She might sound very English, but Rachael Stirling says Scotland is forever in her soul.
Rachael, the daughter of Dame Diana Rigg and theatre producer Archie Stirling, went to Edinburgh University but her time north of the border started much earlier.
“My dad’s Scottish and I always used to say I was, too,” said Rachael, 41, who is back in ITV drama The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco this week.
“My mum was working in London so I went to school there until I was 12. But every holiday would be in Scotland and when I went to boarding school I’d either be there or Scotland.
“So, Scotland was home to me from when I was 12 up until I was 22. I decided to drop my English bit and when anyone asked where I came from I always said Scotland. It really shaped the fibres of my being.”
Rachael gets back north of the border as often as possible and says she can vividly picture her favourite parts.
“I could draw the hills on the A84 as you drive up towards Callander with my eyes closed,” said Rachael, who has a two-year-old son Jack with Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow and a Radio 6 Music presenter.
“And I know my way around the north because that’s where my heart is. Life may have taken me here and I couldn’t take a man from Manchester, whom I married, to Scotland, so we settled on London.
“But the connection I have to Scotland will never leave me.”
Rachael says it’s vital to her that Jack feels that connection, too.
“We’re very lucky to be able to go up to visit my dad and it will forever play an important part in my life.”
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco returns with four new episodes after the first four were screened last year.
The original series about four female codebreakers from the famous Bletchley Park centre, which broke the Enigma Code, was set in wartime Britain.
But after it was surprisingly axed, it had a transatlantic reincarnation and is now set in the 1950s.
Although the new setting is San Francisco, it was shot in Canada with Rachael, who plays Millie, and Julie Graham, who plays Jean, the original two cast members alongside two Canadian actresses.
“It’s a bit camper and more high jinks than the series in the UK but it’s still about these magic women and their friendship.
“And anything where Julie and myself get to lark about together is a job worth doing.”
Rachael is also in another upcoming ITV cop drama called Wild Bill, starring Rob Lowe.
But spending time with Jack is her top priority.
“I had him on set with me every day in Canada,” added Rachael.
“I’ve pointedly not wanted to do so much work that it passes me by.”
The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, ITV Friday 9pm, read the full interview in today’s P.S. Magazine