Eastenders and Bad Girls actor backs Stirling’s bid for City of Culture
Stirling-born actor Simone Lahbib has backed Stirling’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025.
With the decision on whether City made the shortlist next week, Simone shared her love of Stirling with her fans and followers on Twitter.
She tweeted: “Wishing my hometown good luck as it seeks to become the UK #CityofCulture2025 @StirlingAWS #Stirling2025 Let’s do it!”
Best known for her roles as Helen Stewart on the ITV drama series ‘Bad Girls’, DCI Alex Fielding on the ITV crime series ‘Wire in the Blood’ and Laura Cereta on the hit American show ‘Da Vinci’s Demons”, Simone comes home as often as she can to visit family and friends in Stirling.
Commenting on what the title would mean for Stirling, Simone said: “There are so many talented people in and out of Stirling, although you may not know it because the Scots tend to self-depreciate.
“As well as being a tremendous boost to the arts and the local economy, just think of the positive energy winning would bring to everyone back home.
“I’m sure it would rekindle the immense pride that people feel for Stirling and trigger a tidal wave of creative activity after an extremely difficult few years for everyone.”
She added, “I never need a lot of excuses to come home, so any invitations generated by the eventual new status would be gratefully received. Let’s say I’ll be there.
Although she lives in London, Stirling is still Simone’s ‘home’ and is very special to her: “It’s the combination of the location, framed by the hills, the rich heritage, the strong community feel and the thriving arts scene that makes Stirling so special.
“Apart from my family and friends, I really miss the friendliness of the people of Stirling and the breathtaking scenery.”
Simone has some great tips for anyone visiting Stirling. She said: ‘I could give you a long list of places to visit, but top of the list would have to be the view from the top of the Wallace monument. On a clear day you can see for miles in all directions.
“Stirling Castle, built on volcanic rock and overlooking the city, is also a great day out for the whole family.
“There are also so many lovely walks in and around Stirling. I love walking along the Allan Water and around the University of Stirling, and sometimes paddling there. A short drive in any direction will take you to places of phenomenal beauty, Loch Lomond being one of them.
Simone’s first big break came in 1986, when she starred in “The Girl in the Picture” alongside John Gordon Sinclair, Irina Brook and Gregor Fisher.
She said: “I loved the experience. I was in ballet school at the time and that made me decide to change paths and retrain as an actor.
Since then, Simone has played many roles, but one of the characters she is most proud of is that of Eastenders villain Katy Lewis.
Simone explained: “The role highlighted how abusive personalities charm and gain trust before abusing their victims. I found it fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
Simone has also recently turned to directing. Her short film “Swipe Right”, which she wrote, directed and produced, won numerous awards on the International Film Festival circuit, including “Best First Time Director” and “Best Audience Award for Best Short feature’ at the ‘Soho London Independent Film Festival.’
Simone, who also teaches ‘Screen Acting’ to students at the University of West London and Drama Studio London, gave some advice to anyone considering a career in the creative industries: “My advice to my students is always to prepare well, be a good member of the company, get in the flow and have fun.Having any job in the creative arts has to be the best job in the world.
Although Simone has now left Eastenders, it won’t take long for her to return to our screens. His next appearance is in series 7 of Shetland, which will soon air on BBC Scotland.
Support Stirling’s bid on Stirling2025.com and share your support with the hashtag #Stirling2025