Holby City‘s superbitch Connie Beauchamp is back, and actress Amanda Mealing couldn’t be happier!

How does it feel to be back?
“I really missed it. It was lovely to have time off. It was the longest I’ve spent with my children in six years – I had three months off. Holby’s like a family to me, I’ve spent more time with them than my own real family.”

What did you do with your time off?
“I did have ideas of doing loads of things over the summer with the kids but they went back to school and we just settled into a routine. Then I went to Bangladesh. I am an ambassador for Save The Children, I went out there for over a week. Then I came back and spoke at the Labour conference about Save The Children. David Milliband was my warm-up guy! I did lots – I can’t sit still.”

Last time we saw Connie she was a high flyer at a private hospital in London. Why does she come back to Holby in the end?
“It looks pretty good her life, but for all her glamour and social climbing, Connie’s father was a socialist. In her heart she’s an NHS doctor. She believes that it should be free to everyone. She has this amazing life, it’s easy but she’s not as free. She has to conform. She doesn’t have the freedom to pursue her projects. And she misses her rows!”

Her nemesis Vanessa Lytton is still there though…
“She asked Michael to give her Vanessa’s head on a plate. Once she knows that that is what she’s going to get eventually, that’s why she comes back.”

With the time you spent in politics recently, do you think Connie would make a good politician?
“I would love to do a shoot-off series of Connie going into politics – what I have seen she’d be great at that, the power play and the fights. The drama is amazing. I love stuff like The Thick Of It, and it is very much like that.”

What other projects do you have up your sleeve?
“I’m doing a bike ride across Cambodia for Save the Children, with a team of girls – me, Davina McCall, Sadie Frost, Patsy Kensit, Patsy Palmer. We’ll cycle as much as we can and stop off at Save The Children centres to see the work they’re doing.”