The ex-EastEnder dons a wig and gown to play a barrister in ITV1’s Law & Order: UK

What can you tell us about your character?
“I play a barrister and she’s a bit smug and a bit smarmy. She’s defending a robber and self-confessed killer!”

What was it like playing a barrister?
“I’ve never been in a courtroom for real, so we were told to watch what we can and do some research. But it seemed to me that being a barrister is a bit like being an actor. It’s almost like a show in the courtroom, so it felt much more normal for me than I expected.”

Did you feel different in the wig and gown?
“That’s so weird. You did feel a sense of authority in the wig and gown, but isn’t it strange that they’ve never updated that? You do feel that people give you a certain level of respect because of the wig.”

What else have you done recently?
“I’ve just finished the film of Great Expectations, it’s the first time I’ve done anything period. I loved wearing a corset! I love Downton. I’m doing Silent Witness at the moment, and we always joke about me having a cameo in Miranda. My husband [Tom Ellis] is in it and we thought I could come in and steal him away from her! Also I’ve had a few offers of musical theatre, which is great, but I have a family and… I’m open to it, but it has to be the right part.”

Would you ever go back to EastEnders?
“They’ve never asked me back! And I don’t know how I’d come back, I have no family. There’s only Phil or Ian… but yeah. Since then there’s been Red Cap, Hotel Babylon and The Fixer – I was gutted when The Fixer didn’t return, I thought it was one of ITV’s strongest dramas, but things move on.”

Law & Order: UK screens on Friday, January 13 at 8pm on ITV1