ACTRESS Wendi Peters, who starred as the infamous Cilla Battersby-Brown in ITV1’s Coronation Street, describes how she’s finally beaten the ‘snack’ habit that kept derailing her healthy-eating programme.
Wendi says: “But my downfall is a tendency to put on unnecessary extra pounds by picking at snacks, particularly if I’m bored or away from home working and it’s not easy to find healthy food.
“I’m a great one for thinking ‘I’ll have a cup of tea, now what can I have with that...’”
She’s currently appearing in London theatre production Grumpy Old Women Live 2, and finds a Bach emotional eating kit, using flower essences, effective in curbing her cravings for sweet snacks.
“I’m healthy and happy with my weight so I never weigh myself. My clothes tell me if I need to cut back! And at a size 14-16, I represent the average size of a woman in Britain.”
A keen cook, she was a finalist on BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef last year. She says: “I adore cooking and particularly baking. It gives me real pleasure to cook for people, all I have to guard against is tasting the recipes too much as I go along!”
Wendi, 42, has been married to Kenny Linden for 16 years. They met in 1988 when they were both appearing on stage in the musical Hello Dolly.
She underwent seven IVF treatments before she had her daughter Gracie.
“Gracie’s nine now, and it’s amazing how quickly you forget all the heartache. IVF is hard on your body, your mind and your relationship, but that’s a long time ago and we feel so blessed to have our daughter,” she says.
Wendi grew up in Blackburn, Lancashire, but now lives in Hertfordshire. Her husband is now a sports therapist who works from home and cares for their daughter when Wendi is away working.
“I don’t like to be away from them for too long though. That was the reason I left the Street. Because it’s filmed in Manchester it meant being away from home a lot.”
Wendi, who never drinks alcohol and gave up smoking 14 years ago, says: “I am quite a sensible, level-headed sort of person and very active. I walk our two dogs every day and go to the gym regularly, but what I really enjoy is swimming five mornings a week. That helps me keep my mood stable.
“If I ever feel a bit grumpy it’s usually because I haven’t been to the pool because of work. Thrashing through the water - I do about 60 lengths in half an hour - is a great way to release tension, and think through any little issues.”