’Allo ’Allo! Actress who has inherited her mother’s good looks
23:01 GMT, 31 May 2012
In the family: Actress Louise
Michelle is following in her mother's footsteps
When Louise Michelle decided she wanted to be an actress, her mother was completely against it.
‘She tried to talk me out of it, she told me how insecure it is and how hard it can be but it has all I have ever wanted to do,’ recalls the young star.
‘In the end, we made a compromise — I stayed at school and got my A-levels and then I went to drama school.’
Her mother knew more than most about the highs and lows of the acting world; after struggling in the business for several years, she gave it up to launch her own employment agency, until she got a call asking her to audition for one last role.
Vicki Michelle is still best known for that role — of the iconic sexy French waitress Yvette in comedy ’Allo ’Allo. She hasn’t stopped working since.
Louise is the image of her mother; adorable upturned nose, voluptuous figure and cheeky smile. Like her mother, her forte is comedy and musical theatre. And now she is getting her chance to shine.
The 22-year-old actress already has a role in what is likely to be the biggest British comedy of the year, a film adaptation of Ray Cooney’s hit play Run For Your Wife, due out in September.
Among her co-stars are the cream of British talent including Dame Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Maureen Lipman, Christopher Biggins, Neil Morrissey, Cliff Richard, Denise Van Outen and Danny Dyer. Not bad for her first feature film.
‘It was terrifying,’ admits Louise of her first day on set. ‘But everyone was really nice and incredibly welcoming. Ray has managed to attract this amazing list of people to come and work on the film because they are his friends. I spent most days in awe of their talents.’
She is cast as a persistent
journalist on the trail of John Smith, played by Danny Dyer, a London
cab driver who is living two very different lives with two wives, played
by Denise Van Outen and Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding.
After he is mugged and hospitalised, police are mystified when they find two addresses on him, and his life slowly unravels.
that role was not exciting enough, Louise has also been handpicked to
present a new X Factor-style comedy show after her impressions were
spotted on YouTube by Jongleurs boss Maria Kempinska.
In the family: Louise's mother
Vicki with co-star Gorden Kaye
‘I’ve always done impressions of people like Justin Bieber and Kate Middleton,’ she recalls. ‘My friends would say: “We’re bored, do something funny for us”.
‘I put them on YouTube and never expected anything to come from them, but then Maria saw them. It’s amazing because she has seen everyone in comedy and she really believes in me.
‘She is putting together a pilot for a new talent show for anyone with anything to do with comedy and I will be presenting it. It all feels very exciting.’
Louise is an interesting mix of the
showbiz and the normal world. It makes her very grounded about her
success: ‘Of course, I know it could all come crashing down, so I do
have a back-up plan — I will go into teaching sport as that is something
I am passionate about.’
comes from a theatrical family; not only are her parents in the
business but her mother’s parents were also both actors. She has been on
stage since she was tiny — when her mother was in panto, she would
often appear alongside her.
knows both its lows — her mother would have to leave her for weeks on
end with au pairs while she travelled around the world in shows — and
‘When I was younger I hated my mum leaving me, but it also meant I could go and see her in places like Australia,’ she recalls.
The actress has been given a lead role in the upcoming British film Run For Your Wife
And although she grew up in suburban Chigwell in Essex (and like all her friends had a crush on The Only Way is Essex’s Mark Wright, whose brother she knew) her mother’s television friends like Su Pollard and the cast of ’Allo ’Allo were regular visitors to the family home.
‘When I went on tour with them it was like one big family,’ she says. ‘The only one I didn’t really know was Gorden Kaye [who played Renee] — he wasn’t one of the ones whose dressing room you would run into and give a cuddle.’
She admits that she had plenty of interest at school because of her mother — although that was more to do with Vicki’s still stunning looks rather than her fame.
‘When I was about 13, boys would start talking about how gorgeous my mum is,’ she recalls. ‘They’d walk me home and then ask to come in for a drink. When I’d say my mum wasn’t in they’d say “OK see ya”, and I would just go “byeee!”
‘My mum is so glamorous and pretty you can’t really blame them. She has always looked after herself and when she moans about looking old I remind her that half the people she has worked with are dead — so she doesn’t look too bad.’
Vicki has an executive producer role on Run for Your Wife — the film came about after Louise’s father Graham Fowler, who is a well-known cameraman, videoed another of Ray’s plays that she was in.
Louise knows she might be regarded as someone with an unfair advantage but she knows that being the daughter of someone famous is no guarantee of success.
‘My mum can introduce me to people, but after that I am on my own. I once showed up for an audition and within a few seconds I was told I was too short and freckly — so in a business like this it is nice to have my mum on board.’
Run For Your Wife will be released later this year.