Joanna Lumley talks about her role as Katie’s bossy mother in the new series of BBC1’s Mistresses

What’s your character, Vivienne, in Mistresses like?
“Vivienne appears to be a bit of a cold fish. She seems to be selfish, critical of Katie and not very motherly – but soon all things are revealed. There’s a lot of good stuff coming up!”

When do we first see her in the show?
“Quite early on. It’s a bit of a nightmare for Katie – she just turns up on her doorstep and pitches up!”

Does she get on well with any of the other girls?
“All Vivienne’s scenes are pretty much with Katie. You begin to get the idea that Katie’s childhood, while it was happy, had some secrets and strangeness in it, and that they never really got on. It’s quite tense and very well written.”

Do you think the audience will get a better sense of Katie as a result of her mother’s appearance?
“Absolutely! They get a real insight into why Katie is Katie, in a funny way.”

Do we ever find out anything about Vivienne’s personal life?
“You hear about her personal life, but you don’t actually see anything of it because it’s very much the girls’ story. But it all begins to come out and unravel. And then you think: ‘Oh hang on… Oh that must have been… Oh…’ So that’s lovely.”

Do you think fans of Mistresses will like Vivienne?
“I think the audience will be intrigued. I hope they will anyway!”

*Mistresses begins on Tuesday, August 3 at 9pm on BBC1