IN PRINT: interviews, articles and scans

   -   November 4, 2004

Lucy could be the one!

Wigan actress Lucy Gaskell has just finished making two potentially blockbusting Hollywood films.

The 23-year-old Wigan-born star of Cutting It is starring in Dungeons and Dragons: The Sequel and in a new World War Two blockbuster The Last Drop.

Both are high profile films, the first is being made by The Wachowski Brothers – the goofballs behind the incredibly successful Matrix series and the second includes massive US box office stars like Billy Zane and Reservoir Dogs' Michael Madsen.

Lucy travelled to Vilnius, Lithuania for her role as Ormeline, Queen of the Elves in the fantasy adventure film last year.

The Last Drop, which has just finished shooting in Romania, also stars Brit Pack actors Sean Pertwee and Nick Moran, as well as Jack Dee and, err ... David Ginola.

The film is a war epic with a robbery twist based on Operation Market Garden, launched by the Allies soon after the D-Day invasion.

Around 35,000 Allied troops dropped into Holland near Arnhem to take eight key bridges.

In the midst of the largest airborne invasion in history, one small unit of men, codename Matchbox, is sent to recapture a vast horde of Dutch art treasures plundered by the Nazis.

Lucy plays Benitta, one of two brave and resourceful women with the Dutch underground who have managed to figure out the location of the booty.

Risking their lives they contact British intelligence hoping to help liberate their occupied country.

The bunch of misfits and miscreants making up the Matchbox men must evade the might of the German counter-attack at Arnhem, locate, secure and retrieve the stolen loot, and find safe passage back to British soil.

Difficult enough, but when Matchbox are shot down short of their landing zone and reduced in a firefight to only six men, the odds of their success seem hopeless.

Billy Zane plays Oates, a smooth talking ladies' man Canadian pilot, Moran plays petty thief Ives, and Pertwee plays a battle-hardened sergeant.


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Daily Mail - Weekend magazine   -   Saturday May 29, 2004

The next big thing
LUCY GASKELL (Cutting It, BBC1, 9pm)

How old is she?

Place of birth?
Wigan, Lancashire

Where have I seen her before?
Before landing her first major role, as the mouthy Ruby in Cutting It, Lucy appeared in Holby City and Where The Heart Is.

Can't live without?
“My friends, family and fake tan.”

What next?
Following her recent professional theatre debut in the Oxford Stage Company’s production of The Cherry Orchard, Lucy would like to do more treading the boards – and maybe some comedy.

Anything else?
Lucy was nominated Best Newcomer in 2003 by the Royal Television Society.

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Eve   -   June, 2004

But it’s Lucy Gaskell who comes as the biggest surprise. There’s none of Ruby’s hard-nosed attitude – she’s an absolute sweetie. Polite, and shy, and originally from Wigan, Lucy was straight out of The Welsh College of Music and Drama when she landed the role. Cutting It was my first ever job,” Lucy explains. “I was so nervous I couldn’t speak. But all the girls really looked after me.”

If Lucy assumes the role of the baby in the group – or rather “The youngest so the one we take the mickey out of,” as Sarah jokes..

What was your most outrageous off-duty antic?
Lucy: “I once snogged someone who was so ugly my friends nicknamed him ‘The Alien’, because his eyes were so far apart.”

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Marie Claire   -   June, 2004

Lucy Gaskell, 22
Ruby Ferris. “She’s feisty and says what she thinks.”

Juiciest storyline
“Giving birth. I didn’t really enjoy filming it. Ruby had all these ridiculous lines like ‘I want to go home and watch Scooby Doo.’ I have never given birth but apparently you go a bit mad.”

Best thing about playing Ruby?
“At the beginning, she was such a mouthy girl, but she has grown up a lot and really matured. She’s a real person and although she has this front underneath it she’s sensitive.”

Worst thing
“All the swearing.”

Previous roles
“None. I had just graduated from drama school when I got this part. Working with all the cast has been mad. Sarah especially is a nutter.”

