Hannah Pool talks to actor and former Hear'Say member, Kym Ryder

The actor and former Hear'Say band-member Kym Ryder on bulimia, panic attacks and why she doesn't miss the music industry

Actor and singer Kym Ryder (formerly Kym Marsh) first found fame as a member of Hear'Say, a band created by the reality TV show Popstars in 2001. Hear'Say's success was short-lived, but Kym joined the cast of Coronation Street in 2007. She married actor Jack Ryder in 2002.

Do you feel an affinity with your character Michelle Connor?

Yes, we've both experienced being teenage mums, and I'm from a very close family [too]. Plus she's a strong old bird.

You've won four acting awards in the past 12 months ...

People have taken to the character - she's very normal and very down to earth. The Connor family in general have been a big hit and that's great for us. We're absolutely delighted with that, because it could have gone either way.

What do you think of the roles available on TV for British actors?

I'm very lucky to have the one I've got. With dramas you tend to see the same face regurgitated - it would be nice to see fresh people coming up. It's hard out there. It's either feast or famine.

Is there a bit of snobbery about being in a soap?

These days if you are in a regular job, people think good on you. There are a lot of people who are coming into soap now who wouldn't have before.

Soap actors do always seem to be complaining about how hard they work.

To be in a soap you have to be someone who is prepared to be at the grindstone, because it's all hands on deck.

There must be some rivalry among Corrie women?

Oh God no, we're all very different. What I love about Michelle is she's not any one thing, she's not "the bitch" and she's not "the wuss", she's a mixture of it all.

Do you ever regret Hear'say?

We all have to start somewhere but I don't miss the music industry.

People were quite nasty about you in the group.

Yes. Nigel Lythgoe famously said that I was fat on national TV. He did apologise for that - not on camera, but he did apologise. And we were called "the ugliest band in pop" by Elton John. He did come and apologise to us at the Royal Variety Performance. Well, he actually sent someone down who said, 'Elton John would like to apologise for the comment that he made, he'd like you to go up to his room,' and Myleene Klass, I think it was, said, 'No, tell him to come here,' and he did.

You suffered from bulimia when you were younger. Did you seek counselling for it?

No. Thankfully it didn't get that far for me. I'm very close to my mum and dad and I was very aware of how it would make them feel, so I was able to stop myself from it getting any worse, thankfully.

And you've suffered from panic attacks.

Yes, I still get those every now and again. I hyperventilate and I start to feel like I can't breathe. My throat closes up and I get sweaty palms and I start feeling light-headed, dry-mouthed. They are really scary. I was driving my car the first time I had one and my daughter was just a few weeks old ... so I avoided driving. And then I had one in the supermaket so I didn't go into the supermarket any more. Eventually I wouldn't go anywhere because everywhere I went I thought I was bound to have one. It was taking me all my time to walk to my mum's house around the corner, which was scary because that's when people get agoraphobic. I went to see someone and I was diagnosed with anxiety attacks. I did some life coaching and now I drive myself to work every day, it doesn't worry me any more.

What's you're husband Jack Ryder up to these days?

He's in panto in Preston, then he starts a play in February.

Contributor

Hannah Pool

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Question time: Hannah Pool meets British soul singer Joss Stone

Hannah Pool: British soul singer Joss Stone on why she thinks the press turned on her as soon as she hit 19

Hannah Pool

30, Oct, 2008 @12:01 AM

Article image
Graham Norton on why he is perfectly happy to morph into Terry Wogan rather than run up and down stairs waving dildos

Graham Norton on why he is perfectly happy to morph into Terry Wogan rather than run up and down stairs waving dildos

Interview by Hannah Pool

08, Jan, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
Question time: Chris Tarrant on his new TV show, his reputation as a ladies' man - and what he thought of Slumdog Millionaire

Chris Tarrant on his new TV show, his reputation as a ladies' man - and what he thought of Slumdog Millionaire

Interview by Hannah Pool

12, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
Question time: Hannah Pool talks to Miquita Oliver

Hannah Pool talks to Miquita Oliver about growing up at the Groucho club, becoming a television presenter at 16, and why being mixed race is not an issue

Hannah Pool

06, Nov, 2008 @12:01 AM

Article image
Question time: Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor on talking posh, looking weird and why she'll never do an interview without Blue Peter being mentioned

Emine Saner

26, Aug, 2009 @11:05 PM

Article image
Question time: Ed Westwick, actor

Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick on Gawker, New York high society - and why his on-screen character is a very bad man

Interview by Hannah Pool

29, Apr, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Question time: Hannah Pool talks with Ulrika Jonsson

Ulrika Jonsson on having four children by four partners, her lads' mag past - and why the media criticism is payback for her affair with Sven

Hannah Pool

10, Apr, 2008 @10:13 AM

Question time: Hannah Pool talks with TV presenter Trisha Goddard

Hannah Pool: Trisha Goddard reveals why she'd never go to the Priory, what's wrong with Jeremy Kyle, and why Britain is just as racist as Australia

Hannah Pool

03, Apr, 2008 @9:42 AM

Hannah Pool talks to fashion designer Julien MacDonald

Hannah Pool talks to fashion designer Julien MacDonald on why he loves fur, hates celebrity collections and didn't fit in at Merthyr Tydfil.

Hannah Pool

20, Sep, 2007 @10:54 PM

Hannah Pool interviews Myleene Klass, musician and TV presenter

Myleene Klass on Hear'Say, her boyfriend's drug conviction, those M&S ads and why she doesn't take being 'happy slapped' personally

With Hannah Pool

10, May, 2007 @8:15 AM