“The Peckham Boot Gang are three troublemakers that have ended up together - and in a gang they can cause even more havoc. Al’s very aggressive; she likes a good fight. She’s controlled by Maxi (Kerry Norton) and does anything Maxi tells her. She’s just always been in trouble and she likes a scrap. She’s nothing like me! I’ve never had a fight in my life, ever.
“This is a dream come true. I was in my first year at Reid Kerr College in Paisley doing an HND in acting and performance. One day the teacher said ‘There’s some auditions here on Saturday, they’re looking for a butch dyke.’ So I was kind of horrified at being put up for that! At that stage I didn’t know it was Bad Girls but went along anyway. When I found out it was Bad Girls I nearly died because I loved the series. I think they wanted Al to come from Scotland so they could get someone with a hard accent. When I was auditioning, I did it as an in-your-face, aggressive, angry evil bitch! Obviously that’s what they liked!”
Pauline now sports a half-inch crew cut for her character Al: “It was very daunting as I had long hair. I was told right away that the character would have a closely shaved head of hair, but when you go to an audition and they tell you ‘You’ll need to do this’ they could tell you to go the moon and you’d be like ‘Aye, no problem!’. So I said ‘Fair enough’, but it wasn’t until I was sitting in the chair and I saw the scissors, I just thought ‘Nooooooo!’. I’ve never had short hair and it’s been a bit of a shock! I met my mate from Glasgow yesterday, who I hadn’t seen in ages, and I was at Victoria waiting for him and he stepped off the train and he just walked right by me. It was mental. He went ‘Oh my God, Oh my God!’ and I said ‘Is it that bad?’ He can’t talk, he’s bald. I wear it a bit differently from Al, though. I don’t have that kind of Ronan Keating tufty bit!
“My mum likes it. When I got home from the first audition, I was telling her all about it: ‘Mum, you’ll never guess, it’s for Bad Girls…’ and she was really excited. When I told her that if I got it I’d have to get my hair cut, she said ‘Well, you’re not doing it then – even if you get it, there’s no way…no, no, no.’ But then when I got it she was jumping about with excitement and I reminded her ‘But Mum, I’ve got to get my hair cut…’ and she just went ‘So? It’ll grow back!’
“This is the first time I’ve been to London other than a wee school trip when I was sixteen. To begin with it was dead daunting but I really love it now. Vic [Bush, who plays Tina] helped me to find a flat near her. One of my flatmates is in Blood Brothers in the West End and it’s all just great!”
Nineteen year old Pauline Campbell is from Clydebank, Scotland, and her role as Al McKenzie is her first professional acting role! Studying drama at Reid Kerr College, she was spotted and asked to audition for Bad Girls. Within days of auditioning she found herself moving to London and carrying on her college course by correspondence!