Career ambitions
“I definitely want to do some comedy. I have been crying far too much this series.”

Three things you can’t live without.
My friends, my family and my fake tan. I’ve got it on now and I can’t do without it.”

Worst ever hairdo
“I had it cut short when I was eighteen and I really shouldn’t have as my hair is curly. I looked like Little Lord Fauntleroy.”

Are you lucky in love?
“At the moment, yes, very, because I have met someone nice. I’m very loved up. My boyfriend is older, which is a bit of a habit of mine. I think older men are more comfortable with themselves. I find men my own age immature. Until now, I’ve never really met anyone I’ve been really serious about.”

Going anywhere nice on holiday this year?
“I haven’t booked anything yet, but I’d love to rent a villa in Italy with Sarah [Parish] and some friends, like I did last year.”


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What's On TV   -   week comm. April 31, 2004

Too much, too young?

She has a baby, a man she loves and an idyllic country life. But Ruby's getting restless.

Even though they didn’t quite have the fairy-tale wedding they planned – after the bride went into labour during her vows in last week’s opening episode – unlikely couple Ruby and Gavin look on course to live happily ever after.

They have a beautiful daughter Artemis – and are living in a rural idyll as Gavin pursues his dream of working in the countryside.

“It’s everything Ruby has ever wanted,” agrees Lucy Gaskell, who plays her. “Ruby has taken to motherhood like a duck to water. She’s living with the man she loves. Everything is rosy.”

But soon enough, Ruby discovers that the good life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and the novelty of being a country mouse begins to wear off.”

“Ruby’s only 19 and a city girl at heart,” explains Lucy. “It’s not long before she’s missing the salon and her mates. It begins to dawn on her that maybe she has settled down a bit too early.”

Ruby starts finding any excuse to go to Manchester to catch up with her friends – and see her mum Allie. While Ruby is finding motherhood a breeze, Allie’s struggling – not only with her newborn baby but also with a tyrannical nanny.

“Allie’s having trouble bonding with her baby, Ralfie. She has always been a bit of a control freak and she feels like her baby is taking over her life,” explains Lucy.

“Motherhood – and its problems – brings the two closer together. Ruby loves spending time with her mum and talking babies. And, of course, it gives her an excuse to get out of the countryside.”

Ruby’s dream of playing happy families with Gavin are about to be blown further off course by the arrival, next week, of a gorgeous new man, Troy.

“He’s in his twenties and starts work next door to the salon,” says Lucy. “They both hit it off as Ruby just likes talking to someone near her own age.”

But could it lead to something?

“Ruby loves Gavin, so she’s not interested in Troy at first. He’s just a mate. But later in the series she finds out a shocking truth about Gavin’s past which makes her look at him in a new light,” reveals Lucy. “She realises Gavin is not the man she thought he was…”


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OK   -   April 20, 2004

...Allie’s daughter Ruby, played by up-and-coming starlet Lucy Gaskell is getting married to Gavin, by whom she is also pregnant.

…and Lucy Gaskell continues to build on her growing reputation as the feisty Ruby. The first series of Cutting It was the first job out of drama school for the Wigan-born girl and she said working with the experienced and generous cast made Cutting It a perfect training ground. “I was learning the whole time, says Lucy, 22. “It was daunting, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing on the first few days. I went on set to watch the other actors and got asked if I was on work experience!” She adds: “It was so laid-back, we mess around and have a giggle on set.”


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TV Quick   -   week comm. April 24, 2004

RUBY FERRIS (Lucy Gaskell)

She might be heavily pregnant, but that doesn’t stop Ruby Ferris making sure she looks a million dollars when she walks down the aisle in a spectacularly short wedding dress.

“Ruby has always dreamed about her wedding day because she wants to set up a family,” says Lucy, 23.

Allie gave her up when she was a baby, and although she had a loving adoptive family, she’s now pregnant herself and wants to create a perfect family for her child.

“There are a lot of emotions to play because she knows that Gavin and Allie still have quite a strong bond – but although she has a moment of doubt, Ruby knows she’s doing the right thing because she’s in love with him.”

