PHYLLIS LOGAN, playing the lead role in Love and Reason (Wed 9.25pm BBC2), a new drama about a rising politician, was offered advice in playing the part from Clare Short MP. Logan says: 'I imagined that with party politics, there's always got to be a compromise with your high ideals, but she assures that needn't be the case and you can stick by your principles. We went to the House and had a drink and a chat in the Strangers' Bar. It was interesting as it seemed just like a club - you see them slag each other off in Question Time but they're more matey-matey outside it. It showed me that compassion plays quite a large part of it: they're not as hard as they seem.

'Clare said that as far as making speeches goes, you might look super-confident, but you're not - she suggested I should let that show . . . She managed to predict quite a lot of the story without having read the script, so it must be mostly quite believable.

'She obviously made quite an impression as I lost the idea that politicians have to have an aura or aloofness about them. She's so open, friendly and kind; we all came out of the Commons saying that we were in love with her.'