17th of April 1971
Kathleen and Ken
***Claire's idol is Hollywood star and singer Barbara
Streisand. She says
she has seen the film "The Way We Were" nearly a hundred
***If she couldn't
be an actress Claire's second choice would be a make up artist as she
loved the special effects make-up used during the Millennium explosion
horses but is allergic to them
last March, Claire Sweeney was happily ensconced in Brookside Close,
hiding her astounding vocal talents under a bushel! Now, her life has done
What keeps Claire motivated?
"If I'm really, really enjoying the job that I'm doing, it motivates
me. I'm really enjoying Challenge of a Lifetime. When we started filming,
I would wake up each morning and actually look forward to going to
What was the most important
recent event in Claire's life?
"Big Brother. It changed my life completely, so unexpectedly. I mean,
you couldn't plan this. I expected to be back in Brookside, on the lookout
for a musical, auditioning for musicals. I wouldn't have been doing
Challenge of a Lifetime, which is fantastic. Now I'm based down in London
and I'm renting a flat, but Liverpool is still my home. I like to get back
and see friends and family as much as I can."
What is Claire like to work with?
"I think I'm quite easy-going. People give me advice and I listen to
Who in Claire's family is she
"My mum and my dad."
Which event from Claire's
childhood has stayed meaningful for her?
"When I was 12 and at stage school, I won a prize for singing and I
didn't know I could sing. All I knew was that I loved Judy Garland, Ella
Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand.... I loved all of those
singers as a kid. I'd just been to see the film The Way We Were, and that
was the first time I'd ever seen Barbra Streisand, which was great - I
love her - and Robert Redford, my first crush. And that's how I earned my
living for two years, as a singer."
What are Claire's memories of
"Happy. I had a nice time at school."
What does Claire value most in
When did Claire first fall in
"When I was 22,
with my first boyfriend., and then a different type of love at 26."
has experience taught Claire about making relationships work?
"Someone told me
when I was younger, 'If you have sand in your hand and you just hold it
right, it'll stay there. If you squeeze it too hard, it'll go through your
fingers.' It's true. You've got to let each other live your lives and do
what you do, and enjoy yourselves when you're together. And trust between
each other is so important."
"Different things, but I'm a nightmare when people
fall over. I think it's hysterical. You've Been Framed really cracks me
How does Claire cope with stress?
"I always have a cup of tea and then get into a nice
hot bath and relax with my Radox."
How health conscious is Claire?
"At the moment, very. I'm really trying to look after
myself. I'm trying to drink loads of water through the day to help clear
the eczema on my face."
How does Claire cope with loss?
"I've only had one great loss as an adult.That was a
friend of mine who died of AIDS about two years ago. And I coped because
if he'd stayed alive, he wouldn't have been healthy, and he's gone to a
Does Claire see herself as spiritual?
"I am quite spiritual. I'm a huge believer in fate,
and I'm very intuitive as well. I listen to my instincts a lot. It could
be the best job in the world, but if it doesn't feel right or something's
telling me not to go there, I won't. I just open myself to my
Is there anything that Claire particularly regrets?
"No, because through everything you do you gain
experience. It makes you stronger, and every experience makes you the
person you are. So it's better to regret what you haven't done as opposed
to what you have done."
Claire comes from a small
family brought up in Walton, Liverpool by her mother, Kathleen, and father, Ken along with her brother, Shaun.
wasn't exactly Claire's idea of fun and found school work a little
difficult particularly Math but did well in singing and acting. Her
first job had nothing to do with singing, dancing or acting though, as she worked as a
butchers assistant in her fathers shop.
Claire trained at the
Elliott-Clarke Drama School, Liverpool's premier stage school at the
age of 11. But it wasn't like TV's Fame, in which students
wore leotards and leg-warmers. Pupils had be in full
school uniform, including hats and gloves. Claire went
there because her mum Kathleen was determined that she
wasn't going to the same school where she had fallen out
with the headmistress 20 years earlier. "I owe my
career to my mum," Claire says. "She didn't want
me to go to the local comprehensive. "When she found
out it still had the headmistress who had taught her, she
said: 'I can't send you there. She made my life hell. She
flattened my beehive in the Sixties!'"
Elliott-Clarke Drama School, Claire won a place at
London's famous Italia Conti stage school in London when she was 18.
She began her career singing in cabaret on P&O cruise
liners, including the maiden voyage of the Oriana. She was determined to be a singer after she left school and was booked
up for a succession of summer seasons and pantos, before landing a
brief appearance in Brookside as Lindsey in 1991. After
her stint at sea, Claire felt it was time to come home and decided to
write the producer of Brookside to see if there was a place for her on
the show. It just happened that the day the producer got her letter
was the day the production staff were meeting to discuss long
term storylines so they decided it was time to bring back Lindsey
Corkhill. Claire returned to work at Brookside in 1995.
Corkhill, unlike Claire has had a very eventful life!
Lindsey first made her appearance at the Close in 1991
when she came to see her parents Jimmy and Jackie
Corkhill. As we all know, Lindsey only stuck around for a
couple of episodes. Over the years we have seen
Lindsey transform from a shy young girl who worked at the
local chippie to a no nonsense business woman with
gangster tendencies, to a would be gun toting gangster, to
a beaten women who refused to
admit defeat, to a woman who is now trying to get her life
back in order and being a mother to her always absent
six years on Brookside Claire made a decision that would
change her life. Claire along with five other celebrities
took part in a celebrity version of big brother for
charity in March of 2001. After being in the house for a
week Claire emerged as the runner- up but came in first
place in the hearts and minds of the nation.
actress who played bad girl Lindsey Corkhill in the
Channel Four soap "Brookside" was a relative
unknown. How different the story is a few days on. Claire
is undoubtedly the toast of the town after managing to
leave the "Big Brother" house relatively
Of all the six housemates, she was the one who managed to
give the least away - perhaps because there is little to
leaving the Big Brother house Claire has been on a
whirlwind ride of a lifetime. Not to mention becoming
presenter of the ITV program Challenge Of A Lifetime! When
she's not crawling across cables attached to buildings,
riding a bike on a bridge suspended 500 feet above a
canyon or preparing to do any number of stunts should the
guests back out, Claire can also be seen at the current
model for Marks and Spencers bras.
Just recently a life
long dream has come true for Claire. From December 3 she
can be seen playing Roxie Hart in the hit West End musical
Chicago. Claire made her last appearance.......for
now, on Brookside in November 2001 and if her career continues on the
upward climb they way it has in the last several months don't look to
see her back anytime soon!