Lucy loved filming the wedding scenes, even if a storyline about a daughter marrying her mother’s ex-husband is quite off the wall. But she reckons it’s only a matter of time before she meets someone who has done it for real.

“The things that happen in this show do happen to people,” she says. “So I’ve no doubt someone will come and tell me they married their mum’s ex-husband!”


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TV Times   -   week comm. April 24, 2004

Ruby’s wedding may have been filmed on a very wet and cold day in November, but that didn’t dent the enthusiasm of Lucy Gaskell.

“I do feel like it is my special day,” she says during a break in filming. “As soon as you get a nice wedding dress on, it all gets very exciting – and I did shed a tear for real during filming.”

While she loved the dress, she was pleased that she was able to lose her fake pregnancy bump later in the same episode, when Ruby has her baby.

“I had a prosthetic bump, which absolutely stank and made me feel quite nauseous,” she says.


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TV Choice   -   week comm. April 24, 2004

But for Lucy Gaskell as the bride, it’s been a great day. “The highlight for me was putting the wedding dress on for the first time,” she says. “Ruby is very excited – but she also gets cold feet for a moment where she wonders if she’s marrying for the right reasons. Ultimately, it’s because she is in love with Gavin.”

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   -   May 24, 2003


Cutting It star Lucy Gaskell got a little hot under the collar when she was performing her more racy scenes in the popular TV drama.

Why? Because she was worried about what her family might think!

"I was mostly bothered about my grandparents. It was all right though. I think snogging is actually worse, because that's more intimate in a way. It's really weird watching yourself kissing! You've got to watch out in case you get a double chin!"

But Wigan-born Lucy needn't have worried. As long lost daughter Ruby, Lucy has received much praise for her part in the popular BBC show which is set in Manchester.

After just completing the second series and having recently been nominated for Best Newcomer On-Screen at the Royal Television Society Awards, we met up with her in her Manchester apartment to find out how she's enjoying life in the spotlight.

The first series of Cutting It burst onto our screens in April of 2002, showing the goings-on of Manchester hairdressers Henshall Farreday. The highly acclaimed second series which is currently showing is even raunchier than the first.

But despite the cast line up including names like Amanda Holden and Angela Griffin, Lucy, a former Winstanley College student, was never intimidated by starring alongside such big stars in her first television acting job.

She said: "Well to be honest I'd never seen Amanda do anything before, so when I saw her I was like, oh so that's Amanda Holden! ."

After working together for a few months Lucy describes her as "a good friend".

Ruby is a teen rebel, with enough cheek to compete with the best of them. After only one series, she's already been through some testing times.

"Sarah Parish (Allie) and Ben Daniels are the funniest people I know and they just laugh and laugh while the cameras are being set up and then it's 'action' and you've got to be really upset all of a sudden. It helps to ease the tension of dramatic and emotional moments."

Fame is something the majority of us dream of, but this can come with down-points such as constant media attention.

"It is strange when we go for a night out, because the paparazzi will be waiting outside a club, to get a photo of us all going in and you think, why?

"Mostly it's because they want a photo of Amanda Holden though and we just tag along at the end!"

However, in the run up to the new series Lucy has recently appeared in Elle and She magazines, so it seems her name is quickly becoming known.


After filming two series of a successful BBC drama, what's next?

"I want to do some theatre, because obviously that's what I was trained to do and I haven't done any of that since I left drama school. I mean it's fantastic that I left drama school and got this role straight away, I couldn't have wished for anything better than that, but I am dying to do a play."

Lucy has since landed a part in Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" with the Oxford Stage Company, which she is currently rehearsing for.

Cutting It , BBC1, Tuesday at 9pm.


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OK   -   June 03, 2003

Lucy, 22, ruffles feathers as Ruby in Cutting It

What were your lasting impressions of filming the first series last year?

