Alison Steadman to play her mother in tonight's Little Crackers on Sky 1

Steadman stars in the drama she wrote herself about the day she met The Beatles in Liverpool aged 16

Alison Steadman is well-known as Essex matriarch Pamela in Gavin & Stacey, but tonight she will play her own mother in Sky 1’s Little Crackers, the series in which actors write and star in comedy dramas about incidents from their own lives.

Little Crackers: The Cavern is about the day 16-year-old Steadman met The Beatles. As a Liverpool teenager Steadman was a fan of the fab four and often went to see them perform at the Cavern before they hit the big time.

After a Beatles gig teenage Steadman failed to get John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s signature but managed to track them down in the Liverpool town centre Post Office instead.

She says: “Paul wrote ‘To Alison with love from Paul’ but then said ‘Give us that back a minute, I better put The Beatles because in the future someone is going to look at that and say, ‘Who the bloody hell is Paul?’

“He was so unused to signing autographs at that point, and he spelt my name wrong too. I didn’t care though- I got his autograph.” John Lennon also signed an autograph for Steadman with a dip-ink nib pen.

Steadman enjoyed filming her episode of Little Crackers, but told The Mirror it brought back memories of her mother Marjorie who died of cancer 17 year ago. She is also due to play Paul O’Grady’s mum in his Little Cracker episode on Wednesday, where she sits in bed with a headscarf, one big roller and no make-up on.

The 66-year-old actress has no qualms about playing older women, and has never been tempted to go under the knife like some of her contemporaries.  “People are free to do whatever they want, but I think it’s so sad when women seem to think that they have to have botox or a breast implant,” she says.

“Why should we have to have these things? I think you should value who you are- and women of a certain age can look great without it all.”

Her role as Pamela in Gavin & Stacey certainly seems to have won over fans. She says, “When I go shopping I’ll hear a voice shout from over the road, going ‘Pamelaaar’, which is funny."

The actress hinted that another episode of Gavin & Stacey might be on the cards, but is unlikely to happen due to the hectic schedules of the cast. “What we’d really like is some kind of special episode. That would be great, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Everyone’s so busy.”

Little Crackers: The Cavern airs tonight, December 17 at 9m on Sky 1 HD.