“There are a lot of ‘third children puppies’ at my school gates,” laughs Angela, 41, star of Inspector Lewis.
“Like me, they were broody for a third child and decided to get a dog instead, because they definitely wanted another little companion in the family. I told my husband I really wanted a dog or another baby, and the dog won.”
That’s how Angela convinced her husband, Jason Milligan, a continuity artist and definitively not a dog person, to add a canine to the family, which includes the couple’s daughters, Tallulah, 13, and Melissa, 10.
So two years ago they got Smith the cavapoo – a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and poodle – who’s become an integral part of the family.
We’re talking pooches because Angela features in this week’s second episode of Walks With My Dog, her third outing on the amiable More4 show that does what it says on the tin – celebrities and their dogs enjoy a country walk together, taking in the scenery and meeting local historians and conservationists.
This time, Angela enjoys a ramble on the Cotswold Way near the picture-perfect town of Broadway in Worcestershire.
Dog-lover Angela waxes lyrical on the benefits of owning a pooch.
“My youngest daughter and I went on a four-kilometre walk today with Smith,” she says.
“Without him I wouldn’t be able to get her out of the house, but I remind her that she begged for the dog and that he needs a walk. So we had an hour of walking with no headphones and no mobile phones and we just talked. Today we practised our times tables and spellings.”
But one member of the Griffin-Milligan family has yet to be won over by Smith’s arrival.
Angela confesses that Jason still isn’t keen on being a dog owner.
“It’s brought me closer to the girls, but a little bit farther apart in terms of me and my husband,” she laughs.
“He doesn’t understand the idea of having animals inside the house – it’s mostly the hygiene side of it he doesn’t get. It’s a kind of OCD thing about germs.”
“In a lot of cases, one partner wanted a dog and the other didn’t, but the reluctant one gets won over by how cute the dog is. Not my husband, sadly.”
So it’s Angela venturing out alone on Walks With My Dog, tackling a section of the 102-mile Cotswold Way that stretches from Chipping Campden to Bath.
Angela rambles the route from the picture-postcard Cotswold town of Broadway up to Broadway Tower, a 65-foot Georgian folly that sits 1,000 feet above sea level.
It’s a bit of a climb for Angela, but affords her views of green rolling hills and patchwork farmland that apparently encompass 16 counties and stretch as far as 50 miles around. So it’s definitely worth the hike.
Walks With my dog airs Thursday th at pm on More4