The pale and beautiful Irish actress Dervla Kirwan has been developing a fine line in villains recently. She nearly stole the show in the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special where she played on her other-worldly looks to conjure the sinister agent of the Cybermen, Mercy Hartigan. And this week she’s back on TV as Davina Bailey, a ruthless fashion designer in the new BBC One drama about the fashion industry, Material Girl.
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This is what happens when Dervla Kirwan and I arrange to meet. We are going to have brunch at the Wolseley restaurant in London at 11.30am. The table is booked in my name. I get there bang on time and then I wait. The clock ticks on. I wait some more. I call Kirwan's PR, who tells me, in a very authoritative manner, that she is already here. 'No, she's not!' I squeak. But, as I am in mid-protest, a very attractive dark-haired lady, who is sitting with her back to me, turns around. She is unmistakably the former actress Dervla Kirwan.