SALLY Bretton admits she keeps her family life tightly under wraps when filming long-running TV sitcom Not Going Out with co-star and writer Lee Mack.

“You dare not tell Lee anything about what’s going on with your kids or at home,” she laughs. “He’ll just write it in.”

The English actor, who has played Lucy Adams in the show since its second series back in 2007, loves being part of it. At first, Lee and Sally, as Lee and Lucy, kept viewers guessing with a will-they-won’t-they storyline.

Now the couple are married with three children, irritating best friends (Hugh Dennis and Abigail Cruttenden) and assorted in-laws (Geoffrey Whitehead, Deborah Grant and Bobby Ball).

“It’s very funny on set – proper belly laughs,” she says.

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“Because we have been doing it for so long and we know each other so well – it’s not a huge cast – it feels very comfortable.

“It’s just been commissioned for another three series, which NEVER happens. That’s great for Lee, because it gives him a lot of scope. I really love that job.”

Sally is in Glasgow this week, starring as Margot in Dial M for Murder, Frederick Knott’s gripping thriller best known for its 1954 Hitchcock film adaptation.

She plays the wife of Tony Wendice (Tom Chambers), a charismatic and ex-tennis pro who has given it all up for her. When he discovers she has been unfaithful, his mind turns to revenge and he comes up with what he thinks is the perfect murder.

Anthony Banks’s stylish new UK touring production sets the story in the 60s but, as Sally explains, there are much more modern undertones to the tale too.

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“Margot is an interesting character – some people say she is underwritten, but she is great to play because she is not perfect,” says Sally.

“She has been in a horrible relationship, she has been gaslighted for many years, by this man who is so charming on the surface and yet…. you just can’t quite put your finger on what it is that is so wrong about him.

“I think that’s something many women can relate to – your senses are going, you know there is something not right and it wears you down, slowly, but you can’t pinpoint exactly why or what you should do about it. That’s why it is so sinister.”

She adds: “It’s clever too – it is not a whodunnit, so the audience are unusually in on the plan from the beginning, and watch as the manipulation and drama unfold.”

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For this production, which also stars Corrie actor Christopher Harper in the dual roles of Captain Lesgate and Inspector Hubbard and Hollyoaks star Michael Salami as Max Halliday, Margot’s American lover, the action has been moved forward in time to 1963.

“I don’t think you could rewrite it enormously, in terms of time period, as the death penalty has to hang over the story,” says Sally, adding with a laugh: “And of course, it has to be in the period before mobile phones.”

She adds: “Because so much of 1960s style is back in fashion, the period set - the costumes, the furniture and so on - actually feels very familiar, which is nice.”

Sally loved acting as a child, and always knew she wanted to pursue it as a career. She studied at Central School of Speech and Drama in London, spending her weekends teaching drama to young children.

“I loved it, but I just love kids,” she says. “I got hooked on performing at primary school. I think that’s all you want for your own children, isn’t it? That chance to find a passion, something they will love doing.”

A string of successful roles has included spells on The Office, Green Wing and crime drama Death in Paradise, in which she played Martha Lloyd from 2015 to 2017.

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Being away from home for long periods is one of the downsides of touring theatre, of course, as Sally points out.

“My children are still quite young, so I haven’t done much theatre – touring is not a good fit with family life,” she says.

“This tour is great, though, as most of the venues have been with commuting distance - apart from the Scottish ones, of course – so my husband has been holding the fort.”

She adds: “My children came up to Aberdeen for half term, which was fantastic – we had a lovely time. Even saw some dolphins, which was unexpected.”

Sally is touring with Dial M for Murder, which is at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, until April when she leaves to start filming with Not Going Out.

“I’m loving performing in Glasgow – I visited the city 15 years ago and had a great few nights out, I remember some really cool restaurants and bars,” she says.

“It will be nice to see it during the daytime. And then it’s back to Not Going Out.”

She adds, with a smile: “It will be nice to be back after such an intense few months on Dial M for Murder.

"No more crying, just lots of laughs.”