SHE’S the lady who’ll forever be a Prisoner — and who found a devoted fan in Reggie Kray.
Actress Amanda Muggleton, London-born but who has spent much of her life in Australia, has enjoyed a fabulous career in all kinds of roles for more than 40 years.
However, it’s for her portrayal of notorious Chrissie Latham in Prisoner: Cell Block H that she is still best-known, a fact she’s reminded of on her regular trips back to Blighty.
“Prisoner fans are so loyal,” Amanda reveals.
“I turned up to do an hour at the BBC recently, and they had seen on Twitter that I was here and they all turned up.
“It’s incredible. They took loads of photos, and then I had to go in.
“When I left the BBC again, they’d all got their photos developed so I could sign them!
“Honestly, I left Prisoner in about 1982, so I can’t get over the fact that I am still talking about it now!”
As Chrissie Latham was a right piece of work, jailed for fraud and prostitution, and got into many a scrape behind bars and even fell pregnant to a prison warder, her enduring popularity is baffling.
What you might make of her biggest fan, however, is beyond baffling.
“I walked into a hotel once,” she reveals, “and the man who owned it said: ‘Oh, my God! Are you Chrissie Latham from Prisoner: Cell Block H? There’s someone I know who’d love to talk to you. Just a minute!’
“He got on the phone and said: ‘Reggie, you won’t believe who I’ve got here.’ He asked if I’d mind speaking to his friend, I asked who it was, and he said it was Reggie Kray.
“He was in prison for life, of course.
“‘I can’t believe it!’ he said. ‘Are you honestly Chrissie? Say something!’
“I said one of her lines, and he said: ‘We love you here, your photos are all over the walls in the cell.’
“He said: ‘You’ve got lovely legs, love, and I love your hair, I love your face. And it’s cos you’re British, innit? We’ve all been arguing about whether you’re British or Aussie.’ He begged me to meet him, but I didn’t.”
In an amazing career, Amanda has met many interesting men, such as Mick Jagger, but there’s a third bloke she would really love to fancy her as much as Kray did.
Brilliant British author Martin Amis, son of Sir Kingsley Amis, features in her latest stage play, and it’s fair to say her passion for him equals Reggie Kray’s passion for her!
“The Book Club is a play where he is mentioned a bit,” adds Amanda.
“It’s about a middle-aged woman who’s bored with her life, her children have left home, her husband is going through a ‘manopause’ desperately trying to find his youth and is running a marathon and training like mad.
“Consequently, I, as the wife, never see him. So I join a book club, and they all take it in turn to have it in their houses.
“When it’s my turn, I invite a male writer to my house, and as it’s all women, this puts the cat among the pigeons.
“My character has fancied Martin Amis for years, and I think Martin is drop-dead gorgeous.
“If he turned up to see the show, my heart would be missing a beat!”
You can see the remarkable Amanda Muggleton in The Book Club at London’s King’s Head Theatre until November 5.
Call the box office for tickets on 0207 226 8561 or visit www.kingsheadtheatre.com