I enjoyed it so much that I hated having days off. The cast went out all the time for four months. We were all living away from home in Manchester so it's good we got on. We calmed down a bit on the second series - we had more nights in this time around. Last year was mad.

Was it scary appearing in such a big drama?

The first run was my first job out of drama school so I was learning the whole time. I didn't have a clue what I was doing the first few days. I went on set to watch the other actors and got asked if I was on work experience!

Have you been recognised out and about?

The other day, I was having my nails done and someone asked if I was in Cutting It. I was so embarrassed - I turn into the biggest goof when I'm recognised.

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Sunday Mirror   -   June 15, 2003


LUCY Gaskell knew she was in for a rough ride when people started shouting "Tart" at her in the street.

Her character in the BBC's bitchy hairdressing drama Cutting It - cheeky salon junior Ruby - had offended viewers by almost sleeping with her own dad.

And, as if the pressures of Lucy's first TV series were not enough, she found herself playing a supporting role in real life for her co-star Amanda Holden who was going through a very public marriage split from comic Les Dennis.

During filming of the show, Lucy was right there when Amanda Holden, who plays ice queen Mia, needed her. She even urged Celebrity Big Brother viewers to vote DJ Goldie off the Channel 4 show instead of miserable Les because Amanda was having such a blast without him.

The Cutting It girls were out on Manchester's tiles consoling Amanda almost every night.

"It was like we went out one night and got back four months later," says Lucy. "We'd be out clubbing until 2am or 3am and then have to be up at 6am for filming.

"Amanda said how glad she was to have her girlfriends round her. It was a difficult time, but she's doing fine now. She's genuinely happy."

The girls still get together when they're all in London. "We go out whenever we can and we go shopping together too. We all adore Top Shop - once we spent six hours in there."

Photos of Lucy with her arm around Amanda as they emerged from a party at London's swanky Claridge's hotel were splashed all over the newspapers.

"The picture of me and Amanda was blown up even bigger than the one of Posh Spice and Naomi Campbell holding hands. What a result!"

But Lucy, 22, can't understand all the fuss. "Us girls do it all the time. Me and my flatmate Sian Reeves - who plays Sydney in Cutting It - are always walking up the street holding hands. We'll have a good cuddle too. It's nice. Everyone should do it."

Lucy's family are finding it hard to cope with her raunchy TV scenes.

"It is definitely too rude for my parents," she admits. "I ring them up to ask what they thought and Mum just says, "Far too much sex, Lucy".

Her parents are both teachers. "All the kids at school go on about me and make jokes about what a little bimbo their daughter is on telly," laughs Lucy who also stars with Sarah Parish and Angela Griffin as Cutting It's hairdressers at war in Manchester.

"I know people think Cutting It is really over-the-top and silly, but there are some really emotional moments in it," she adds.

There is no denying that Ruby's storylines are outrageously OTT.

And things are about to get even worse after Ruby revealed she's pregnant with her stepdad Gavin's child. "Get your head round this - I'm about to make my own mum a granny to her husband's kid," Lucy says, shaking her head in disbelief.

"I'll just have to ignore the abuse if people don't like it, but it's horrible to get called names like slag and tart when it's not even real."

Although Ruby's affair with Gavin - her mum Allie's husband - will have shocked viewers, Lucy insists: "The love scenes were a doddle. I just had to lie there and let him do all the work. Thankfully, you don't see too much flesh."

She came perilously close to sleeping with her dad Finn in the last series and her mum Allie - played by Sarah Parish - didn't even know who she was until Ruby blurted out she was the baby she'd given up for adoption.

And then flirty teenager Ruby lost her virginity to ageing salon accountant Eugene - yet another steamy scene to horrify her family back in Wigan.

"It was my first screen kiss and the first ever sex scene for both of us," Lucy says. "We were meant to be virgins in the plot and it was like we really were because we were both so nervous.

"I was shaking beforehand. He turned up on set with minty chewing gum and little breath freshener sprays for us both. And yet there I was, sitting with my smelly egg buttie and cup of coffee.

