Debra Stephenson is an impressionist on ITV’s The Imitation Game, as well as being an actor, mum, wife, dog owner and beach lover.

What would be your perfect day out in Dorset?

I love going to the Purbecks. Ideally I’d be with my family and friends - on their boat - mine isn’t really big enough! But hey, this is “ideally” so, ideally, I’d have a big Sunseeker! Anyway we would moor at Studland (but not the nudie bit!) and me and hubby would drink Conker Gin (someone else would have to drive the boat!) and we would watch the children paddle boarding, kayaking, messing around in a dingy etc. Later we would have dinner and possibly cocktails, watching the sun set over Poole Harbour.

What are your fondest memories of the county?

My fantasy was always having two small children playing happily in the sand. I’m glad to have been able to bring my kids up near the beach. We had a beach hut for a while and entertained family and friends down there a lot. James caught fish that we cooked on the barbecue for tea, there was know! We’ve had great times here in Poole with all the friends that have visited over the years. At times it’s like running a b&b but we love it!

What has been your proudest achievement?

Well really, as a mother, it was giving birth - but I realise that’s not unusual!

I once won £50k for charity, along with my friend Jon Culshaw, on Who wants to be a Millionaire. I can’t take all the credit for it but I chose to give my half to Julia’s House Children’s Hospice, which was enough to pay for a nurse for a year and that’s something I felt very good about!

I also sang the national anthem at Old Trafford in front of the then England football team at the pre World Cup England v Jamaica friendly. David Beckham and Wayne Rooney were among the players. I was wearing a long dress with St George’s Cross on it. That was a great honour.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I was inspired by my Grandma’s record collection as a child and have always done impressions of those singers, most of whom feature in my Night Of 100 voices show, such as Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black. Now I listen to local radio stations like Fire, Wave and Hot and have added Paloma Faith and Adele. I also love Radio 4 comedy and draw inspiration from Dead Ringers, which I’ve been involved in for about five or six years now.

On a more spiritual level I feel inspired by the sea and nature and if I’m feeling stodgy or sluggish I go out for a walk on the beach. I can focus on being positive, clear my head and recharge my body with all the negative ions the sea gives off.

What would be your favourite thing to do when you have a day off?

I always enjoy my walks on the beach with my dog or cycling on the prom but what I really love, if I have a whole day, is to go and explore what I call deepest Dorset, finding hidden little villages with thatched cottages, odd antique shops and appealing old pubs where I can sample local ales!

Where is your favourite place to eat in the county?

I love restaurants with a sea view and I love Italian food (though I never eat meat or dairy). Vesuvio at Alum Chine is in a fantastic location, overlooking the sea in front of the tropical gardens and play park. The pizzas are great with olive oil instead of cheese, their pasta Arabiata is very satisfying and they do the best espressos and gelato - so a great place to go with the family.

What three things do you associate with Dorset?

The Jurassic coast, thatched cottages and beautiful sunsets.

If you could summarise the county in one word what would it be?


Debra will be hosting the Dorset Tourism Awards on November 16