Michelle Keegan talks about her suffragette roots and armed forces cuts on Marr

Actress Michelle Keegan has said discovering more about the life of her suffragette great great grandmother and her links to the female suffrage movement’s leader Emmeline Pankhurst has changed her world view.

Keegan is set to appear in an episode of the BBC’s genealogy documentary series Who Do You Think You Are? on Wednesday.


Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Keegan said: “I’ve come from a very strong line of women, my grandma was very strong, my mum was very strong.

“It sort of makes sense that these women are part of me and it’s given me that oomph to go forward and represent strong women even more so.”

Keegan, 31, plays army medic Lance Corporal Georgie Lane in the drama series Our Girl.

She was asked by Marr whether she had received any comments about funding cuts to the armed forces as a result of appearing in the programme.

Keegan replied: “I have seen what’s been going on and I think the Government should be pumping more money into the British army, 100%.

“They not only fight for our country but they help countries all around the world.”

The former Coronation Street star said she often receives messages from young women on social media to tell her they have been inspired to join the military after watching Our Girl.

Marr suggested that the programme showed life in the army in an overly positive light, and therefore could be seen as a form of propaganda.

Michelle Keegan plays an army medic in BBC drama Our Girl (Ian West/PA)

Keegan replied: “No, I think when people think about the armed forces as people on the front line battling, fighting shooting guns when in fact they do a lot of humanitarian missions as well.

Keegan also rejected suggestions that the show is unrealistic as she wears make-up while portraying her character.

She said: “I have had comments about me wearing make-up but I’m actually not. I have tattooed eyebrows and straight people say ‘that’s not allowed in the army’.

“I can’t wipe them off! A lot of my make-up was down to a minimum.

“I’ve met girls who work in the army and are medics and they’ve told me ‘that’s normal, you’ve not done anything wrong there’. You’re still representing the country.”

Our Girl returns on June 5 on BBC One.

- Press Association

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