'People expect you to be a snobby b*tch' - Fair City's Claudia Carroll
She's one of TV's best-loved bad girls and Claudia Carroll has admitted many fans expect her to be just like her character on Fair City.
The 47-year-old is best known for her portrayal of Nicola Prendergast on the long-running RTE soap and recently made a dramatic return to the series.
Claudia revealed nothing makes her happier than when a viewer tells her she is nothing like the character she plays on the small screen.
"Nicola is quite a snooty character. I love playing her, some characters are great fun to play but she would be quite unlikeable," she told the Herald.
"One of those people who patronises others and puts other people down and can't understand why nobody likes her.
"People tend to think that you are the character and expect you to be a snobby b***h back to them.
"It's music to my ears when people say, you're not like your character at all."
The assertive blonde is battling it out with Niamh and her former flame Paul over the behaviour of their son Oisin.
"When Nicola turns up there's an instant confrontation between her and Niamh and Niamh knows Nicola has never really gotten over Paul.
"Paul was the great love of her life and her absolute tragedy is that she was not the great love of his.
"Even before I went back into it, a lot of people were coming up to me on the streets and in Tescos going, 'that son of yours, that pup, I would just wallop him' and I would laugh good-naturedly as you do. Nicola thinks Oisin walks on water," she said.
"As far as Niamh is concerned, when Nicola turns up, her stomach clenches and the hair on the back of her neck stands up because she thinks, 'what she's really after is my husband.'
"What would make Nicola supremely happy would be for her to be back with Paul and Oisin getting everything."
The actress revealed she is thrilled to be back on the soap after departing the series full-time in 2005 to focus on her writing career.
"I am absolutely delighted to come back for as long as they have all of these great stories. It's all about stories isn't it? I think that's one thing Fair City has always excelled on, the stories are great."
Fair City airs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm and on Sundays at 7.30pm on RTE One.