first professional role in Kay Mellor’s In The Club. Gemma played Shelly who was a new character introduced with her mother, Maxine (Sandra Huggett) for series two of the hit television series. I chatted to Gemma about her professional debut and what’s next on the agenda for this talented young lady.

Thank you so much for talking to Break A Leg, Gemma. So, tell me what it was like joining the established cast of In The Club.

It was daunting, especially on the first day, to be meeting and reading in front of actors that I’d grown up watching on the telly. I learned so much from them and from the experience. What was lovely was being invited to nights out so that I could get to know everybody socially. Most of my scenes were with Lorraine Cheshire, Sandra Huggett and the boys so it was a great opportunity to meet everybody else. It sounds cheesy but we really are one big happy family. We all get on and that includes the crew, too.

What was your opinion of Shelly when you first read the script?

I loved the character and really wanted to play her. Kay Mellor writes such fantastic scripts and I could already picture what Shelly looked like.

How familiar were you with Kay’s work?

I have watched everything that she has written, I love her work. I watched Fat Friends, The Chase, The Syndicate and the first series of In The Club. To be working with Kay was brilliant. I grew up watching all of her television programmes.

Gemma Dobson BBC 2
Gemma as Shelly in BBC One’s In The Club, with Sandra Huggett as Maxine, Lorraine Cheshire as Geraldine, Andrew Buckley as Andrew and Paul Nicholls as Nathan. All Photo credits: BBC


If there is a third series, what would you like to see happen to your character?

I don’t know really, I’d be happy with whatever Kay wrote for Shelly. I’ve already given birth on screen and it might be good to see her have a baby that she was going to keep. Maybe with somebody she’s in a relationship with. I’d love more scenes with Paul Nicholls and Andrew Buckley who played Nathan and Andrew. Andrew Buckley was so well cast as Andrew and so funny, Paul Nicholls was also brilliant, Nathan is the complete opposite of Andrew, but they worked so well together.

What inspired you to become an actress?

I went to a performing arts school and I loved acting and performing. When I left and I was doing a normal job I realised that I wanted to be acting and I missed doing it. I joined an acting class which I go to once a week (and I still go to, now) and David Shaw came in to cast for the first series of In The Club. I didn’t get the small part they were casting for and I was gutted. However, David remembered me and he saw me as Shelly. If I had got the small part I wouldn’t have been able to play Shelly.

What’s your advice for budding actors?

Don’t give up, if it’s your dream, then go for it. Even if you do what I did and go to an acting class. You don’t have to go to Drama School. I was in a job when I left school and decided that I wanted to give acting another go. I started to go to this acting class and that’s where Casting Director, David Shaw saw me and kept me in mind. acting is what you want to do, then keep at it. Don’t ever stop learning either, I still go to my classes because you never stop learning. Also, I hadn’t even got an agent when I got the part of Shelly. I was so thrilled when I went to London for a meeting and at the end of it my agent said she’d love to represent me.

What’s next for you?

I’ve got a part in Brief Encounters which starts on ITV, soon. I’m praying for a third series of In The Club. I’d love to do theatre, too.

I’d like to thank Gemma for her time and can’t wait to see her in Brief Encounters and hopefully on the stage, too!


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