Joanna Lumley says she would still be in 'Coronation Street' if her character had married Ken Barlow.
The 66-year-old actress portrayed Elaine Perkins in the soap for eight episodes in 1973 - during which time she turned down Ken's (Bill Roache) offer of marriage - and she joked she would have been given a bigger role in the show if her alter-ego had accepted his proposal.
In an emotional speech while picking up her Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards at London's The O2, she told BANG Showbiz: "It's been the most unexpected, sort of earth shattering thing that's ever happened to me to see those kinds of people talking so generously about me.
"Martin Scorsese, who I've only just worked with, talking about shows of mine that he's seen. Ruby Wax, who is one of my great idols.
"Bill Roache, I nearly married him. I'd still be in 'Corrie' now if he'd let me marry him!
"It's just been unbelievably touching."
Since leaving 'Coronation Street', Joanna has made a name for herself in a number of TV shows and movies, most notably BBC sitcom 'Absolutely Fabulous', in which she plays often drunk fashion director Patsy Stone, and she insists "nobody" else will ever portray the character while she is alive.
Putting on the voice of Patsy, she added: "Nobody will play Patsy while I'm alive, I do mean that. I do mean that, darling, because it can get savage and I'm still quite strong."