Hugh Dennis credits his on-screen wife with helping to teach him how to act.
Hugh and Claire Skinner play a married couple in BBC sitcom Outnumbered, which is set to return for a fifth series.
The actor told Reader's Digest: "I've learned a huge amount from Claire Skinner, my pretend wife, because she's so naturally good.
"I spend a lot of time thinking, I've got to make my reactions as small and significant as that."
He said Stephen Fry was also an inspiration "because he makes no distinction at all between highbrow and lowbrow. He thinks Shooting Stars is as important as King Lear."
The comedian said of his career: "As I've never thought, 'I'll do that, then this, then I'll be a household name' and it just happens, I'm always trying to look on life as another fun surprise.
"Whatever it throws at you, you deal with it and think, 'Oh, interesting. I'm glad I'm here'. On the occasions when I've thought I could possibly be feeling depressed, I've just thought, 'Ooh, I'll have a biscuit.' And then I feel much better."
:: The full interview appears in the July issue of Reader's Digest, out on June 25.