Ambreen Razia (Penny)

Ambreen Razia has written and starred in her own BBC sitcom, Hounslow Diaries, so she’s no stranger to comedy, but how did she find working on Dial M for Middlesbrough?

Ambreen Razia (Penny)

What drew you to Dial M for Middlesbrough?

The writing. It's just a really, really fun Christmas show. It's a family Cluedo crime horror murder mystery thriller comedy. It's also got a fantastic combination of diverse actors. When I was making it, I learnt a lot and I laughed a lot. Being one of the youngest actors on set, it was such an honour to be part of that brilliant ensemble. I also loved working with Ed Bye, who is an incredible director.

How did you find working with Johnny Vegas?

It was fantastic. Some of the stuff he does is incredible. He never does the same thing twice. You think you know a scene, but he always surprises you by doing something completely different. You don't know what's coming next with him, and that's thrilling. In fact, the improvisation that all the actors brought was very exciting. The director really allowed us to do totally different things. We were playing on this job.

Did you also enjoy working with Sian?

Absolutely. She's amazing. She's so incredibly professional and very generous. Gemma is the character that everyone can relate to amongst all these mad people. She provides the sanity in the whole show and grounds it. Witnessing Sian and Johnny working off each other was astonishing. Because they have worked together for so long, their chemistry is wonderful to watch.

Talk us through your character, Penny.

Penny and her boyfriend Phil have won a holiday to this awful caravan park. She is used to five-star hotels and doesn't like this place at all. She is constantly going on at her boyfriend and moaning to him about leaving. He is totally under her thumb. She wears the trousers. She's from Essex - if you think of some of the characters from The Only Way is Essex, that's what she's like! She's great!

Why is Dial M for Middlesbrough such good Christmas fare?

It's a really fun show for all the family to watch together. It's a murder mystery that keeps you guessing, and it's also a great laugh. I'll watch it with my family at Christmas. You have to watch it with a lot of people and a lot of Celebrations. Every time someone gets murdered, you have to eat a chocolate!