The Thick Of It star Rebecca Front has revealed a female cabinet minister confronted her to ask if her character in the political sitcom was based on her.
The 48-year-old actress plays hapless Labour minister Nicola Murray in Armando Iannucci's award-winning BBC series, a role created to take the place of political buffoon Hugh Abbot after actor Chris Langham left the show.
Rebecca revealed: "A lot of people asked me who it was based on. I even had a female cabinet member - who I can't name - saying to me directly, 'Is it based on me, because a few people have said it is?' It isn't."
The actress explained Nicola is partly a projection of what might have happened if her first career choice had worked out.
"I briefly thought about going into politics when I was about 16. Only, you know, for a month. But it was quite easy to imagine, if I had gone into politics, how inept I would have been. It would have been a disaster."
Rebecca also stars in Grandma's House, a Royle Family-style sitcom about Simon Amstell and his fictionalised family, playing his feisty mother Tanya.
The actress hit back at criticism of Simon's acting in the first series.
She said: "I got quite cross about some of those reviews because I felt like they were exactly the same criticisms that could have been levelled towards Larry David or Jerry Seinfeld, and yet they weren't.
"It's Simon's vulnerability and insecurity which makes that show. It's just a different style of performance and I felt like people had missed the point."
:: Grandma's House begins on BBC Two on Thursday, April 19