My secret life: Freema Agyeman, actress, 29

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The Independent Online

The flat I grew up in ... was on the Woodberry Down estate near Manor House, in north London. When I first came into the spotlight, a lot of dodgy stuff was written about it in the papers. I felt really defensive. I had a brilliant time there.

The moment that changed me for ever ... was when my brother was born. I was eight years old and had always been the baby, getting away with not doing much. Suddenly there was a small person to look after. I grew up at that moment.

My greatest inspiration ... is my mum. She's supported me in every decision I've ever made.

My real-life villain ... is any shop that sells fur.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd be able to manage my time better. I constantly make lists and itineraries, and then can't stick to any of them.

At night I dream of ... quite erotic subjects at the moment. In my defence, I do tell my boyfriend as soon as I open my eyes.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... is a rapidly ageing fuzz-bucket. Sometimes I have to give myself a talking to in the mirror; about chilling out, taking life in my stride.

My style icon ... I appreciate individualism. My own style is one of not much effort.

The shop I can't walk past ... is Urban Outfitters. Whether it's for the kitchen or my wardrobe, there's so much going on in there. I've taken to shopping on their website.

My favourite item of clothing ... is an old Adidas tracksuit. I put it on way too often; my boyfriend had to tell me to change my clothes the other day.

I wish I'd never worn ... the same tracksuit, far too often.

It's not fashionable but I like ... curling up during the day and watching 'Murder She Wrote' and 'Diagnosis Murder'. Not very cool.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... being fiercely organised, in theory. I'm a serial list-maker, but it always goes hideously wrong as I never get any of it done. I have great potential organisational skills.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... losing. I've been playing pool a lot with my boyfriend recently and I'm a bit of a sore loser. I need to work on that.

All my money goes on ... the flat I bought with my boyfriend. We've been there a year and a half now, but there's always something to spend money on. It's endless.

If I have time to myself ... I go for self-indulgent, pampering stuff, which helps me relax. I only unwind at facials and massages.

I ride ... the Tube: you can't beat it for speed.

My flat is ... a duplex in a house conversion. It has black walls, with white and brown furniture. There's funky retro wallpaper upstairs, and in our bedroom. And I've kitted the spare room out like a doll's house.

My most valuable possession is ... my Filofax.

My favourite building ... I'm intrigued by Battersea Power Station. It's so incongruous, almost ugly, but it has so much street-cred. What a strange structure.

Movie heaven ... 'The Matrix' (part one), 'Labyrinth' with David Bowie, and 'Napoleon Dynamite'.

A book that changed me ... was 'The Mill on the Floss' by George Eliot. It was the first time I absolutely broke down and bawled unashamedly over a book; I was wracked with emotion. Now I seek out sad books and films for a good cry.

My favourite work of art ... is the 'Venus de Milo'. I was in Paris [at the Louvre] recently and stood staring at it for ages, and I couldn't work out why. It is fabulously odd. The best invention ever ... is the car.

The last album I bought/downloaded ...My sister's boyfriend bought me Heather Hedley's album. I became obsessed with the 'Lion King' musical and fell for Hedley's version of one of the songs.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Michael McIntyre. I saw him at the South Bank Show Awards and thought I knew him – I'd taken him into my heart. I think he noticed I was staring too much, but I didn't have the guts to say hello.

In 10 years' time, I hope to ... be in show business, doing what I love, to be a mum, and living somewhere close to my family.

My greatest regret ... It's healthy to rationalise the choices you've made but I'm more likely to regret the way I've behaved than a choice I've made.

My life in seven words ... Happy, hectic, family-orientated, challenging, unglamorous, blessed.

A life in brief

The actress Freema Agyeman was born in London in March 1979, and is best known for playing Dr Who's assistant Martha Jones, opposite David Tennant, in the BBC TV series. She lives in north London with her boyfriend and will star in the UK version of hit US cop show Law and Order on ITV at the end of the month

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