I’M afraid I lost patience with Olivia Colman when I read that she and her husband were so poor living in London as young actors that they had to eat an old potato they found down the back of the sofa.

Really? Had they not heard of pasta? Or baked beans? That’s pretty much what I existed on, aged 22, in a grotty shared South London flat, failing to get by on a crippling post-student overdraft. The bank only allowed me to withdraw £30 a week, and about £10 of that went on Tube fares, so I didn’t last long in London.

Unlike Colman, I didn’t go to private school, or Oxbridge. I knew people who did though, and none of them appeared to be living off old potatoes.

This week the expensively educated Cambridge Footlights alumna Olivia Colman once again reflected on her humble beginnings, receiving the Best Actress award at the Oscars.

“I used to be a cleaner,” she told the A-list audience, in a speech widely praised for inspiring young hopefuls not to give up on their dreams. I doubt she was a cleaner very long, and if I was a cleaner I think I’d find her gushing declaration “I loved that job” more patronising than inspiring.

Yes, she’s a talented actress and it’s great to see a Brit win an Academy Award, yada yada, but I just don’t buy the wide-eyed “Gosh, little me at the Oscars” modesty. I’m not feeling the rags-to-riches vibe either.

I’m with Loose Women panellist Jane Moore, who said of Colman on the show this week: “Why do you always have to do the ‘Oh I was just sweeping the streets and someone gave me an Oscar!’ act?’

My thoughts exactly. Maybe it’s just cynical journalists who are conditioned not to take people at face value, but c’mon. Colman is a multi Bafta-winning actress who has picked up several gongs for her starring role in The Favourite over the recent awards season, so was it really such a surprise to win an Oscar?

She’s an intelligent, highly trained, versatile actress, and charity campaigner, who has worked with the likes of Meryl Streep and Dame Judi Dench, so why does she turn into a simpering schoolgirl, trotting out daft lines like “I feel like a competition winner” when she talks of her glittering career?

Of course she’s allowed her Oscar moment, and to shed a tear or two. But I’d have more respect for her if she’d just accepted it graciously, without the giddy false modesty.

Her speech wasn’t the only one reaching out to anyone with a dream. “If you’re at home, sitting on your couch, watching this right now, all I have to say is this is hard work”...”If you have a dream, fight for it,” said a tearful Lady Ga Ga, accepting her Best Original Song Oscar.

I’m all for dreaming big, and working hard for it, but the reality for many kids is that the success enjoyed by British stars in recent years - largely posh, privately educated and well connected - is out of reach. Actors such as Julie Walters and David Morrissey have been vocal about class inequality in the industry, both claiming that if they were to start out now, without the full grants they had as students, they wouldn’t be able to afford to go to drama school.

Without actors from ordinary backgrounds, with authentic regional accents, the industry will be dominated by the clipped vowels of posh boys and girls. We need a better legacy than that from the post-war Kitchen Sink movement that gave a voice to the likes of the late Albert Finney.

Aspiring actors, writers and musicians need tangible opportunities, not gushing but ultimately shallow rags-to-riches fairytales.

* I LIKE it warm but I don’t like it this warm! Not in February anyway. It’s been the hottest February on record and it’s left me feeling out of sorts. This time last year I was battling through Siberian blizzards. Now I’ve got the windows open and it’s like a balmy spring.

I like the changing seasons, now they seem to merge into one. It feels unnatural. Wildlife is out of kilter; birds are trying to nest, butterflies have emerged, hedgehogs are out of hibernation and migrant swallows are here a month early. And we're facing a daffodil crisis! Oh for a crisp, cold late winter day...

* Catch yourself on...the fabulous Derry Girls are heading back to our TV screens.

The show, about a group of convent schoolgirls in 1990s Northern Ireland, was a surprise hit last year, becoming Channel 4's highest-rated comedy in over a decade. Creator Lisa McGee drew on her experiences of growing up in Londonderry, and captures the frustrations and friendships of those brief, intense teenage years. "I wanted to be an individual but my ma wouldn't let me...".

The female-led show gives a voice to families getting on with everyday life as the Troubles raged on their doorsteps.

And for those, like me, who were taught by nuns, it's a deliciously irreverent depiction of convent school life. Slainte!