You are going to hear a lot about south London actress and comic Kerry Godliman in 2013.

Thanks to a raft of roles on radio and TV, starting with Ricky Gervais’s new Channel 4 series Derek which starts tonight, the 38-year-old mum-of-two’s career is taking off.

Playing Hannah, the kindly care home manager in the pilot episode of Derek, earned her plaudits, not least from Gervais himself, who plays the title role - a man with learning disabilities who lives in the old folks home.

The show’s subject matter has divided reviewers, which makes the new series much anticipated. Especially by Kerry who first came to south London to study at the Rose Bruford Drama School in Sidcup. Was she surprised by the controversy surrounding Ricky’s portrayal of Derek?

“No not really, I think everything Ricky’s done has a bit of a split response, so I think it’s kind of inevitable now,” said Kerry.

“But it will be interesting to see what people make of the new series.”

Kerry got the role after appearing in small roles in Ricky’s other hit shows, Extras and Life’s Too Short. As Hannah, she is very protective of her charges –in the pilot she ends up headbutting a punter in a pub who makes fun of Derek.

“Hannah’s very kind and loving and caring – all the traits that I aspire to have but probably don’t have,” said Kerry.

“Apart from the headbutt – but even that is that kind of lioness display of protection, isn’t it? She can’t tolerate one of her wards being vulnerable.”

Kerry, has two children – Elsie, six, and Frank, nearly three, with her partner, actor Ben Able. They juggle the childcare depending on each other’s work commitments – which provided some of the material for her new Radio 4 comedy show, Kerry’s List, which launches in March.

“The show is about having a to-do list and being a bit maniacal about trying to get everything done – especially women who’ve got kids and work,” said Kerry.

“It’s meant to be a sort of collage of scratch and sniff of my life really.”