Working in 33-degree Serbian heat in a “carpet for a dress” and a tightly-laced corset couldn’t wipe the smile from actress Georgia May Foote’s face during filming for US series, The Outpost.
For the former Coronation Street and Strictly star couldn’t wait to get back to Blighty and boyfriend Kris Evans because although the couple had bought a new house in Manchester before lockdown, they couldn’t move in.
When they finally got the keys they spent Georgia’s quarantine period painting, decorating and making it their own.
So, life couldn’t be rosier for the couple who met two years ago.
“I was brought up with northern men around me,” says Georgia. “So it just feels right with Kris. He’s very chilled and very supportive and if it was up to me I’d have married him the day I met him.”
“It’s in the pipeline,” laughs Kris.
Seemingly, so is a family, but just not yet – Georgia is back filming in Serbia for The Outpost over the next few months.
Kris, a rapper with now disbanded The Mend, a band formed by Take That manager Nigel Martin Smith which got to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, now works in music production. He’s currently moving to a new studio with plans for a creative hub for up and coming young artists having spent lockdown working from the kitchen table.
So will this dynamic duo ever make sweet music together? According to Kris, Georgia is a talented singer and he’s produced a song which is “pretty good”.
“Georgia’s talented musically although she doesn’t admit it. Yeah, after a couple of glasses of wine she’s a good singer,” he jokes.
Georgia laughs: “Yes, I need a bit of liquid confidence to get me in the studio, but the only problem is I end up getting giddy and nothing get’s finished.”
“Watch this space, though,” says Kris.
Georgia was filming in Serbia when Covid struck and she had to return home. She was appearing in seven episodes of series three of the CW fantasy drama The Outpost, as Falista, joining the likes of Jessica Green (Talon) and Jake Stormoen (Captain Garret Spears).
The programme follows Talon – the lone survivor of a race called the Blackbloods – as she tries to master her supernatural powers in a lawless fortress on the edges of the civilised world.
But it’s not all glamour as Georgia points out. “The costumes are fantastic, but not the kind of thing you want to be wearing in 33 degrees of heat. It was like wearing a carpet and those bodices – you can’t eat Chinese takeaways or McDonalds when you have to wear them. They were so uncomfortable in the heat. We had to keep running into air conditioned rooms, downing water and standing in the shade. But Serbia is a beautiful country.”
Many people have suffered with anxiety and depression during lockdown, and Georgia, who has struggled in the past, says she believes her anxiety will never go away.
“It came to a head about two years ago. I do still have my down days when I think I can’t do it but Kris really helps to calm me down and reassures me. During lockdown, I kept myself busy, painting the house and getting it all in order. That’s really helped.”
Georgia started as an actress at the age of eight and appeared on BBC programme Convictions at the age of 12.
She played the role of Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street between 2000-2015.
After leaving Corrie, Georgia was a finalist on the 2015 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
At the end of that time she shared a moving post on her Instagram about her battle with anxiety with the aim of helping others.
She told her followers that at one point “making it to Christmas seemed impossible.”
The Bury, Manchester, actress shared a photo of herself cuddling up to Kris, and wrote: “Some people are just good. They make you think about things differently.
“Sometimes you agree and sometimes you don’t. Even if you do end up going back on your stubborn opinion and agreeing in the end anyway.
“Some people are kind, generous, caring, loving. Those people are hard to find. When you find one, if even when u really annoy them, still tells you they love you, listen and believe it. I never believed i’d find someone after what I’ve been through.
“Thank you @krisevansmusic for loving me.”
Kris’s former band, The Mend, moved to America in the hope of making it big in the States, working with Michael Jackson’s vocal coach and performing at the rock and roll nightclub Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, where the likes of Guns N’ Roses and The Doors have performed. But the band split in 2016.
Fellow former member Jay Kontzle now plays Billy Fletcher in Emmerdale.
Georgia and Kris were first spotted together at the MTV Staying Alive Foundation charity fundraiser hosted by Naked Beach star Jsky at city centre bar Impossible in Manchester. Georgia was among the guests watching as Kris performed.
Both agree that their Best Life Project is about making their relationship work, despite working in different countries.
“We are both determined people and want the best for each other in our professional lives. That means never giving up on something even if you have a low day you have to keep going,” says Kris.
Georgia agrees: “We don’t exactly have normal jobs and we’re all over the place, but just knowing that we can get through it together and be strong as a couple and have a family together one day, that’s our life project.”