CLAIRE KING says ‘Emmerdale’ bosses “don’t realise” she’s an OAP.
The 60-year-old actress quipped writers on the ITV soap – which she has been involved with on and off since 1989 – haven’t clocked she’s no longer a twenty-something and have upped the amount of horseback tricks her character Kim Tate does as the soap saddles up to mark 50 years with a special episode on Sunday at 7pm, followed by a week of “high-octane drama” with a storm.
She said: “They’re getting me to do more stunts than when I was 25 – they don’t realise I’m a pensioner.
“They’re killing me off slowly… not Kim Tate but me, Claire. I’m on a horse. I’m rolling around in the mud…”
Claire – who is an amateur jockey – was very “honoured” to be such an important part in the soap’s milestone on Ice, a steed with a serious Hollywood pedigree, including roles in ‘War Horse’ and ‘Robin Hood’.
She said: “It’s good to be at the heart of it all. I’m very honoured.
“Ice has been there, done that. He’s done so many films, much more than I have. I’m used to riding thoroughbreds who are just bonkers.” hey’re like spaniels, but Ice is like a Labrador. It’s nice to get on an animal that is so trustworthy and you feel comfortable with straight away.”
The ex ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star warned to “mess around” with horses as she reminisced about filming some of the horseback scenes with Frazer Hines – who played Joe Sugden between 1972 and 1994 – as they “have a mind of their own”.
Claire said: “I wouldn’t have attempted it if I hadn’t ridden horses before. Horses have a mind of their own, so it’s one thing you don’t mess around with.”
“Frazer and I had a lot of hunting scenes on horseback where we jumped five foot hedges and realised we were flying over there were 6ft drops on the other side.
“But because I did it, Frazer had to do it too because it was competition time. We were both amateur jockeys and both rode in races so we know our horses, but it was the first time we’d got on them to film.
“In those days, you didn’t have stunt people to get up and do it for you. You just had to get up and do it.”