Emilia Fox wishes she'd made the most of having famous guests round for Christmas when she was younger.

The 42-year-old actress - who is the daughter of actors Edward Fox and Joanna David - always ''took for granted'' the people her parents invited over to join their family for the festive season, and though she thinks their lives influenced her chosen career path, she admits she regrets not quizzing them more.

She said: ''Christmas always sticks in my mind as my mum would always do big Christmases with such a variety of people.

''Amazing actors like Lindsay Anderson or Fred Zinnemann, who directed my father in 'The Day of the Jackal'.

''As a child you just take them for granted as your mum's friends, but now I wish I could sit down with them and ask them all these questions because I'm fascinated by their lives.

''When people say to me, 'Do you think acting is in your blood?' I always said no but I definitely feel the people I met and the stories they had to tell has given me a better understanding of the highs and lows of acting. That's what acting is - telling stories.''

The 'Silent Witness' actress has a six-year-old daughter, Rose, with ex-boyfriend Jeremy Gilley, and despite her own background, admits it would be her ''worst nightmare'' if the youngster grew up wanting to be an actress.

She said: ''I always think it is a parent's worst nightmare when their child says they want to be an actor. It is such a precarious profession to choose...

''I feel that I want to give Rose as wide of a spectrum to give her the chance to do what she wants to do. She might want to do something completely different.''