Adele Silva is best known for playing Kelly Windsor in Emmerdale. Having acted since she was a young girl, Adele has appeared on screen in different shows from Doctor Who to The Real Hustle. With a starring role playing Cathy in ‘Wuthering Heights’ which hits the London theatre scene this Summer, and a new comedy TV show ‘Training Daze’ due to air soon, 2013 is set to be a great year.
Kim O'Meara caught up with the lovely Adele to hear all about what's next for her and about the new love of her life, Minnie.
Tell us about Minnie - we'd like to know everything about her!
Minnie is an 8 month old smooth double coated Chihuahua girl. She was a present from my boyfriend for my birthday last year and a complete surprise. We'd talked about getting a dog and I'd said I'd love a small dog so we talked about having a Chihuahua, then my birthday came and it was the biggest shock.
My birthday is in November and I'd planned a surprise break for my boyfriend for his birthday so I thought we'd look at getting a dog after Christmas. I didn't want to get a dog and then go away, so it was the biggest shock when she walked in with a big pink bow around her neck.
As soon as I saw her I was torn between calling her Minnie or Nellie because she was only 10-11 weeks old so she was really small and my boyfriend said 'I'm not calling Nellie in the park', so we decided on Minnie, which is the perfect name for her because she was tiny with this big character.
I'd grown up with Yorkies and know their personalities inside out so we did talk about getting another but then we started talking about Chihuahuas. To be honest the only thing that put me off was that people might look at me and think she was an accessory, not a dog, and I do like to dress her up occasionally for fun but she has such an amazing personality, she's brilliant – she's a small dog with a huge presence.
The challenge of learning about a new breed, their history and personality traits has been brilliant. I've also loved seeing her grow up and how she's changed coming out of her shell.
I'm a huge believer in socialising so we've taken her to some of our vets Puppy Parties. The first week she walked in and was the smallest dog there but she was taking all of the toys and barking at everyone. The second week we went and she was their best friend.
(Laughs) I think I'm obsessed with her, she's so brilliant and great with everyone.
When we last spoke we met Buster, your Yorkshire Terrier and Misty, your Shar Pei. Sadly they passed away recently.
Yes, Misty went within 6 months of Buster.
Buster was really not a well dog. She'd has problems for years but all the time she was ill, she still kept her amazing temperament and had these mad five 5 minute spells of just running around and playing her her toys.
Not long after we lost Buster, Misty was diagnosed with the canine equivalent of IBS and she just couldn't eat and lost so much weight, she'd always loved her food. She was going back and forward to the vets and eventually they suggested steroids but she couldn't be on them long term and when she stopped, she lost so much weight again. It was really hard to see her so thin and without any energy. Eventually the vet told us the kindest thing to do for her would be to put her to sleep so she could be at peace. It was so hard for all of us, my mum and dad included, but we wanted to do the right thing by her.
You've been a pet owner since you were 6 and so you grew up with dogs, but it's never easy loosing a dog. How did you cope when Buster and Misty passed away?
It was really hard. Touch wood, so far I've not had a person who I've been so close to pass away, loosing Buster and Misty was just awful because they were such a part of our family.
When you know they can't talk and they can't communicate how ill they are with you, you just want to do the right thing by them. To know you did your best by them and for them to be in no pain.
The shots from the last photo-shoot we did with you have been a real comfort though, my mum always said we never got many of them together looking down the camera, so they're really lovely to still look back at.
It's been a busy start to the year for you with preparations for your role as Cathy in 'Wuthering Heights' as Cathy and your new TV show 'Training Daze' airing soon. Have you enjoyed the new challenges, going back to theatre again and filming a different TV show as a new character, other than Emmerdale's Kelly Windsor?
Oh I've loved it, as an actor it's brilliant to be able to do different things and play different characters and Wuthering Heights is a classic, isn't it. I'm really looking forward to going back to theatre because it's been a while since I've been on stage, I did a lot when I was younger.
I really like to be able to do different things that people might not expect – I have to many lines in Wuthering Heights, so it's been relentless getting prepared but it's very exciting! I can't wait to get started really.
(Laughs) Ollie, my boyfriend, says I have a TV voice which I wasn't aware of. So in Wuthering Heights I'll have a northern accent and will get rid of my London dulcet tones.
Training Daze is a comedy and we've filmed the pilot for TV so I think that'll probably air something on screens around Autumn time this year. It's very funny, it's set in a gym – I actually can't believe something like this hasn't been done before – and we have a great cast. I play Helen, the attention seeking receptionist who loves the hubbub and gossip of the gym.
It's really fresh, something different and has a great script so again it was something different for me, but I think it will really appeal to a younger audience, perhaps.
I do think with Kelly people perhaps have a picture of you, what you're like and the characters you can play, which is great and totally understandable because you're going into their homes every weekday and so they get to know you on screen as that character.
But for me, it's brilliant to show something different, whether who you are through reality shows, or a completely different side to acting and your personality, through different characters. I've been acting since I was 8 years old and I'm 32 now. It seems bizarre to think I've been doing this for 24 years but in that time I've been lucky enough to play different roles and I'd love to continue doing different stuff.
Speaking of Emmerdale and Kelly, what's ahead for her? Can you see her coming back in the near future?
I never say never. I still have ties to Emmerdale, my step-dad and the father of my child are still there, so you never know!
I think, similar to Sharon in EastEnders, when she comes back you wonder what she's been up to, how her life has gone since she left the square, that it could be nice to see Kelly come back from time to time.
Mottos. Most of us have them, what would you say yours would be, and what do you think Minnie's motto might be?
