A new character to be introduced in series 3 of Bad Girls is Buki Lester, a sixteen-year-old prostitute and crack user, being played by Kim Oliver.
In her very first TV role joining the cast of Bad Girls could have been quite daunting for some actors: “I was lucky because I had already met Alicya Eyo (who plays Denny Blood) and Lindsey Fawcett (playing Shaz Wylie) when I came for my wardrobe fittings. We went out for a drink and had a laugh so I had got over that “new girl” bit because I had already met my cellmates! They took me under wing and said “this is our cell” and I thought, this is fantastic.”
Kim is already a favourite on set, for bringing in her special recipe Pumpkin Pie for the cast! “It makes me sound like teacher’s pet but we were just talking one day and I said I’d make a pie. So then the following week when I came in I brought this sweet Pumpkin Pie and it went down very well – Lindsey brought the cream to go with it!”
Kim sees her new role as a challenge, “Buki is serving her time in prison for GBH. She’s kind of got to where she is because, in her case, society has failed her and she has ended up in care and then falls into prostitution and drugs. She’s very young and it’s getting the balance of playing her as a sixteen year old but as someone who is older than her years – so much has already happened in her life. She’s a loose cannon, loves a laugh but she is also on crack so she has bad days. And there are plenty of other problems to deal with… she self-mutilates. I had to do that on my first week and I had such a bad headache as it was very intense. From the research I have done, it seems that women who self-mutilate don’t tend to be attention-seeking. Buki makes sure she does it in places where it will never be seen. The pressure builds up inside and that’s how she releases it.”
Kim comes from West Yorkshire and has worked in theatre including the Royal Court.