Which film star/musician/other figure do you admire?

Marlene Dietrich, because she was the epitome of glamour and a wonderful performer. I was lucky enough to see her on stage several times doing her one-woman show and I was mesmerised.

Do you remember the first record you bought – what was it, and where did you buy it?

It was a recording of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence doing a scene from Private Lives and singing Some Day I’ll Find You. I thought they were magic. I bought it from a little shop in the Charing Cross Road when I was a very new and young Soho chorus girl.

Tell us about any guilty pleasures lurking in your CD or film collections…

I am completely hooked on The Jeremy Kyle Show and record it secretly. All human life is there. But I must admit that when I see some of his guests it does slightly perturb me that they have a vote.

Is there a song or individual piece of music you always come back to?

Blue Moon. It’s the Manchester City anthem and successive generations of my family have sung this as our opposition’s supporters laughed at our defeats and blunders. Now suddenly we are singing it with pride as great teams tremble at our presence. Come on City!

What are you reading at the moment?

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I’m actually listening to it as an audio book on my iPad as I’m dyslexic and find it hard to read for pleasure. It has to be one of the great novels of the 20th century, certainly one of the greatest focusing on the First World War.

Is there a book/record/film/play/person that made you want to do what you do now?

My mother. If it hadn’t been for her I may never have gone into the theatre. Thanks to her I made my professional debut on stage at the age of three. She made Gypsy Rose Lee’s mum look like an amateur.

If you get a spare 30 minutes, how are you likely to spend it?

Texting. I have just learned to master it and only now realise what I have been missing. The spellcheck really helps me too. I’m fast becoming an addict.