Jane Horrocks has revealed how she cooked up inspiration for her latest comedy role – by watching Come Dine With Me.

The Absolutely Fabulous actress, who played airhead personal assistant Bubble in the early Nineties sitcom, is soon to be seen as aspiring supermarket boss Julie in upcoming Sky1HD comedy Trollied.

Jane had a eureka moment while preparing for her role as Julie – who she describes as “a big snob who is incredibly ambitious” – when she caught an episode of Channel 4’s irreverent reality show.

She said: “The episode was set in Stoke-on-Trent and there was this character called Tracey who I thought was a real snob. She got things so wrong but was so dismissive of the other competitors.

“So she’s on my screensaver on my computer and was absolutely what I thought Julie would be.”

The actress, who also counts Shakespeare character Lady Macbeth and 1930s singer Gracie Fields among her stage and screen roles, leapt at the chance to play jobsworth Julie as soon as she read the script.

“I really wanted to do it, which I’ve not felt about anything for a long time, to be honest,” she said.

And, when she found out that The Office producer Ash Atalla was on board, nothing was going to stop her getting the role.

She said: “I would have been very cross if someone else had played the part. I saw that as a very good sign.”

Trollied, which also stars Mark Addy and Rita May, begins on August 4 on Sky1HD.