The 5-minute Interview: Mary Tamm, Actress

'I'm a raver on the quiet. I find that gay clubs play the best music'
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The Independent Online

Mary Tamm, 57, was Lady Romana in the 1978 'Doctor Who' series Key To Time. She has since appeared in a string of television hits, and played Penny Crosby in 'Brookside' from 1993 to 1996. Today, her Lady Romana can be seen again with the DVD release of Doctor Who: Key To Time.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

On my computer, probably defragmenting or something. I am a bit of a computer nerd you see. I'm self-taught and fascinated by how they work.

A phrase I use far too often ...

"Can I get a discount on that?" or "Can I get it cheaper?" I even try it at Harrods. There's no harm in asking.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Recycling. I'm a bit of a green nut. I go to the supermarket with my own bags and it drives me mad seeing people grabbing for the plastic. I have even said in a loud voice, "I've brought my own bag." Some people look but I don't care. We have to fight for the environment.

The most surprising thing that happened to me ...

Becoming a grandmother. I feel too young to be one. I feel like I am 16.

A common misconception of me is ...

People think I'm posh because of my accent. But I am from York and my real accent is a Yorkshire one. When I went to acting school, that was one of the first things I worked on. People are surprised that's where I come from.

I'm not a politician but if I were ...

I'd take a bribe any day. Coming from a family of refugees, you have a different view on politics. But I would take a bribe and it wouldn't take much. Just a discount really.

I'm good at ...

Yoga. I've been practising for four years and it's marvellous. I like that you aren't in competition with anyone. I started it because of a bad back and I can now stand on my head.

I'm bad at ...

Lying. People think actors are good liars but we are truthful. I am constantly looking for the truth when acting. I can see instantly when I'm not believed.

The ideal night out is ...

Clubbing. I love it. They say I'm too old but I'm always dragging the young ones out. I'm a raver on the quiet. I find gay clubs are the best because they play the best music.

In weak moments I ...

Spend too much money, usually at Poundland. I'll buy something because it's cheap, even though I know I'll probably never wear it.

You know me as an actress but in another life I'd have been ...

An RSPCA inspector. I have two cats, which were both rescued. I actually always wanted a snake.

The best age to be is ...

Two-and-three-quarters. That's my grandson's age and he's the best, so it must be good.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this ...

Keep your feet on the ground and reach for the stars.

Elizabeth Flerlage

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