What drew you to Dial M for Middlesbrough?
I'd seen the first two films and thought they were wonderful. It's a great show for UKTV Gold. They're smashing it out of the park with this. This is a mixture of Ealing comedy, Amicus horror and Carry On films, all of which I love. It was lovely to get the call.
Did you enjoy the script?
Definitely. The script made me laugh out loud, which is very unusual. It's so funny. It has all the best of The League of Gentlemen and Inside No. 9. Horror and darkness are made light by normalising them. That's where the comedy lies. It's very dark, but very funny in the same breath. I was on holiday when I got the script. My agent said, "Sorry to disturb you on holiday, but I think you should read this." I said, "I can't do it. It starts the day after I land." But as soon as I read it, of course, I said, "I'd love to do it!"
You've worked a lot with Johnny already, of course...?
Yes, I've been working with Johnny for six years, playing his wife in Still Open All Hours. I have just finished the latest series - he thinks I'm stalking him! He thinks I'm following him around - "You again? I have been with you since May. When will it end?" Johnny is a joy to work with. He's very clever and extremely funny. He comes up with ideas on set, and you think, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Have you enjoyed working with the other cast members too?
Absolutely. I've known Sian Gibson for 20 years - she's amazing. Annette Crosbie and Phil Davis are legends, and Jason Donovan is a joy. Everyone is gorgeous. It's lovely to work with such great people. It's been a very soft landing. It's a very happy place to be.
Tell us about your character.
Evie models herself on Alexis Carrington in Dynasty. She's far too over-dressed and over-made-up. She wears very expensive clothes, which is ridiculous given that she is running a low rent caravan park. She believes she is running a high-end holiday retreat, but there's nothing high-end or holiday about it.
What are her other traits?
She's tight as a clam. She won't spend any money on the caravan park. It's like that scene in Carry on Camping where everyone is charged a pound for everything.
Why are whodunnits so popular?
We love a murder mystery. We are obsessed with Agatha Christie and the idea that the murderer could be anyone. We love guessing. We also love escapism. There is a lot of brilliant, dark drama at the moment, like Line of Duty. But there is something joyous about a light, really funny whodunnit like Dial M for Middlesbrough.
What do you hope viewers' reaction will be to Dial M for Middlesbrough?
That it's fabulous. It's perfectly crafted and it's one of those things that people will watch again and again. I hope it will come on and two hours later people will be sitting there with their cup of tea going cold. I'm very excited to be part of it. It should be on prescription!