Georgie, 57, joined the cast of the show – filmed just across the water in Greenock – in 2012. Her arrival coincided with the award-winning show’s relocation to north of the border from its original roots in Rochdale. It was a pleasant coincidence for the Scots’ actress – famous for diverse roles ranging from British comedies including Harry Enfield and Chums and The Thick of It to outings in huge movies like Les Miserables and My Week with Marylin – who has lived and worked in London for the past three decades. However, Georgie doesn’t describe her return to the banks of the River Clyde a homecoming.

She said: “I never left Helensburgh! Yes, I moved to the capital in my twenties but my family are still here.

“I bring my twin daughters Holly and Eleanor, 23, to visit regularly. The girls love their Scottish relatives, they grew up here as much as I did.” A favourite haunt for the Glens on a return to Helensburgh is a visit to the Coffee Club in Colquhoun Square – and it’s the tight-knit sense of community that pervades it and the town centre’s other cafes, restaurants, and shops that helps Georgie feel instantly at home. “It’s lovely to work so close to where you were raised, especially as my job doesn’t see me come to Scotland that often,” Georgie said. The prolific actress’ work has taken her around the world, enjoying glamourous sets and locations whilst filming movies including award-winners Calendar Girls and Shakespeare in Love, but none of those experiences have dented her love for the town where the seeds where planted for what was to blossom into an impressive career.

Georgie, who has worked with A-list stars including Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, and Hugh Jackman, enjoyed her first taste of performing as a trombone player in Helensburgh’s Orchestra Club, where working with other like-minded people in a close community environment taught her lessons she’d take with her for the rest of her life. She said: “I’ve always enjoyed being part of a collective. Whether that’s professionally, like when I had the role in Heartbeat, or as a youngster playing tennis at Craighelen – we always had lots to do down here.

“One of the first productions I was involved in was HMS Pinafore at Victoria Halls. The music was Gillbert and Sullivan and I remember vividly how much I enjoyed being part of a small community.

“I played alongside the old and young residents of the town. There was equality amongst us – this was a real benefit of coming from a small town.

“Collaborating with the same people over a period of time creates an intimacy. Sometimes, it’s a major factor in working to a higher standard.” Although she would eventually become a mainstay of British televison in shows including The Bill, Doctors, Little Britain, and My Family, Georgie’s early artistic efforts provided her with the confidence to pursue a creative career; even if she wasn’t entirely sure what it was she wanted to do initially.

“After I got my degree in graphic design from Glasgow School of Art, I jumped down to London with my portfolio in search of a job”, she said.

“Painting and drawing were always my passions, but I had no real idea what it was I was going to do with them.” Luckily for Georgie a dream job was in sight. She secured an assistant book designers’ position at the acclaimed Thames and Hudson publishers. It was a role she enjoyed for many years.

However, something was still missing for the small-town girl.

She continued: “I was around 24-years-old and happened to be this girl from Helensburgh living in the South of London. The place was huge to compared to what I was used to. It felt like I was holding out for something. I didn’t have any friends, and I only knew my walk to work. That was when I realised things had to change.

“I had to make friends!” Intrigued by the prospect of a new social life, Georgie turned to community spirit, which, surprisingly, she says, London had lots of to offer.

She joined Floodlight Council, an organisation which still exists today that helps adults learn skills from music and drama to cookery and computing. From there she joined a theatre group. This was the first contact Georgie had with acting. “I signed myself up and took to the acting classes like a duck to water. There was fantastic teacher there. He was inspirational, and from then on I realised the importance a great mentor can have,” she said. Normally Georgie would have assigned herself to the set production of a play, but for the first-time she felt like stepping in front of the curtain, and never looked back, soon applying to drama school and securing a place a the Bristol Vic. After graduating, Georgie made herself known amongst the industry heads, which proved to be a vital method of networking. The experience taught her how important it is to get your foot in the door – a message she would pass on to any young aspiring actor or actress. She said: “I was an artist remember, so this was a whole other adventure. It was a risk, but one worth taking.

“By this point I knew I was never going to be Juliet! I was in my mid-twenties but knew how much I loved acting. I had to do it.

“If you have an opportunity, like I did with Floodlight, you must take it. You don’t know where it will lead.” Georgie has never been short of work, a blessing in the most competitive of fields, but she plays her sucess down with all the modesty that comes from firmly grounded roots.

Yet she maintains that perseverance and a passionate environment are major contributors when it comes to success.

She said: “This is why Helensburgh is such a fantastic place. We have a town with so many talented people, old and young.

“To find a workshop in your home town, or a club, that suits you – that is a great place to start for nurturing talent.

“That is why I was lucky, and anyone from Helensburgh can be too.” - You can catch Georgie in Waterloo Road when it returns to BBC One in January 2014.