Beth Cordingly is best known for her three years as PC Kerry Young in The Bill and most recently as raunchy girl from Redhill, Veronica, in Charlie Brooker’s Big Brother spoof, Dead Set.

She was born in Brighton and attended Brighton And Hove High School before moving to the Midlands to read English and drama at Birmingham University.

She returns to TV screens this autumn in Material Girl, a drama about the fashion world for the BBC, and in the new series of Merlin.

She is currently in Brighton starring in Graham Greene’s satirical spy-caper Our Man In Havana at the Theatre Royal. You can see her today (November 7) at 2.30pm and 7.45pm, call 08448 71650.

Is there a performer who first made you think ‘I want to do that’?

When I was a little girl I loved Judy Garland.

I used to have a tape of hers I loved singing along to. I love the old, classic stuff. I then went through a phase of loving Marilyn Monroe and when I was a teenager, 13 or 14, I went through a Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman phase.

Do you remember the first record you bought?

It Must Have Been Love by Roxette. How embarrassing! But I was so proud of myself at the time.

Tell us about the guilty pleasures lurking in your music or film collections...

I really love country music, which is generally considered a bit naff, but I don’t think Dolly Parton is naff at all. Kenny Rogers, however... I went to see him in concert in Birmingham. I did happen to be quite near at the time, in Manchester. He was brilliant. I love him!

What’s your favourite film and why?

Notting Hill. I love Richard Curtis and I think Notting Hill was the perfect film. It’s got Julia Roberts, so it sounds like I’m obsessed with her, but I’m not. It’s just a brilliant film. It’s really clever, it’s beautifully directed and it has a great script.

Which TV programme couldn’t you live without?

I could probably live without any. I live on a boat in East London and we have a telly of sorts, but I don’t watch a great deal of it because you have to use the computer to watch it. Everything is a bit basic on the boat. I couldn’t live without Radio 4, though. That’s what wakes me up in the morning.

Favourite album?

Dolly Parton’s new album Backwoods Barbie. I love her music and her voice, but she is also a wonderful person. One of the songs on that album is very witty and says “Don’t judge me by my cover because I’m a real good book”. Philip Franks [from Our Man In Havana] and I were talking the other day about whenever you’re feeling a bit low, you put on 9 To 5, and you’re feeling jolly again. Aside from her talents, I love the way she is so open, you know, “This is who I am and this is where I come from”.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m reading Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I’ve just finished reading Experience by Martin Amis and I realised I hadn’t read enough Kingsley Amis. I’m writing a comedy novel at the moment and I thought that Kingsley Amis would be a good place to start for inspiration. I’ve also just finished reading Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene, which has made me want to read more of his books. I will read The End Of The Affair after Lucky Jim.

What’s your favourite thing about Brighton?

I feel like myself when I’m here. I think it’s the atmosphere. It’s very laid back, but also very creative. Whenever I come in on a train or I am driving through the Downs, I can feel my shoulders relax. There’s just a much more relaxed attitude. I’m sure the sea helps, having that openness. If I need to think or chill out I always head to Brighton and go for a walk along the beach. I love the North Laine. In my gap year I worked at Komedia as a marketing officer.

I love all the cafes and bars.

What’s your favourite Graham Greene book?

I’m in love with Our Man In Havana because he just writes such wonderful, rounded characters. I’ve fallen in love with Beatrice. Greene writes strong, but very sensitive, interesting people. I’ve been told The End Of The Affair is amazing, so I’ll be reading that next, and Brighton Rock, which I read a long time ago, is brilliant.