Peaky Blinders' star Helen McCrory has said she has found the coronavirus pandemic "overwhelming" and has had experienced moments of spontaneously bursting into tears.

The 51-year-old actress also said she has found the situation "surreal" and "fantastical".

Appearing on the BBC Coronavirus Newscast podcast alongside her actor husband, Damian Lewis, she said: "We're all doing our bit and not going out. But you feel responsible, you know you're watching the news, we're all reading it, we're all finding out what's happening over the world, and it's so overwhelming.

"It sort of seems, as Damian says, it's fantastical.

"You think you're absolutely fine, you're pottering along, you're coping with it. Cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking. And you suddenly burst into tears.

"And it's this fear, and it's the vulnerability coming out, and then you pick yourself up and you go along again as if nothing happened. And it's very surreal."

Husband and Billions star Lewis added: "There have been movie scripts like this, and there have been novels written like this.

Dmian Lewis and Helen McCrory

"Thirty years ago they seemed like sci-fi and they were sort of dystopian, futuristic novels. But within the last 10 years, everybody has known.

"This is what is slightly frustrating and you don't want to throw stones at a time like this, but everyone in that sector must have known, must have been aware that the next great global threat was going to come from a pandemic, a virus spread through air travel around the world simultaneously. In fact, many experts have been saying that."