Former Bretton Hall student Steve Pemberton cannot believe his luck.

He admits he had to pinch himself every day on the set of Mapp And Lucia, because the project was such a dream come true for him.

The Benidorm star plays the flamboyant Georgie Pillson in the new BBC adaptation of the classic EF Benson stories which he also wrote.

Mapp And Lucia stars Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor in the title roles as the two social queens of a small seaside town in the 1920s.

Asked to name his favourite scene of the series, Pemberton revealed: “All the scenes for me, I love the books so much and all the characters I’m just pinching myself for every day, a) that we’re here in Rye in Benson’s house and garden but b) that I’ve had the opportunity not only to play this character but adapted the scripts as well, it’s very rewarding.”

Pemberton studied theatre arts at the former Bretton Hall College, in West Bretton, which was part of the University of Leeds. He graduated with a BA honours degree after studying alongside Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss, who with Pemberton came up with the cult show The League of Gentlemen - partly filmed in Marsden.

Pemberton has a taste for the sinister on TV, with roles in Whitechapel, Inside No 9, and award-winning Happy Valley. But the actor has also showed his comic side with a long-running slot in Benidorm.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Mapp and Lucia novels, they are set in the fictional town of Tilling, and follow two women in the fight for social supremacy.

The three parts are being shown across consecutive nights, and in the first episode, the scheming Miss Elizabeth Mapp (Miranda Richardson) thinks she’s just pulled off a coup - she’s letting her house to the widowed Mrs Emmeline ‘Lucia’ Lucas (Anna Chancellor) for the summer and can’t wait to show her off to the neighbours.

Mapp And Lucia - Algernon Wyse (Nicholas Woodeson), Susan Wyse (Pippa Haywood), Georgie Pillson (Steve Pemberton), Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas (Anna Chancellor), Elizabeth Mapp (Miranda Richardson), Godiva 'Diva' Plaistow (Felicity Montagu), Evie Bartlett (Poppy Miller), Rev Kenneth Whelan)
 

But as Pemberton explains, things aren’t going to go quite to plan, as the snobbish Lucia has no intention of being her landlady’s protege.

“To begin with it’s all smiles and loveliness and they call each other dear and darling... and then those smiles become a little thinner and a little more toothy.

“Mapp really wants to celebrate Lucia being here, but only as long as she’s under her wing. As soon as Lucia becomes independent and decides that she’s going to have her own life in Tilling, Mapp sets about trying to undermine her.

“Lucia arrives and installs herself at the top of the tree and that has a knock-on effect with everybody else. Mapp who has been queen of Tilling up until this point is dethroned by Lucia, and Georgie, like everybody else, just loves the whole battle going on. He’s very much on Lucia’s side and in her corner.”

Mapp and Lucia is on at 9pm on BBC1 on Monday nights.