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River City Queen Roisin McIntyre makes her TV return and she means business

Emerging from the subway, Roisin McIntyre takes off her face mask and proudly surveys her old kingdom – the Queen of River City is back and she means business.

Shieldinch’s Bet Lynch, last seen leaving for a new life with her Texan lover, is about to unleash those famous one-liners all over again.

And actress Joyce Falconer, who plays her, cannot wait.

Roisin McIntyre is returning to screens

She said: “It’s great to bring Roisin back where she belongs. I have had people stopping me in the street for years begging me to return to River City and telling me how much they miss her antics.

“No matter what else I’ve done in my career since leaving the soap, Roisin has been following me around so I thought, ‘Heck, I might as well take her back to her old stomping ground.’

“It’s a joy to step back on to Montego Street and let viewers get to know her all over again. She’s a tough quine with a big heart who knows what she wants and how to get it – and that hasn’t changed.”

In tomorrow’s episode, we discover Roisin is a widow and returned to Aberdeen 10 years ago to look after her sick dad and, while caring for him, she retrained as a therapist.

She has been sent to Shieldinch to counsel Stevie O’Hara after his suicide attempt, much to the horror of his mum Scarlett – Roisin’s old nemesis – and the pair end up having a square go in the street.

River City Queen Roisin McIntyre makes her TV return and she means business

Although Scarlett isn’t best pleased about her return, Shellsuit Bob is delighted his old crush is back in town and it looks like this time he might be in with a chance.

Joyce, 45, who grew up in Torry, Aberdeen, said it was surreal stepping back on to the Dumbarton set.

She said: “I’m a bit awkward when it comes to social media but pals of mine have been telling me there has been quite a buzz around Roisin’s return and I hope I can live up to everyone’s expectations.

“You can give the performance of a lifetime on the stage but folk will always ken me as Roisin so, seeing as I cannae shake her, I decided I might as well give her another outing.

“The set has not changed that much since its inception in 2002 so it was quite surreal.

“It was like going back to a place in real life and working out who stayed here and what shop was there?

River City Queen Roisin McIntyre makes her TV return and she means business

“It was a real trip down Memory Lane and I instantly felt at home.

“The only cast left from my first time round are Sally Howitt, who plays Scarlett and, of course, the lovely Stephen Purdon, aka Shellsuit Bob, but there are also lots of familiar faces in the crew.

“It sounds like a cliché but working in River City was always like being part of a big family so, in many ways, I feel I have come back home and starting again has been a very comfortable experience.”

From winning the lottery and reuniting with her secret love child to her affair with tanning salon boss Raymond and their subsequent “big fat gypsy wedding”, Roisin had some of the best scenes in the BBC Scotland soap’s history and it looks like that isn’t going to change.

She said: “It looks like there are a lot of good storylines in the pipeline for Roisin and I can’t wait to get my teeth into them. I just love playing her.

“She comes in as Stevie’s therapist, which makes a lot of sense seeing as she was like the Shieldinch agony aunt before she left with her rich Texan.

“Folk used to come up to me in supermarkets and confide in me about their troubles, which was terribly surreal and made for some interesting conversations.

“There are viewers who actually think I am Roisin – that’s why, when she won the lottery, folk could not understand when they spotted me rummaging in charity shops.

“They thought I should be in a castle in Milngavie and shopping in Harrods.”

Joyce, who has had a varied career on TV and radio and in theatre, having trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, teased a possible cougar romance with Shellsuit Bob might be in store for Roisin.

She said: “I don’t think she is consciously looking for a new man but she’s certainly free as her big Texan Sonny has died so a few little frissons might be in the offing.

“Shellsuit seems to still have a wee crush on her.

“He’s grown up a lot since the days he would give her flowers he nicked from the graveyard or a double nugget he had half-inched from his maw’s van.

“There’s definitely a bit of flirting going on but all I can say is watch this space.”

Joyce, who has toured with the National Theatre of Scotland with Mary Queen Of Scots Got Her Head Cut Off, played Maw Broon in The Broons, Joan in Aye, Elvis and has become a panto-favourite, added: “It was also great fun getting to have a full-on stramash in one of my first scenes.

“Nothing beats a good scrap, especially when it’s with one of your actress pals. I think viewers will definitely know Roisin is back when she tells Scarlett, ‘You think you’re Mother Teresa.

“I remember when your greatest achievement was squirting raspberry sauce in a pokey hat.”

She also threatens to clatter her so hard that her “wallies” – false teeth – will be scattered all over Montego Street.

Joyce added: “I’m a big advocate of the Scots language and, although the scripts are written predominantly in English, I get to tweak them and add dialect. A wee tweak can make them more amusing. Roisin is helping to keep Scots and Doric alive.”

Joyce hopes female viewers new and old will be inspired by her character.

She said: “I could be friends with her. She is very straightforward, strong and feisty with a soft side to her as well. I would like to think she is a character who gives women the confidence to be themselves – to be ballsy and take no snash.

“Are Roisin and I similar? Of course not. I’m a wee wallflower.

“Aye, of course there are similarities and I’m delighted to play her again.”



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