Imrie, 58, said she hated the idea of marriage, describing it as a “world of cover-up and compromise”, but longed for a child.
In her early 40s and knowing time was running out to conceive, she struck an agreement with her friend and fellow actor Benjamin Whitrow, who fathered her son Angus, now 16.
Imrie will play Goneril in the production, which stars Glenda Jackson in the title role and also features Jane Horrocks, Rhys Ifans, Simon Manyonda and Harry Melling.
As we talk about her upcoming role as Goneril in King Lear at the Old Vic, it is immediately apparent that this is a new adventure that truly excites her.
A step away from the comedic roles, the Notting Hill local tells me, but still executed with an equal amount of passion and humour.
Celia Imrie is on sparkling form when we meet at the London offices of ITV.
Hair short, cheekbones chiselled and smile wide, she wears expensively tailored black trousers and a little brocade jacket that gently hugs the infamous bosom that called for “bigger buns” in the hit British film Calendar Girls.