Ahead of her appearance in the long-running soap Coronation Street later in July, Sarah Harding has opened up about her role and revealed she "got to give Tracy [Barlow] a slap".

The former Girls Aloud singer will play Barlow's ex-husband's new wife Joni and she is said to only be featuring in the series for just a few episodes but it seems as if she is set to start up some controversial storylines during her stint.

"I was thrown in at the deep end, I really was," the 33-year-old told Digital Spy. "I started filming on the first day with Kate Ford who plays Tracy. She is the complete opposite of her character, she's so lovely. I did scenes with Kate, Tristan Gemmill who plays Robert [Preston, her husband] and Lisa George who plays Beth. It was really nerve-wrecking."

Despite the on-screen animosity, Harding admitted they still had a good time on set. "I got to give Tracy a slap! I'd be screaming and shouting at her, but as soon as they said 'cut' we'd be laughing and giggling! It was good fun."

Talking about her character, Harding said Joni "is constantly in Tracy's shadow". The former Girls Aloud singer added: "She is living a lie really and trying to believe that Robert will fall madly in love with her over time, but he's never really lost that torch for Tracy. She is shocked when she sees them together and there are fireworks!"

Even though she's best-known for her music career, Harding has dabbled in acting before working on titles such as St Trinian's 2: The Legend Of Fritton's Gold and TV movie Freefall.

"Corrie is very fast-paced. You have to learn on the spot sometimes. But with films, you have a lot longer to do read-throughs and run-throughs," she replied when asked what the difference was between working on movies and TV shows. "It's very different with soaps, so for me it's been a learning curve and it's not always been easy but I'm so glad I've done it. It's been a massive honour as well, because Corrie is one of my favourite soaps."