A BARRHEAD actress is taking on a new role during the coronavirus crisis by encouraging people to stay fit and healthy.

Kirsty MacLaren appeared in worldwide TV hit The Crown, playing the part of Princess Margaret’s dresser Violet.

The historical Netflix drama, which focuses on the Royal Family, saw her performing alongside the likes of Hollywood star Helena Bonham Carter.

But for her latest challenge, Kirsty has ditched period costume and donned Lycra instead.

She is leading live fitness sessions for East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure all the way from London, where she now lives.

Barrhead News: Kirsty played Violet in hit Netflix drama The CrownKirsty played Violet in hit Netflix drama The Crown

Kirsty, a former pupil at Cross Arthurlie Primary, agreed to help out as she has enjoyed many fitness classes at The Foundry over the years and is keen to give something back to the Barrhead community during the coronavirus crisis.

She told the Barrhead News: “I’ve attended classes at The Foundry since I was born and East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure gave me my first permanent classes teaching spin and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).

“I now cover classes when I’m back home, which is always so lovely.

“I’m currently living in London and working as an actress but I’m recording these classes for East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure to say thank-you for all the opportunities they gave me when I first became an instructor.

“I can’t wait to finally be able to come north of the border again and cover classes, as I miss everyone so much.”

Kirsty was first bitten by the acting bug as a child, starring as Pinocchio in her school play when she was in primary two.

She would go on to star in more leading roles at school and in shows staged by Paisley-based PACE Youth Theatre.

By the age of 11, Kirsty had appeared in hit Scottish TV comedy show Chewin’ the Fat, alongside Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, of Still Game fame.

Then, in 2015, she was cast as Manda in the comedy Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, which proved to be a hit on stage, both in the UK and internationally, winning an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2017.

In her new role supporting East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s free fitness programme, Kirsty is leading online classes in the likes of Body Balance, Body Attack and Dance Fit. She is also a qualified Spin instructor.

Kirsty said: “It’s been great to be able to connect with participants even though I’m so far away.

“I love teaching for East Renfrewshire when I can.”

To take part in the free fitness classes, which are running every weekday during lockdown, visit here.