Most children squeal with laughter at the thought of Father Christmas getting stuck up a chimney but for one budding Hatfield actress it was the sight of Martin Clunes tumbling out of a rowing boat that brought her festive cheer.

Lauren Hobbs got up to all sorts of high jinx with the Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin actor when they filmed Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?! together.

Martin plays teacher Mr Shepherd, and eight-year-old Lauren stars as his daughter in the film, which will be shown in dozens of cinemas around the country from this Friday.

Not only is it Lauren’s first professional acting role, but the Brookmans Park Primary School pupil managed to win the part, originally meant for a boy, after performing at several auditions and doing an improvised scene with Martin and Marc Wootton, who stars as Mr Poppy.

The film is the third in the franchise that has previously starred Sherlock actor Martin Freeman and former Doctor Who David Tennant as Coventry primary school teachers who try to keep their classes under control long enough to deliver a nativity play.

When asked about her favourite part of being on set Lauren says: “I have lots. There are so many funny scenes, but I did enjoy all the singing and dancing, filming at the fun fair, seeing Martin fall off a boat and filming in New York.”

Her mother, Zoe, says she is thrilled by Lauren’s achievement and was delighted to find out that Martin was every bit as nice as she imagined.

Zoe says: “We couldn’t be prouder for Lauren. We have all been excited to see her on all the tube and bus posters – Lauren is taking everything in her stride though.

“Martin is such a lovely person and got on so well with the children – Lauren really liked his dry sense of humour and they had a lot of fun on set.”

Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?! is on general release from November 14.

See a trailer for the film, featuring Lauren and Martin's splashing moment below.