TESCO TO FRESHCO Corrie’s Sydney Martin reveals she worked in Tesco before landing dream job – & dad’s surprise reaction when she quit

CORONATION Street newcomer Sydney Martin was working at her local Tesco store when she landed her dream job.

And the first thing she did after getting the call in April was to head down to the ­supermarket to resign.

Sydney has now swapped Tesco — slogan “Every little helps” — for shopping in Corrie store Freshco.

She said in an exclusive interview: “My dad was like, ‘No, you shouldn’t have handed your notice in’. Then he said, ‘Are you sure? Have you signed the contract?’.

“He even said, ‘You won’t get a ­reference from Tesco now’!”

Sydney, 22, from Rossendale, Lancs, was watching the film Pitch Perfect 3 with flatmates in Manchester when she got the life- changing call to say she had won the role of wildchild Betsy Swain.

She said: “I just ran to the corner of the flat to answer the phone. I said, ‘It’s going to be a no, so keep watching the film’, and then my agent said, ‘Go hand in your notice’.

“I was doing six days at Tesco, so it’s quite the career change.

“My flatmate picked me up and we just cried. We didn’t finish Pitch Perfect. I could not have asked for a ­better first opportunity.

“My parents are my biggest fans. They are over the moon. I had my first picture in a magazine recently and they bought ten copies.”

Sydney burst on to our screens last week as the daughter of ­Weatherfield cop DS Lisa Swain, played by Victoria Myers.

She said: “I initially went for two smaller roles in ­January, but didn’t get them. Then, two weeks later, they called and asked if I wanted to audition to be a series regular, and I was like, ‘Yeah, that would be great’. I got the audition for Betsy in February and it was a two-month process. I went up for a read-through and screen tests.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was loving it.

“In this industry, you have to deal with so much rejection, so just to come in and do a recall, to meet Vicky, who plays my mum — I just saw it as great experience and didn’t think I was going to get it.”

At 22, Sydney is now playing a character six years younger and reckons it would have been harder to have joined Corrie when she was 16.

She said: “Hats off to younger cast members who have come in and done it because it is daunting.”

She added: “I’ve been layering on moisturiser and need to find my ID again because I’m not going to be able to buy anything without it.”

Sydney is the first in her family to go into acting.

She said: “I don’t know where I get my creative bones from. It can be worrying for parents, for someone to say they want to go into acting, as it is such an uncertain career and you have to be really resilient.

“But I could not have asked for a better TV show. This is the first thing I’ve ever done. It’s such a family atmosphere. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms. It’s been nice, I’ve had lots of support.”

She reckons her “cocky” and “feisty” screen character Betsy is nothing like her, but added: “I love it, she’s like my alter ego. She’s so confident and feisty.

Inspired by teacher
“It’s been so fun to replay your teenage years but in different shoes. She’s the complete opposite of me.”

Sydney was inspired by her drama teacher at Rossendale’s Haslingden High School, who saw her talent and suggested she try acting.Sydney with on-screen mum Vicky Myers

She said: “I loved doing shows when I was a kid. I was really shy, but when I got on the stage I loved it. In sixth form I had the most amazing drama teacher, who I owe everything to, who said, ‘Why not give it a shot?’ My teacher was like, ‘You go in and just do it’. I just graduated from drama school and entered the industry. I then grafted and somehow I got here.”

Sydney reveals her ITV screen mum Vicky has also been quick to take her under her wing.

She said: “I get on so well with Vicky. I say in another ­universe we were definitely mother and daughter — we are so similar.

“It’s such a fast-paced environment but Vicky went out of her way to make sure I was OK.

“I moved away from home at 18. This was my first job and to come to a show like Corrie and have someone so supportive, it’s really touching.

“Sometimes you need a mummy figure. I’ve been really looked after.”

And despite her dad telling ­Sydney she should save her first few pay cheques, she has just booked a trip to Rome.

She said: “My favourite thing to do is to explore new places.

“I’m more of a memory person. I have never really been materialistic — it’s all about making more ­memories.”

Following the confirmation of her role, Sydney quickly ditched Tesco

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