Ahead of her Easten­ders re­turn, Tamzin Outh­waite opens up about life as a sin­gle mum and mov­ing on from her di­vorce

Closer (UK) - - Contents -

“I’ve had boyfriends in se­cret but I’m happy be­ing sin­gle”

It’s been 15 years I since her ex­plo­sive exit from Al­bert Square, but Tamzin Outh­waite is mak­ing her re­turn to Easten­ders as feisty Mel Owen in the new year.

And the ac­tress tells Closer it was her two daugh­ters – Florence, nine, and Marnie, five – that en­cour­aged her to take on the role, be­cause film­ing in Bore­ham­wood is so close to their North London home.

Tamzin, 46, says, “When I ask my kids for ad­vice, they al­ways ask where film­ing is and whether I can come home at night. If I can, then they make me do it. My el­dest Flo doesn’t even ask what the role is. They love hav­ing me around. It’s very sweet.”

Tamzin first joined Easten­ders in 1998 and fea­tured in some of the show’s mem­o­rable sto­ry­lines, in­clud­ing who shot Phil Mitchell. Af­ter leav­ing in 2002, she went on to star in TV hits like Red Cap, Ho­tel Baby­lon and BBC’S New Tricks and has also carved out a ca­reer in the the­atre – ap­pear­ing in pro­duc­tions of How The Other Half Loves and Sweet Char­ity.


But the star’s de­ci­sion to re­turn to the award-win­ning soap came af­ter a painful foot in­jury ear­lier this year caused her to pull out of the West End show, Step­ping Out, and re-think her fu­ture on the stage.

She says, “I frac­tured my metatarsal when I was re­hears­ing. I was tap danc­ing in heels and I got a stress frac­ture. I took painkillers and just car­ried on, but it’s taken months to heal. Thank­fully, now it’s fi­nally get­ting bet­ter. I can’t run but that’s OK. Dur­ing my re­cov­ery, I’ve tried a bit of hot Pilates as I like to sweat so love be­ing in the heat! But I’ve only just started work­ing out again – I need to build it up.”

Tamzin’s pri­vate life has some­times mir­rored the dra­mas of her on-screen char­ac­ters. Her love life hit the head­lines in 2013 when her then-hus­band, Mi­randa star Tom El­lis, 38, re­port­edly ad­mit­ted to cheat­ing on her when he was work­ing in Amer­ica. The pair – who were in­tro­duced in 2005 by mu­tual pal, ac­tor James Mcavoy – ended their seven-year mar­riage in 2014 and Tom re­lo­cated to LA where he now stars in the hit FOX show Lu­cifer.

At the time, in­sid­ers claimed Tom had a one-off fling with Lost ac­tress Em­i­lie de Ravin, yet Tamzin im­plied there was more to it last year when she said, “I wouldn’t not be with my hus­band over a one-night stand.”

But she re­veals that, de­spite their dif­fi­cult split, she and Tom are now on good terms and she reg­u­larly takes their daugh­ters out to Los An­ge­les to spend time to­gether as a fam­ily.


She says, “The girls do see their dad. He works in LA on his show most of the year so I took the sum­mer off and we went to visit him. The girls have just worked out how their lives are – Amer­ica is where their dad is and London is where their mum is. It also gives them a taste of a dif­fer­ent way of liv­ing. So that’s the pos­i­tive way I look at it.”

But Tamzin ad­mits be­ing a sin­gle mum isn’t al­ways easy. “There is pres­sure. You al­ways feel as though you have to get the bal­ance of be­ing able to work and do what you want, but also pay for your fam­ily to live and to be around for them,” she says.

She re­turns to Easten­ders in the new year The star says she’s friendly with her ex-hus­band Tom

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