Anna Friel thinks Rhys Ifans is a "poet".

The former 'Pushing Daisies' actress - who split with long-term partner David Thewlis after nine years in December 2010 - admits she hasn't had a lot of time to get to know her new boyfriend, but enjoys his company very much.

She said: "I have to say, in the little time I've known him, he's incredibly responsible and has a memory like an elephant. He's a poet and a beautiful man."

However, she admits she has "ultimate respect" for former partner David - with who she has six-year-old daughter Gracie - and the time they had together.

Explaining the approach she takes to raising Gracie now she is no longer with the youngster's father, she added in an interview with Radio Times magazine: "You both still have to introduce the same ethics as parents. And you make sure they never, every feel the separation is down to them.

"There's love, and there's 'in love' that is very, very different. And it's what you decide for your future that matters. And I will forever have ultimate respect for David, forever and ever."