After leaving school, I got a one-way ticket to England from Africa and immediately went to drama classes. At the first lesson the guy teaching said ‘are you going to take this professionally?’ And I said ‘yes’. My parents cut me off without the proverbial penny so I not only had to earn enough to live but to pay my drama school fees. I had to work in an office until ten and eleven at night. Eventually I left after two terms and started applying for jobs. I told the agents I’d been to drama school. My first job was what’s called an assistant stage manager in weekly seaside rep. The agent rang up and said ‘somebody has dropped out at the last minute and if you come in straight away you might get this job.’ So I just put on the lowest dress I had, sailed in, and said ‘you’ve got to employ me.’ I was paid so little - below equity minimum - that I had to sleep in in the bar of a pub after everyone had left at closing time. But at the end of the season I got the part of Gigi, which is a biggie. I was playing opposite the leading man and my father did actually send me £10.