LOUISE McCarthy giggles as she remembers her first dance and drama classes as a teenager growing up in Maryhill.

"It was £3 at the door and we did ballet on the back of a chair," she says. "But it was a brilliant all-round drama class because we did singing, dancing and acting and put on a musical and a play."

The 30-year-old star of BBC Scotland's Sketchland, starting on Friday, has happy memories of her time at Spotlight, better known now as Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts. It's all a far cry from her hectic work schedule these days, including television work as well as stage performances with the National Theatre of Scotland.

Louise completed her training at the Arts Educational Schools in London and promptly landed a plum role as Lisa in the West End stage version of Mamma Mia!

"It was incredible for my first job," she marvels. "It was amazing, you did stand there sometimes and think, 'Oh my god I'm on a West End stage'.

"For a first job it was unbelievable. I was there for a year and learned so much."

Rapid-fire comedy series Sketchland takes a look at the highs and lows of moving into your first flat and showcases the pleasures and pitfalls along the way, from dodgy tenancy agreements to thieving flatmates.

Starring alongside Louise are Gerard Miller, Charlene Boyd, Alan Orr, Scott Reid, Gayle Telfer Stevens and Fiona Wood, a collection of up-and-coming comedy talent who made their television debut last September in the one-off comedy special What's Funny About the Indyref?

"Filming was brilliant as we had done that short episode last year, so I think coming back to it we all knew exactly what we were doing. It was good to go in and hit the ground running," says Louise.

"My favourite sketches are the ones you get to play an obscure character you wouldn't normally. Me and Gerry did one - he comes in to sign a tenancy agreement and the woman turns out to be like the devil. That was really fun because it's not something you're going to play every day."

With a CV that includes the National Theatre of Scotland's Men Should Weep and Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Tron, as well as as a string of appearances on stage around Glasgow, it is fair to say Louise is no one-trick pony.

She says she loves doing comedy but always wants to mix it with serious acting as one complements the other.

"You're only as good as what you do and to be able to do Shakespeare or comedy, all these different ranges, I think they help each other," she explains.

"Comedy helps the tragedy, tragedy helps the comedy. Without having that rounded experience you can't really do either as much justice as you would like to. I think it's really important to do both."

She adds: "I have a wicked sense of humour, I like all kinds of comedy by specially dark comedy. For me doing a sketch show is brilliant because you get to do all the variations."

Growing up watching Goldie Hawn films and Scottish talent such as Dorothy Paul and Karen Dunbar definitely gave Louise the acting bug. She would like to see more funny women in the entertainment world.

"I love female comedians and I don't think there are enough of them," she says. "I'm a big fan of female comedians and I want to see more of them.

"I love Victoria Wood, all the parody with songs. I trained in musical theatre so I like the idea of songs incorporated in comedy. More power for women, I say."

Louise had her first taste of professional acting when she was still at school. Aged just 15 she appeared in CBBC's Stacey Stone as Tiffany Shears.

"That really sealed the deal for me," she says. "It was dead exciting. You got the day off school and it wasn't to go to the doctor or the dentist. I was like, 'I'm off school, I'm off filming'. You felt really cool.

"Everyone at school was just like me, asking, 'What happened? What's it like?'"

Living between London and Glasgow, Louise says has increasingly found more work at home in the past year. As she prepares to appear in NTS's Yer Granny, on at the King's Theatre next month, alongside Gregor Fisher, Paul Riley, Jonathan Watson, Maureen Beattie and Barbara Rafferty, Louise is on a roll.

"The work that is happening in Glasgow just now is absolutely brilliant. Some of the plays and theatre work is outstanding. To be involved in it is amazing," she says.

It also gives Louise an opportunity to be based closer to her family, with her mum in Kelvindale and sister in the south side.

"They're really proud of me but it's that Glasgow thing, they always say, 'Aye it's good but you can't get too big for your boots. You're still the same person,'" laughs Louise.

"I really like that. As any parent would, they just want their child to enjoy their job."

Sketchland, BBC2, 10pm