Steve Pemberton has revealed how much pleasure he is having on his new TV show, Mapp And Lucia.

The Happy Valley actor writes and stars as Georgie Pillson in the upcoming BBC drama, alongside Anna Chancellor as Emmeline 'Lucia' Lucas and Miranda Richardson as Elizabeth Mapp.

"I've got endless costumes. He's a gentleman, and very smart so there are lots of blazers," he said. "I was dressed up as Sir Francis Drake because they are doing a tableau of him being knighted. Wearing these period outfits is so different to my real life. It's very fun."

Steve, who has also starred in Benidorm and Inside No 9, said the TV adaptation will remain quite faithful to EF Benson's books and Channel 4's 80s series, which starred Prunella Scales, Geraldine McEwan and Nigel Hawthorne.

"I've never done an adaptation before. I'm very much aware that they are much loved books. The previous series is also much loved, not least by myself. I didn't want a carbon copy of it but I wanted it to be true to the books," he said.

"It's got its own challenges definitely, but because I love the books so much, it was a pleasure - to read them again, to mine those characters, cast it and put it all together."

The story features material from the first three books.

The 46-year-old added: " It is faithful in some ways. A TV adaptation is completely different to a novel. I've learnt a lot as I've gone along and I hope people will enjoy it. It's meant to be a fun piece and we're having fun making it."

Steve reckons it could be a "nice winter warm-up": "It will be ready towards the end of the year so we'll see."

:: Happy Valley is out on DVD on June 16.