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Innocent star Katherine Kelly reveals why she stepped back from acting in candid interview

The actress is starring as the lead in the new series

innocent episode 1
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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Katherine Kelly is a familiar face on our TV screens thanks to her many brilliants roles in credits such as Cheat, Coronation Street and Criminal: UK.

And now, the star is set to star as the lead in a brand new series of ITV's Innocent as Sally Wright, a former teacher who was wrongly accused of murder and is looking to repair her reputation.

MORE: ITV's Innocent: the story so far ahead of new series

Although Katherine has many a notable roles to her name, it seems the actress has, in recent years, been more selective with the parts she says yes to and has moved away from a busy filming schedule for a particular reason.

WATCH: Innocent returns to ITV starring Katherine Kelly

Speaking to HELLO! and other press ahead of the new show, Katherine explained: "I've always been of the attitude that I would rather be a smaller part in something good than the lead in something crap, I don't have that ego. For me, it's about quality not quantity. I've turned down jobs when I just feel like I've just got a bit too much on."

She continued: "There was a time when I'd be filming by day and doing a [theatre] show by night. And then I just felt like I wasn't given either my 100 per cent and I just found that really dissatisfying and I didn't enjoy it as much.

"So I kind of stopped doing that. I was going from job to job and a lot of things came at once and when I didn't have a family I could say 'Yes'. It becomes a very small world moving from set to set and it's not real, and you want to represent real."

Katherine's role in Innocent might be new for viewers, but the drama's premise isn't. The first series focused on a different story and saw Line of Duty's Lee Ingleby play husband David who was accused of killing his wife. In the second instalment, Katherine will play Sally, a teacher who is accused of murdering pupil Matty Taylor after he's found brutally stabbed.

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katherine kelly innocent© Photo: ITV

Katherine Kelly plays Sally Wright in the new series

Unlike series one, viewers of series two will know straight away that Sally is innocent as evidence is brought forward that enables her freedom, but doesn't repair her reputation.

The four episodes will detail Sally's journey in piecing her life back together again after losing everything – her job, husband and home.

Plenty of other familiar TV stars appear in series two, which airs its four episodes over consecutive nights this week. Marcella's Jamie Bamber will play Katherine's estranged husband, Sam, while Press actor Priyanga Burford plays his new partner. Shaun Dooley (It's A Sin, The Stranger) and Amy-Leigh Hickman also appear.

Innocent starts on Monday 17 May at 9pm on ITV. 

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