Are hannah spearritt and andrew lee potts still dating validating hurt feelings in a relationship
Big time,’ she says, with a tincture of sarcasm that ought not to sit well with a rosy-cheeked 25-year-old, but somehow does, because this girl from the Valleys, who numbers Meryl Streep among her fans, has one helluva mature head on those young shoulders.‘I sleep with my bag near the bed in case there’s a fire, so that I can squeeze Ronnie Barker into it and run.’ Ronnie Barker is Alex’s miniature dachshund and constant companion, whom she brings on set and to photo shoots whenever she can. He sits on my lap for a wet-nosed cuddle in make-up and potters about when we’re filming,’ she says.‘He is the one constant in my life, a lot of which seems to be spent waiting in car parks or draughty warehouses.‘At drama school the spotlight is on you alone; the lecturers try to disassemble your personality and change some facets to make you a better performer, and I struggled with that. It’s the Welsh way: do your best, move on, no need to agonise.I am an instinctive performer so I had to fight to hold on to that; they wanted me to intellectualise, which was the antithesis of what I do.’As she speaks about the school, there’s an absolute implacability beneath the amiable smile.Although she’s no longer in a relationship with Glaswegian actor James Mc Ardle, the pair remain friends.And by way of cocking a quiet snook at her patrician classmates Alex was given permission not to attend her graduation ceremony, because she had already landed her first job.
‘I became anxious and had seizures; I was fitting four times a day and ended up in hospital, where I was diagnosed with non-epileptic attack disorder, which is a condition where the brain gets so overloaded it freezes like a computer and has to be “switched off” and “rebooted”.Oh dear, I’ve fallen into the classic trap of overlooking the leading lady – worse, of not even recognising her.Alex, however, is magnanimous at being upstaged by her accessories.‘It’s weird and wrong, but whenever I wander into posh shops, I get ignored or dismissed by the staff until they see my handbag, then they sit up and start ingratiating themselves.‘When I got together with my boyfriend at drama school, who is also an actor, I was so caught up in it all, I could feel my speech going and the muscles on the right hand side of my body jerking about.
Luckily he knew what to do, which was to let me lie down and talk quietly about different subjects to divert my thoughts.’Alex doesn’t take medication and hasn’t suffered any attacks in recent years.I wanted a small dog because they’re easier to carry about, but I don’t do a Paris Hilton, so he still has the use of his legs.’All this is said in a mellifluous Welsh accent that I could listen to all day; born in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, Alex is a fluent Welsh-speaker who spent her early teens appearing in the long-running soap Pobol y Cwm.