I always try and stay positive. Every day is so much better when you are positive and we're all guilty of being negative from time to time, but your day will be better if you can think positive, so maybe mine would be keep your chin up.
(Laughs) God, I don't know what Minnie's would be. I'm sure she's a big dog trapped in a small dogs body. She has this massive personality and when we go to the park she'll bark at the bigger dogs, and then run behind me. I think she might actually have small dog syndrome.
If you were to swap roles with Minnie for a day, how do you think she'd cope being you and what would you most love about being her?
Well I'd love to know what she gets up to when we're not with her.
Buster used to have 5 mad minutes with her toys and Minnie equally loves her toys, she'll play with every toy she has and I guarantee as soon as I put them away, they all gradually appear one by one on the floor again.
It's rare she is on her own because she comes most places with me. Whenever we do go out and she stays in though she'll stand at the top of the stairs and watch us go out, before running to the window to look out at us as we leave.
(Laughs) I have to say when I come back though I will sometimes toot my horn to let her know I'm back and she'll come running to the window to have a look.
I think she'd know what it was like to be me because we're together so much, although I think she'd be tired by the end of every day with all of the running around.
For this question, we ask our celebs to match up the following people’s personality to a breed of dog, for example, Winston Churchill = Bulldog or J.Lo = Afghan Hound, Frank Bruno = Boxer etc. If the following celebrities and dog lovers were breeds of dogs, based on their personalities alone, what type of breed do you think they'd be...
Verity Rushworth (played Donna Windsor-Dingle in 'Emmerdale' and starred alongside Adele in 'Training Daze') – I think she would be an Afghan Hound. Very lean, graceful - you know when the wind blow and their hair just blows behind - and well groomed.
Ricky Gervais – I think he would be a Boston Terrier or French Bulldog because to look at they have the comical expression on their face that I think he has.
Victoria Beckham – Wow, well similar to Verity, I think she'd be a really graceful breed so maybe a Greyhound. Athletic, elegant and everything's always intact.
Jake Canuso (played Mateo Castellano in Benidorm and stars alongside Adele in 'Training Daze') – I think he'd be a black Pug because he's got that sweeping hair do that's always gelled back.
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs – Personally, I like little dogs. I think it's because I grew up with them primarily.
Pedigree dogs or cross-breeds – I really don't mind, although the snob in me probably quite likes that Minnie has a pedigree, I think it's down to the personality of the dog whether pedigree or cross-breed.
Quickest route or scenic route – Well in Leeds, there's so much scenery and that's great, so I'd say the scenic route here, but in London it's so busy so I'd choose the quickest route there.
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw Minnie, or another dog do.
(Laughs) Last night she was asleep on some of her toys. She has this padded bra/knickers set and the bra part is padded. She was sleeping on the two boobs in the bra toy and her head was settled in the middle.
She looked so funny and had no idea why herself but it was just one of those moments that you want to capture on camera.
Taking inspiration from BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, if you were castaway on an island and had to choose 7 songs to take with you, what would you choose and why?
(Laughs) I have to warn you, I have the worst taste in music – my iPad is a mixture of cheese and theatre songs so when it's on shuffle mode, it can play the weirdest selection. It's fine when you're on your own but slightly embarrassing if you're not.
(Adele starts browsing her song selection on her iPad).
First up I'd take Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'. Then Beyonce's 'Halo'. Thirdly Jessie J's 'Who's Laughing Now'. Then Katy Perry's 'Thinking Of You'.
My fifth song would be Rizzle Kick's 'Mamma Do The Hump' (laughs). Then a song from Les Miserable 'One Day More' and my last choice would be a song by Keri Hilson, NeYo and Kanye West called 'Knock You Down'.
(Laughs) I told you.
What is your current favourite…?
TV show – I've loved Broadchurch on ITV and apparently it will be back so that's very exciting. I think it's the best drama that's been on TV in a long time. I also love shows like Masterchef and 24 Hours in A&E, I really like a good drama or factual shows.
I also love my American box-sets and I'm making my way through Grey's Anatomy just now.
Book – I'm not the sort of person able to read more than one book at a time and so unusually for me I've not got a book on the go just now because I've been concentrating on my lines for Wuthering Heights.
Film – I saw Zero Dark Thirty with Jessica Chastain at the cinema recently and thought it was brilliant.
If you could sum it up, what do you think is the best thing about being a dog owner?
I think it's great to come home to a friendly face and wagging tail, jumping up to greet you. I also think they can change your mood completely. I know Minnie totally lifts my day, she makes me smile so often because she's just so loving and affectionate.
There are over 6 million dogs in the UK and over 100,000 dogs in rescues across the country. If you were to give a Churchill type rousing speech, what would you say to encourage people to consider adopting a dog?
Dogs can enhance your life so much, from brightening your day and mood to shaping what you spend your days doing. Don't worry about the cost, you can easily not buy that pile of magazines or think about how much you spend on cigarettes – and then compare how much a dog would change your life for the better.
They're always happy to see you, always ready to wag their tail and the feeling of unconditional love can't be underestimated.
If you're thinking about getting a dog, visit your local rescue and just spend some time with the dogs there before you decide.
Finish the following sentence, my dog is... the best Chihuahua ever!
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires a fair degree of thinking time but….If Minnie had the ability to speak and answer one question and one question only, what would you ask her and what do you think that she would say?
(Laughs) Well, I think I'd ask her 'why do you make such a fuss when I dress you up' and I think she'd say 'because it's too pink and frilly and my friends at the park might laugh and me', to which I'd reply 'they're only jealous!'.
Many Thanks Adele!
Adele Silva Speaking With Kim O'Meara