Cheryl Fergison has revealed she was determined to land her role in new TV show The Spa.
The 47-year-old former EastEnders actress said she was sent a few scripts after she left the soap but was most excited about the new comedy, which is from actor and Benidorm creator Derren Litten.
"My agent rang me about this project or that, but I only wanted to know about this one," she said.
Cheryl plays a gym member who is trying to lose weight in the new series - while The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front plays the spa's over-zealous manager Alison and Benidorm actor Tim Healy is a well-endowed handyman - and said she was "chuffed" when she learned the part was hers.
The actress admitted that after being part of an institution like EastEnders, getting back out there wasn't easy.
She said: "When they said I had to do an interview, I said, 'I haven't done one for five years!' And here's a sign of how old I was: for the first time ever I had to wear glasses in my read-through. That's sad isn't it?"
It has been nearly a year since Cheryl's EastEnders character Heather Trott was bludgeoned to death by Ben Mitchell, and the actress said that although she was initially disappointed to find out she was being killed off, she is over it now.
"It was a shock when I found out she was going in that way, but then it was all explained to me, and they said it wasn't about me or my acting," she said. "I have to say I'm pleased I went like that now. It's a privilege to have gone in such a brilliant storyline - it was worth dying for!"
:: The Spa begins on Sky Living on Thursday February 7.