As fans of Emmerdale will know, Pauline Quirke is about to leave the show and her role as Hazel Rhodes…
And Pauline has been telling the TV Times that she’s going to find it incredibly sad to say goodbye to her co-stars. She also discussed the astonishing weight loss that’s transformed her shape.
First, on leaving the show, Pauline said, “I will be very, very sad to go and there have been lots of tears.
“This has been the happiest 18-months of my life and if my family weren’t 200 miles away in Buckinghamshire, you’d never have got me out of here.”
Of the distance between her home and the show’s studios in Leeds, Pauline added, “The reality of being away from home didn’t kick in for a couple of months.
“I was used to going home every night and cooking and being with my family. But I had a lot of support from the girls – Charley Webb (Debbie), Lucy Pargeter (Chas) and Zoe Henry (Rhona).
“We have got very close and have just had a great weekend in the lakes. They’ve been so good to me…
“I fell over last Christmas and broke my arm. Immediately, Lucy was on the phone saying, ‘What can I get you?’ Us girls will never lose touch.
“And of course, Danny Miller who plays Aaron, will always be my surrogate son.”
Pauline then moved on to describing how she’s lost eight stones in weight over the last year.
She explained, “I weighed 19st 6lb when I started [dieting] and losing the weight was tough.
“But all the gang at Emmerdale were so supportive, helping me and paying me compliments.
“At first I thought losing weight was making me look older, but they all said it didn’t and kept encouraging me.
“Their support helped me get through each day – they wouldn’t eat their sandwiches in front of me.
“I didn’t do LighterLife initially. I just had good intentions, but I was being a bit rubbish.
“Yorkshire has got more Michelin star restaurants than anywhere else I’ve been and I also happened to live above one of the best Indian restaurants in Leeds!
“It was all conspiring against me!”
However, it was all worth it as Pauline says she feels so much better now she’s shed the weight.
She said, “Physically and mentally I feel so much better for losing the weight. There are lots of little things – I’ve noticed that there are bones I never knew I had.
“I also have much more energy. I’ve joined a gym and I’ve bought a bicycle.
“The trick now is going to be keeping the weight off – we’ve all come across those celeb DVDs and then watched it all go back on again.”
Finally, when asked if Hazel may return to the village at some point, Pauline said, “Hazel disappears off into the Hotten mists, but they have left the door open for me.
“I would love to return.”
Here’s a reminder of Pauline’s first scenes on the show, and a backstage look at her arrival…