I was a complete tomboy. I loved wandering out in storms or walking on the beaches in the dark. It was a very free upbringing, and I'm grateful to my parents for that.
I could suddenly see the pressures all around; these endless magazines and cheap reality TV programmes poking at women, humiliating us for every flaw. It makes me so angry. I really wonder what it is we are doing to ourselves, because I do think women can be the worst ones for picking each other apart.
I was taught by my father. He was head of the primary school so I went to his school until I was 11 - I was the youngest of four daughters and we had all been taught by him. But I didn't really enjoy my secondary education that much, probably because I am a very physical person and don't enjoy sitting at a desk all day.
But I didn't really enjoy my secondary education that much, probably because I am a very physical person and don't enjoy sitting at a desk all day. I just dragged myself through GCSE and A Levels, so it suited me very much to go on to drama school, which was very active.
I always start from scratch with a character - they're never based on anyone else. You get ideas of what people look like, and I'm a great people watcher. You can draw inspiration from people.
I'm becoming more squeamish. I didn't use to be - nine years of 'Silent Witness' prepared me for most things one will have the misfortune to see in life. Before, I'd be wading up to my neck in gore, but now I tend to look away.
I was on holiday recently and I came home to find that one of the papers here had 'bikini'd' me on the beach. I was wearing a grossly unflattering costume and they had published photographs of me taken from behind. I looked dreadful. I went into our local newsagent and bought up every copy.
I'd been gearing up to working in theatre since coming out of drama school, but it was an exciting time for TV drama - it was the birth of Channel 4, and Brookside was very cutting-edge at the time.
Forgotten was presented to me by the drama department at LWT as a concept and I found it immediately intriguing and very powerful. I was completely led by the power of the piece and its dramatic potential.
I still love coming into work everyday after so many years working as an actress. I've been working more or less continuously and I find I have to really want to do the project to make it work because you have to put such an enormous amount of effort into it.
I think you know what you're up against when you take on a piece that you know is going to involve dragging up a lot emotions - you can end up being deeply immersed in gloom.
I would never have changed anything in the past. I have been acting for 32 years now and I feel so lucky to be able to have done exactly what I wanted to do.