GLAMOUR girl Abi Titmus is turning her back on the image that found her fame – in a quest to be taken seriously as an actress.
The former nurse was regularly featured in lads’ mags in saucy poses and she became known as a girl who, ahem, certainly dressed down for the cameras.
Yet the newly clean-cut Abi says those days are far behind her.
However, her new theatre role is a little risqué – she plays a pole dancing teacher in comedy The Naked Truth.
But Abi is quick to add there’s no actual nudity in the play, heading to Manchester’s Opera House next week, co-starring Bury’s Lisa Riley and actress Emily Aston.
She tells me she’s spent months rehearsing: “I asked the director how good I needed to be at pole-dancing for this part, and he just looked at me and said: `extraordinary’.
“I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I threw myself into it and spent three months practising, before rehearsals for the play even started. It’s like an athletic sport it’s so tricky, but people just think of it with connotations of being in seedy clubs.
“I thought people might jump to conclusions with me pole dancing, so I was very aware that I needed to make it look as beautiful and graceful as possible.
“It just feels really nice to be good at something.”
Abi found fame as a glamour model after a relationship with controversial TV presenter John Leslie, but shelved the lads’ mag modelling to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an actress last year.
“I wasn’t happy,” she says. “So I decided I had to stop what I was doing, the whole celebrity side of things.
“I’ve taken a step back from all that now and want people to know I’m serious about acting. But I don’t think the world owes me a living, I auditioned for this job just like everybody else.”
And Abi has lofty acting ambitions: “I would love to do Shakespeare, to play Helena or Lady Macbeth.
“But I would also love to be involved in a TV drama – like Miss Marple or Poirot.”
Abi insists she has no regrets about her past.
“I’ve been through some huge highs and huge lows, but I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunities I have had.
“I’ve worked hard to maintain where I am. I never understood why it all happened to me, but it did and I’m very grateful for that. But I didn’t want to be famous just for being famous.”
The Naked Truth is at Manchester Opera House from June 8 to 13.