Annette Badland has dubbed her new role on Midsomer Murders “luxurious” in comparison to her three-year stint on EastEnders.
The actress, who played the villainous Babe Smith in the BBC soap, moved to ITV to play a new character, pathologist Dr Fleur Perkins.
Badland, 68, compared the pace and intensity of the EastEnders set with real life, saying with both you had to make snap decisions and stick with the consequences.
Asked how her new job compared, she replied: “Entirely different – this is luxurious.
“EastEnders is a soap factory so the momentum of that, keeping the propulsion of that… and this is more considered.
“The idea of having a read-through! You’re very much on your toes on EastEnders. The material is coming in, it’s happening and when I joined I very much felt I had to accept it being like life.
“I was used to (drama programmes which were) much more like Midsomer Murders, where you could discuss and change things, and there was a small window for that.
“But (at EastEnders) you’re very much on your feet. There isn’t that preparation, so I had to think, it’s like life.
“I might make a decision today that I regret tomorrow or it changes my life for the next 10 years, so that’s what’s coming at me in EastEnders.”
She joins Neil Dudgeon, who will reprise his lead role as DCI John Barnaby for a seventh season.
Fiona Dolman also returns as Sarah Barnaby, along with the couple’s faithful dog Paddy, and Nick Hendrix as DS Jamie Winter.
Badland said she enjoyed her time on EastEnders but found playing the nefarious Smith taxing.
She said: “I adapted to it. It was stimulating. I enjoyed my family.
“I got on with the guys and I think that’s a huge thing, especially with a character that was quite isolated and locked away and unhappy.
“To enjoy the people you’re working with makes a difference. You do take a lot of it home.
She added: “Babe had never been loved so that was the thing; that she was jealous.
“She couldn’t get in, she couldn’t be liked for herself and that made her jealous and vengeful and she wanted to be loved.”
Joking, Badland added: “I do see a therapist now.”