‘Having laughter lines means you’ve lived’ Lindsey Coulson reveals how she feels about growing old gracefully

Best known for frequenting Albert Square as her notorious character Carol Jackson in EastEnders, actor Lindsey Coulson, 60, has revealed that she has no desire to return to the show that shot her to fame.

Lindsey – who has two children with husband Harry Harris – is enjoying getting her teeth into some different characters, like Bulletproof’s National Crime Agency detective Sarah Tanner.

‘I don’t miss EastEnders at all,’ she admits, adding that life’s too short to stick to what you know.

Here, Lindsey reveals how she’s used gardening to cope with any lockdown struggles, and why she wants to distance herself from Carol once and for all…

Would you ever consider going back to EastEnders if you were asked?

I used to say, ‘Never say never,’ but actually I feel like I’ve exhausted the character. I don’t feel like there’s anything more that I would want to explore.

I don’t want to work at that level any more. It’s incredible the amount they have to do and learn – I don’t want it. I’m having such lovely experiences, and life is too short.

How have you been keeping yourself busy during this unusual time of lockdown?

I’m a keen gardener, and my garden is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. It’s my meditative place, where I think about nothing other than the garden. I’ve been having long conversations with friends, which doesn’t normally happen. I’ve been exploring writing, too. I never get bored – there’s always something to do.

How did you find spending so much time with your husband?

My husband is my best friend, so being in lockdown with the person I love most in the world was no hardship.

You seem to have a very happy marriage. What’s your secret?

Conversation. I’m lucky in that he’s a psychotherapist and we’re interested in the same things – and we’re great talkers. I think I love him more now than I did when I met him – just in terms of having grown really well together. It’s not hard work, although relationships can be. I was lucky enough to meet somebody who’s on the same page as me.

MORE: EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley reveals how she slimmed down after giving her diet an overhaul

You’re 60 and you look amazing! How do you stay looking so young?

I’m trying – and it’s difficult – to just be me, growing older gracefully. TV is such a visual medium and I find it harder and harder to watch myself in HD. I’ll give myself a hard time – but I’m not going to pander to how we’re supposed to look. I don’t think women look great when they change their faces with poison – I think we have to explore the idea that age and wisdom is beauty. Having some lines – and laughter lines – just go to show that we’ve lived life.

Do you think you gained anything from lockdown that you might miss?

I was up and down with it at first, to be honest. At the beginning, I thought, ‘I need to slow myself down,’ because I try and do 25,000 projects all the time, and it’s been nice to think the thing I have had is time.

Your character in Bulletproof is very different from Carol Jackson. Have you been enjoying the contrast?

It’s totally different. The lovely thing about playing a character different from one with a family is that you don’t have a necessarily emotional context to it because it’s forensic. I loved playing Carol Jackson when I was on EastEnders – I absolutely did – but it’s so nice to be the boss. I like being bossy!

Bulletproof Series 2 and the 1-2 Box Set are out now on DVD & digital

Hayley is a Celebrity Features Editor with more than five years' experience in online and magazines. She currently looks after all things celebrity for Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly, Woman & Home, and Goodto.com. Before joining Future, Hayley spent a year as a TV reporter for Mirror Online and a year and a half as a showbiz and TV reporter for OK! Online - but was forced to write about tech and cars for a year before that, despite knowing nothing about either!.