Actress Cheryl Fergison has revealed that she was determined to land her new role in Sky Living comedy The Spa – and was “chuffed” when she got the part.

The former EastEnder said that while she was sent a few scripts after leaving the soap, this one – from Benidorm creator Derren Litten – was the one she wanted.

“My agent rang me about this project or that, but I only wanted to know about this one,” she said of the show, which will see her play a gym member trying to lose weight.

Cheryl who will star alongside The Thick Of It’s Rebecca Front and Benidorm actor Tim Healy in the series, also admitted it had not been easy moving on from EastEnders.

“When they said I had to do an interview, I said, ‘I haven’t done one for five years!’ she revealed. “And here’s a sign of how old I was: for the first time ever I had to wear glasses in my read-through. That’s sad isn’t it?”

The 47-year-old, who played Heather Trott, left the soap in early 2012 after her character was murdered by Ben Mitchell – and she said that while she was initially disappointed to have been killed off, it was still a memorable exit from Walford.

“It was a shock when I found out she was going in that way, but then it was all explained to me, and they said it wasn’t about me or my acting,” Cheryl revealed.

“I have to say I’m pleased I went like that now. It’s a privilege to have gone in such a brilliant storyline – it was worth dying for!”