"I was wriggling around under a sheet which was OK, but I found the kissing part really difficult because it's much more intimate.

"You're getting stuck in and just waiting for the director to shout "Cut!" That's all you can think about. But Pearce, who plays Eugene, kept making me laugh by shouting "Goal!" every time we came up for air. We had to do it about 20 times in the end." Although Eugene is desperate to marry Ruby in this series, stepdad Gavin - played by Jason Merrells - is the apple of her eye.

"At first Ruby just wanted revenge on her mum Allie. She's still so bitter about being given up for adoption. She's always fancied Gavin, but never meant to fall in love with him."

So was there any chemistry in real life?

"Oh no!" she gasps. "Jason's really gorgeous and we get on brilliantly, but that's all. Mind you, it does help if you at least like the person you're snogging."

Yet Lucy is first to admit she only goes out with older men off-screen. "They're so much sexier because they're more sure of themselves," she sighs.

"It's a running joke at home and every time I go on a date Mum says to me, 'So how old is this one, Lucy?' "

Though she does want to marry and have children eventually, Lucy is single at the moment.

"I love being single. It's so nice not to have to call someone every night on tour and spend so much time missing them."

She adds: "My perfect guy would be a singing, dancing, footballing chef. You can tell how good a man is in bed by the way he moves on the dancefloor." Lucy would never go out with another actor.

"I find them incredibly attractive, but it just doesn't work. You end up killing each other."     -    [*see comment at the end of the article, with regard to this - Simon (webmaster) ] .

She is not looking for Mr Perfect right now. "I'm having far too much fun with my girlfriends," she says, referring to her co-stars.

She adds: "On screen there's meant to be huge friction between me and my mum Sarah Parish, which is hard because we're such great mates.

"Sarah's one of the funniest people I know - she's got a really bendy face and pulls hilarious expressions.

"One minute I'll be roaring with laughter and the next minute we're doing a scene where we have to pretend to hate each other."

Although Amanda has now quit Cutting It to concentrate on her stage career, Lucy won't be drawn on how a third series can be made without its biggest star.

"You'll just have to watch and see," she says coyly.

But whatever happens, Lucy is sure to be around for a long while yet.

"I don't have a plan, but I'd love to do films. Hollywood would be great, but everybody says that, don't they?"

In the meantime, she's got to get to grips with handling fame.

"Going out with the other girls has given me a taste of it - we are followed by the paparazzi everywhere we go.

"It gets quite aggressive and we've been chased in our taxi before. It's really weird, but we all think it's quite funny."

Lucy adds: "Although I'm getting recognised on my own now, I'm such a goof I never know what to say - especially when someone calls me a tart.

"But if I ever get photographed when I'm taking the rubbish out and wearing no make-up, I know what my biggest worry will be - will my bum look big in this?"


*I'm reliably informed by someone that knows Lucy that she never said this or anything remotely similar. The reporter probably just made this up to make the story more interesting.   -   Simon (webmaster)

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Elle   -   April 2003.


As Cutting It returns, ELLE books a trim with the show’s minxy receptionist, Lucy Gaskell.

Fresh out of drama college, 22-year-old Lucy landed her dream job – sweeping floors in a hairdresser’s. Make that Henshall Ferraday in BBC1’s addictive drama Cutting It, which is back for a second series. Following the last series’ Abandoned Love Child moment, life gets even hairier down the salon…

Is the show as bitchy off-screen as it is on?
LG   The opposite. We have such a giggle. We all stay in this big apartment block in Manchester while we’re filming. It’s like Butlins.

What did you do with your first pay cheque?
LG   I blew it on intensive driving lessons – and failed my driving test twice! I passed the third time but haven’t got in a car since. I hate it.

Are your family proud?
LG   Yeah, but my granddad won’t watch Cutting It. He thinks it’s too rude.

How did you prepare for the part of Ruby?
LG   We had hairdressing lessons. I cut my friend’s hair recently, but she had to get drunk before she’d let me come near her.


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BBC's Cutting It website   -   Ruby Ferris character profile.

