As Karen Taylor in EastEnders, actress Lorraine Stanley can usually be seen with her hair piled on top of her head, without a scrap of make-up on and rocking tracksuits a size too small.
However, when the 43-year-old actress turned up to the Soap Awards, she was barely recognisable, with Lorraine admitting she has lost a massive 12lb in just six weeks!
Lorraine says her new figure is down to a diet and fitness regime she’s been following, thanks to the help of her friend and personal trainer, Louise Appel. The fitness plan involves cutting out crisps, carbs and chocolate, and we think she looks fantastic.
‘My mate Louise is my fitness guru. I’ve got her to thank for it,’ she explains. ‘She talks about nutrition. I’ve eaten a lot of boiled eggs, fish, chicken, no carbs, no crisps and no chocolate. I’m enjoying it and I feel better for it.’
Although she may have wowed on the red carpet, Lorraine insists she isn’t quite so glamorous day to day, even confessing, ‘One of the tops [EastEnders] put me in as a costume the other day I’d just bought for myself, worryingly!’
Speaking of fans’ reactions to seeing her out of character, she adds, ‘Even just my hair down with a fringe throws people.’
Despite feeling more comfortable in herself off-screen now, Lorraine has confessed that she doesn’t always like how she looks when playing Karen on EastEnders – even though she has a say in the clothes her character wears.
‘I pushed for the bra straps on show and the very tight-fitting stuff when I first joined,’ the actress says. ‘She’s a big woman who shows her curves. I cover mine, but Karen couldn’t care less.
‘I’ve never played glamorous roles on telly, so I’m used to seeing myself and thinking, “Oh my god, you look awful.”
‘Although sometimes if my fella is sat next to me and he has EastEnders on I’ll say, “Don’t look at me on screen.”’
Laughing as she reveals that her on-screen persona doesn’t change the way her partner, Mark, looks at her, she finishes, ‘He knows I’m a sort in real life!’
This article was originally published in Woman’s Own.