Actress Stephanie Beacham has said that her character in Sky One sitcom Trollied is the meanest person she has ever played on screen.

The 65-year-old, who has joined the cast of the supermarket set show as tough manager Lorraine, admitted that she had never played anybody quite as unpleasant.

“She’s a cow. The other day she was so horrid to Jane Horrocks’s character that it quite upset me,” Stephanie said. “But she’s no-nonsense, and Jane’s character is all fluffy and annoying and she definitely annoys Lorraine.”

However Stephanie – who auditioned for the role via iPad in Los Angeles – said the part was “a fabulous change of pace from anything I’ve ever done before”.

“Lorraine doesn’t have time for mascara,” Stephanie revealed. “She does her eye liner at the bus stop or traffic lights. She thinks she’s glamorous, but she has one tired old suit that we had to hire, and T-shirts that cost £6.

“It took every bit of lack of ego for me to have the one button with the pulled fabric – the suit fitted her a little better a few years ago.”

She admitted also that the role was partly inspired by Dragon’s Den’s Hilary Devey.

It’s got one eighth of her in it,” she said. The actress, who had to look up the entrepreneur on the internet, added: “Lorraine’s not meant to be Hilary Devey but she was definitely part of the inspiration for her.”