Ruby  played by Lucy Gaskell

In series 1, fiesty teenager Ruby was the junior at Henshall Ferreday. She was very much one of the family, despite the endless cheek she gave to her boss, Allie. Ruby was always on the verge of being sacked - it wasn't that she was bad at her job, she just didn't know when to shut up.

She was constantly putting her foot in it with the customers, but she's actually very bright and competent. Ruby claimed to be adventurous, rebellious and promiscuous, but it was not until an intimate encounter with the least likely candidate for her heart that she came clean about her low level of experience.

The real, and shocking, reason behind Ruby's bad behaviour and rudeness towards Allie in the salon became clear at the end of series 1. Ruby was the baby Allie gave up for adoption! Allie and Finn were gob-smacked. But now that Allie's back with Finn, does this spell happy families for Ruby? "As much as Ruby says that she hates them both, as much as she rants and raves, all she wants is for it to work out between them," reveals actress Lucy Gaskell. "She wants the relationship with Allie to work more than anything in the world. Ultimately she craves that love, and that attention for herself, and for Allie to give her what she most wants in the world."

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BBC press office   -   Cutting It series 1 media pack..

Ruby Ferris (Lucy Gaskell)

Feisty, gorgeous Ruby (17) is the junior at Henshall Ferraday. She's very much one of the family, despite the endless cheek she gives to Allie, with whom she delights in playing the sulky teenager. Ruby claims to be adventurous, rebellious and promiscuous, but it's not until an intimate encounter with the least likely candidate for her heart that she comes clean about her level of experience…

Gavin and Allie are permanently on he verge of sacking Ruby, not because she's bad at her job; she's actually very bright and competent. But she can't keep her mouth shut. With the customers, she's constantly putting her foot in it, and she doesn't seem to care. And as Ruby's real reasons for antagonising Allie begin to emerge, viewers will come to understand what's eating Ruby Ferris.

Twenty-one-year-old Lucy Gaskell makes her professional acting debut as Ruby in Cutting It. Born in Wigan, Lucy had her heart set on becoming an actress before she won a place at the Welsh College Of Music & Drama in 1998.


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BBC press office   -   Cutting It series 2 media pack..

Ruby Ferris (Lucy Gaskell)

At the close of the last series, Ruby revealed herself to Allie as much more than her junior staff member. Removing the mask of pretence, the fiery teenager informed her employer that she was, in fact, the daughter whom she had given up when the passionate affair with Finn had come to an end. Distrustful of her father, she is unable to understand why Allie has left Gavin for him, and despite her best efforts to destroy the fledgling relationship, she becomes increasingly competitive for her mother's attention.

Of the relationship, Lucy says: "As much as Ruby says that she hates them both, as much as she rants and raves, all she wants is for it to all work out between them. She wants the relationship with Allie to work out more than anything in the world. Ultimately, she craves that love, and that attention for herself, and for Allie to give her what she most wants in the world." Determined to make them pay for the rejection, and years of heartbreak, the youngster sets in motion a train of events with such devastating and far-reaching effects that even she cannot see their lasting consequences until it may be too late.

Lucy Gaskell (22) made her professional acting debut as Ruby in the first series of Cutting It. Born in Wigan, Lucy had her heart set on becoming an actress before she won a place at the Welsh College Of Music & Drama in 1998.

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The Sun   -   April 17, 2002


LUCY GASKELL plays salon junior Ruby who at first seems to be just the girl who shampoos and sweeps up hair. But Lucy, 21, says: "Ruby is streetwise and a great judge of character. In the first episode she was the only one who was suspicious of Mia Bevan."

"Ruby gets involved in a big twist in the storyline  -  there's definitely more to her than meets the eye."

Lucy, who only left drama college last summer, is delighted with her first big part. She says: "I was shopping in London when I got the call that I'd landed the role of Ruby. I was so chuffed I started doing star-jumps down the street."

"Ruby's a great character. She's young, gobby and loves to get herself into all kinds of mischief."


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