Former Coronation Street actress Katherine Kelly kept her regional accent for her role in university drama Cheat because she thought it was the more “unexpected” choice.
Kelly stars as a professor named Leah who becomes involved in a case of academic deception with deadly consequences in the forthcoming ITV drama.
She told the Press Association she had wanted to buck expectations by giving her character, who she described as an intellectual, an accent.
The actress, 39, was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and grew up between there and Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Speaking of her character, she said: “So obviously she’s a lecturer and she’s obviously an intellectual, but then (director) Louise (Hooper) and I decided that we really wanted to keep my accent – even though it’s not quite as broad as my own accent.
“But we wanted to keep that flavour because we thought that was an interesting, unexpected choice.
“I can do standard English perfectly fine, but we just thought that was a bit more exciting, so went with that.”
Kelly stars alongside Bafta-winning Three Girls actress Molly Windsor, who plays the student Rose.
The series also stars Adrian Edmondson, Humans actor Tom Goodman-Hill, Unforgotten star Lorraine Ashbourne and Spooks actor Peter Firth.
Kelly said she and Hooper had tried to make her character as unpredictable as possible.
She said: “Then we started working on a wardrobe and we decided to make her… she’s hanging out with kids all the time so she has got a bit of an eye on fashion.
“She does enjoy that and we thought that was interesting, as well, so you should never feel like you truly know who she is, because I don’t think she truly knows who she is.”
– Cheat starts on ITV on Monday March 11.