What TV programme do you never miss?
Homeland. And not just because a friend of mine, Alexander Cary, wrote some of it. I’m so excited about the second series.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Deal or No Deal. I’m magnetised by people’s greed. They come on with no money whatsoever and suddenly get desperately sad when they lose 50,000. What 50 grand, honey? You never had it. Tell Noel now, I want to be on the celebrity version. I want to see how I react.
Which TV programme would you resurrect?
I think it would be great to bring back Dynasty. Joan Collins and I would be the two matriarchs and get all the kids to do our dirty work. That would be “must-watch TV”.
What makes you blush?
I caught a glimpse of the Channel 4 programme Embarrassing Bodies but I wouldn’t watch it again. I’m just so uninterested in people’s STTs or whatever you call them.
What do you enjoy on the radio?
John Humphrys or, if I want to get mindless, country and western music. I used to make up my own lyrics; [breaks into song in a perfect southern drawl] “I bore your children, now I’m boring you.”
You play supermarket manager Lorraine in Trollied. Did you base her on anyone?
I admit I looked up Dragons Den’s Hilary Devey on the internet. I don’t know anyone north of St Albans so while it’s not meant to be Hilary, she was part of the inspiration for Lorraine, because she’s a great northern character.
Have you ever worked in a shop?
During the school holidays I worked for two weeks in the Barnet branch of Boots. In the rest room, the girls were so possessive of their stools or their mugs. I have never met such bitches! But it prepared me for Hollywood.
Are there any programmes that you would like to appear on?
I’d love to present my two favourite comedy shows, Have I Got News for You and Would I Lie to You?
How much would it take for you to sign up for I’m a Celebrity… ?
An enormous amount. A million for hard-of-hearing dogs and a million for me.
You were in the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2010 have you kept in touch with any of your fellow inmates?
I’ve had some contact with Vinnie Jones, but not as much as I would have liked. And Ivana Trump kindly invited me to one of her 65 homes in the south of France. She was terribly bossy but I liked her a lot.
Would you do it again?
Oh yes, I loved it. I thought I would last a day but incredibly I lasted a month. There’s much more bossing around from Big Brother than viewers realise. It was very much like being in a convent – there was poverty, chastity and obedience and it was rather wonderful.
Who would play you in a biopic of your life?
Joanne Whalley. I like her as an actress but she’s also got a great look. I’d also love to play Catherine Zeta-Jones’s mum. There’s a real likeness between us. If she needs a mother, I’m here!
QUICKFIRE Q & A
1. Graham Norton or Alan Carr?
2. Midsomer Murders or The Killing?
The Killing. Midsomer is one of those things you watch and think, “God is that still on?”
3. Michael Parkinson or Jay Leno?
4. Corrie or Eastenders?
5. Towie or Made in Chelsea?
Neither! I have no need for spray tans in my life.
Stephanie Beacham stars in Trollied, 9.00pm Fridays on Sky1