PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Chris Langham said he expected people to "admire" him when he said he had downloaded indecent images of children as research for a television role.
The disgraced Bafta award winner was sent to prison for 10 months in 2007 after being found guilty of 15 counts of downloading child pornography, but insisted he viewed the videoclips and pictures as research for a paedophile character he was developing for the BBC Two drama Help.
He told the Guardian the run-up to the trial left him "quite unhinged", but insisted "nothing in my life has ever gone wrong".
He added: "It just happened differently to how I'd expected it to be."
The actor, who won a Bafta for his role in the BBC drama The Thick Of It, said: "I knew it was illegal. It was just hubristic and arrogant of me to think I'm above the law because I'm an artist.
"I thought after (I'd played the character) I'll reveal I'd researched it and people would say 'Gosh, you've taken this really difficult subject and done something amazing'. I'll do this thing and everyone will think I'm wonderful.
"I thought if I pulled it off, everyone would admire me. And I'm a slut for approval."