Tipping the Velvet, Detectorists, and The Bletchley Circle all feature 42-year-old Rachael Stirling. She and her husband, Guy Garvey, lead singer for the band Elbow, and their two-year-old son Jack reside in London. She gets her good looks from her famous mom, Diana Rigg.

How late I was to the parenthood party. I felt completely stupid. Oh my God, this is what you were doing the whole time! I turned to my other mommy pals and said. I was acting like a fool, getting drunk, and falling down, and you were doing the same things without complaining to me. I admire you so much and I feel terrible that I didn’t see it then.

That’s when I first saw Guy, during Benedict Cumberbatch’s wedding. I rarely get starstruck, but when I did, my friend, the actor Andrew Scott from Fleabag, asked me, “Why are you going all peculiar?”
It was only because we were both in groups that Guy and I became friends. As a young bachelor, he visited me while I was working as a teacher of reading and writing. I found a really small chair for him to sit in. I feel bad for the guy. My mom invited us over for lunch. You’re brave, she told him.

In my twenties and thirties, I worried a lot about whether or not I was making the correct decisions. I was an eager puppy who desperately wanted to make everyone happy but was plagued by feelings of shame over her wealthy upbringing and successful acting career. For some reason, I never felt like I had any weight.

Since I was forced to leave the industry, I took a job in a London pub and began teaching at the notoriously dangerous Butterfly School. It was hard but rewarding. I had greater confidence in myself when I returned to acting.

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I married a sensible man from a completely different upbringing than mine, and now I finally feel like I belong somewhere. He was the middle child of seven in a two-up, two-down in Bury, Greater Manchester. Yet here we are, at an equilibrium point, and I tell myself, “OK, I’m all right.”
I love growing older. Normally I don’t bother with make-up. This face in the mirror is changing. From grinning so much at the baby, I’ve developed wrinkles.

When I was older, I was concerned that there wouldn’t be any roles for me to play. However, all of a sudden, people have realised that a drama starring a woman would be more engaging. I’m now performing in Wild Bill as the judge Lady Mary. I’m the lady friend and sparring partner of Rob Lowe.

The adjective “ambitious” is often used negatively, especially when applied to women. However, true ambition consists in becoming an industry leader in one’s chosen sector.

On Wednesdays at 9 p.m., you can catch Wild Bill on ITV. Until June 29th, Rachael may also be seen in Plenty at the Chichester Festival Theatre.

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