Why do you think this series has proved so popular?
The cast draws people in. If I was a viewer, it would certainly draw me in. It's just very easy viewing. I also hope people love the relationship between Terry and Gemma. It's great family viewing as well. It's something you can sit and watch as a family. My mum and aunties love it. It's very rare that you get a comedy which appeals across the generations like this.
At the beginning of Dial M for Middlesbrough, where are Gemma and Terry at?
In the first film, Terry was trying to win Gemma over. In the second film, it was early days in their relationship. In the third film, they are still together.
It must be great collaborating with Johnny Vegas...?
It is just such a joy working with Johnny. You know it's going to be four weeks of non-stop laughs. When we first met, we hit it off straight away. We have a great friendship outside of this little world. He is a really good friend, and my scenes with him are so easy. I just love working with him.
Why do viewers enjoy the relationship between Gemma and Terry so much?
The fact that Johnny and I have a great relationship translates onto the screen. Working together feels very natural. The beauty of these films is that while everything else is larger-than-life, Johnny and I try to play the truth of the situation. We are the Everymen.
Why do you think Gemma and Terry are together?
There's a real common ground between them. They laugh at the same things. They have the same sense of humour and a real understanding of each other. It was a gradual falling in love, but he caught her attention at a time when she needed it. Also, Terry is so loveable. It's easy to see why Gemma would fall for him.
Would you like to make more films set on a Draper's Tour?
Absolutely. I would love to do more. I love how every year we get a different cast. That's one of the most exciting things about it - although we do feel traitorous because every year we miss the cast from the year before. We really bond every year. Then, just before the shoot, Johnny and I will say, "Who's in the cast?" and the actors are always great. This year we've got Jason Donovan, for God's sake!
Talking of Jason, what was it like working with him?
That's the real reason I did this! Can you believe it? It's Jason Donovan! Who'd have thought it? We're all very starstruck. He's gorgeous. When we were younger, he was a sensation. He was a beautiful, exotic Australian hunk, and now we are all reliving our late teens. I can't get sacked now, but the casting of Jason was meant to be confidential. However, I've been telling all the mums at school about it, and I've never been so popular. I've never had so many text messages from other mums!
How have you been behaving yourself around him?
I have been pretending that I'm really not fazed that it is Jason Donovan and trying to act cool around him. We tried to make his character not look as handsome as he is, but it's not working. Terry says to Gemma, "I've got no chance with him around!"
Why is Dial M for Middlesbrough ideal Christmas fare?
It's a brilliant family show. When the first film came out, I showed it to a few friends. I didn't actually think it would be their cup of tea - it's not Breaking Bad. But they all said, "This is perfect Christmas viewing." Christmas is a time when you want to relax and be entertained and watch something funny together. Hopefully people will know they're getting great stuff - and Jason Donovan! Who is not going to turn their telly on for that? I would!