LOVE ACTUALLY star Laura Linney has been named as the new romantic interest for Kelsey Grammer's character in the hit sitcom Frasier.

Linney will begin appearing on American screens as dating service boss CHARLOTTE, FRASIER CRANE's lover, from 23 March (04), and the MYSTIC RIVER star admits she found it to be a great learning experience.

She says, "I wanted and needed to do this because it's an area I knew nothing about.

"Sitcoms take a whole different skill. I'm very curious and like to try different things. And if I'm going to learn about this form, I might as well learn from the best in the world.

"It's a good thing for me, invigorating and a little scary - like jumping into cold water. I tend to spend a lot of time on my work and to study very intensely. With this, you just have to throw yourself in."

05/03/2004 02:09