Actor Heather Peace takes us on a tour of the city spots she's fallen in love with
YOU'D never guess from her dulcet Yorkshire brogue or the Brighton address Heather Peace calls home.
But the actress and singer has fallen head over heels for Glasgow, where she now spends almost nine months of the year.
Thanks to filming commitments, the 36-year-old is a regular fixture in the Merchant City where BBC3's series Lip Service is filmed – and next month will relocate to Greenock to rejoin the cast of BBC1's hit school series Waterloo Road.
"I'll be spending a heck of lot of time here," said Heather. "I feel like I really know the city now."
The actress, best known as Lip Service's DS Sam Murray, or English teacher Nicki Boston in Waterloo Road, began performing in church choirs as a child.
She learned piano from a tutor who taught children who couldn't otherwise afford to learn, going to Manchester Polytechnic to study a strict Stanislavski-based acting course.
While starring in programmes such as, Ultimate Force, The Chase and Emmerdale, she viewed music as a hobby.
Now, with the recent release of her debut album, Fairytales, her priorities have shifted.
"I've just been so grateful to be working that I've taken all of the work that has been coming my way – it's really hard to say no because we do go through periods of very little work," said Heather.
"I've been doing this for 16 years now, so I've had my fair share of down times.
"I think there might be a decision to be made at the end of the year.
"I'm coming up to do Waterloo Road in June, but, should the album do well, then maybe I'll have to make a big decision."
The album was funded in part by signing up to Pledgemusic – she raised £30,000 by offering fans the chance to buy items such as handwritten lyrics.
It was produced by Oscar-nominated Nigel Wright, who she met as a new recruit to London's Burning. At that time, Simon Cowell wanted her to make a Robson & Jerome-style crossover into the charts by releasing a cover of Bette Midler's, The Rose.
Heather and her four-piece band played a sold-out gig as part of her UK tour at St Andrew's in the Square last week.
We couldn't resist taking her around her favourite haunts to tell us why Glasgow is her kind of town.
"This is where I played a gig and met my management team. At the time, they wanted me to come up and do a Lip Service party for them, and I was really down on my luck with work, financially, and everything else. I said the only way I could make it work, the cost of travel, would be if they could put me on a gig. They'd never heard me. It sold out on the back of Lip Service."
n 62 Argyll Arcade, 0141 221 8886.
"This is where we stayed when we were filming Lip Service and, as a result, a lot of the album was written there. It became a home-from-home for everyone. It's not like being in a hotel, which can get depressing if you're there for a long time. You could make your own food. We hung out at that gorgeous pub, Blackfriars, which often did live music. We were a tight-knit bunch."
n 1-19 Albion Street, 0141 553 4288.
the dr who box
"It's just awesome. It's the most random thing I've ever seen. I posted a picture of it on Twitter. I've always had it in my head that I'd like to be the first female Dr Who. It's about time that there was one. I think they should turn it completely around – I should be Dr Who and have a young male whipper-snapper who looks up to me."
n Wilson Street, near junction with Glassford Street.
MOTHER INDIA'S CAFE
"Why does nowhere else in the country do Indian tapas? I'm a big fan of Indian food, anyway – I come from Bradford and I grew up on curry. My brother married an Indian lady, so it's in the family now. Indian food as tapas is genius because you just want to have a little bit of everything rather than one big curry. I love the idea."
n 1355 Argyle Street, 0141 339 9145.
"I drank there ... a lot! It was convenient and they just have really friendly staff. If I was going to have a glass of wine after work, then that was where I would go. We used to sit outside – it's a good spot for watching the world go by."
n 60 Trongate, 0141 548 1350.
"Gorgeous food and this time Italian tapas. Again, genius! We used to hang out here quite a bit – that was a favourite haunt of all the girls. I like to put everything in the middle and share it. Some people are ferocious, though – they like to order their dish and stick to their dish. I don't get that."
n 92 Albion Street, 0141 552 3186.
DRIVE TO LOCH LOMOND
"The road from Glasgow to Loch Lomond over the Erskine Bridge – I just loved that. That was our getaway. We all would jump in my Mini – I think we managed to get five of us in there. I like going walking and finding a country pub for a meal. Even although you are in such a built-up area, it doesn't take long to be surrounded by green."
"I bought my new Nord piano there and every night I'd go home and play it and finish the songs for the album. It goes everywhere with me now. I've had a few problems on tour with borrowed pianos – sometimes when you ask for a piano they produce a keyboard, and it's a completely different thing. I used a Steinway Grand, no less, for the actual album, but that can't come on tour with us – it's just about as big as my flat!"
n 36 Trongate, 0141 552 9896.
"I went to see quite a few local bands play there while in Glasgow. It has such a huge reputation. I'd heard of it before I even went there. It's just a fantastic atmosphere – you are never far away from the stage. Wherever you are, you feel that you are right in the thick of it."
n 272a St Vincent Street, 0141 221 5279.
"Shop, shop, shop – especially All Saints. It's a little bit more pricey than your average high street shop. That was fatal having that so close to where we worked. Even if you just had three hours off, I think all the girls fell into that trap. All Saints and Urban Outfitters are my two favourites."