Laura Whitmore has said she wanted to use her screenwriting debut to tackle the pressure people put on themselves to have a perfect life.

The TV star has written and stars in the short film Sadhbh, about a young mother who is struggling with life but putting on a mask for the rest of the world, which will screen at the Irish Film Festival London.

The 34-year-old told the PA news agency: “I have a lot of friends who have kids now and, even without kids, you’re kind of trying to have a perfect life, or what you think life should be, and what you think you should be able to cope with.”

She added: “Every interview I was doing, social media would constantly come up, not even with people in the public eye.

“We talk about press and media and paparazzi but I think everyone deals with elements of that now because of social media, we are constantly comparing ourselves, constantly feeling like we are not good enough and struggling with who we are and what we should be, so it kind of came from that a little bit.”

She continued: “It is hard, you have to realise whatever you’re feeling, everyone else is feeling as well, no matter who you are.

“Everyone is comparing, even the person who looks like they are living the best life, they are looking at someone else going ‘Oh, I should be doing that’.

Whitmore described the short film as her “passion project” and admitted she did not think anyone would ever see it.

She said: “When I did it, I didn’t really tell anyone, so even my friends were like ‘Hold on, when did this happen and when did you do that?’

“I was like ‘You know the time I disappeared a little bit, at the beginning of the year, and I had red hair? That is what happened.’

“It wasn’t even a secret film but I didn’t Instagram it, so that is secret, isn’t it?”

Discussing the decision to take on the lead role of Claire, the Irish broadcaster and actress said: “You kind of wonder when you play a role, will people go ‘Oh, is that part of you?’

“The part I play is very different to me but based on a few people that I know and different things that I’ve seen.”

The Irish Film Festival runs from November 20 to 24 at The Regent Street Cinema.

Sadhbh will be screened on November 22.