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‘I never missed EastEnders’: Patsy Palmer admits life on the soap became ‘all-encompassing’

Patsy Palmer has admitted she ‘never missed’ being on EastEnders when she quit her role as Bianca Jackson.

The actress, 48, starred on the soap from 1993 to 1999 and returned for six years in 2008 before leaving the UK and moving to Malibu in 2014 with her husband Richard Merkell and three youngest children. 

Speaking to The Times, Patsy told how the BBC series was ‘all-encompassing’ and it was nice to have some much-needed family time when she left. 

Honest: Patsy Palmer has admitted she ‘never missed’ being on EastEnders when she quit her role as Bianca Jackson

She said: ‘I’d left EastEnders because I’d been there a long time [since 1993], and I was getting offers for other things, TV and film. Then I had my son Fenton, and then Emilia, so it has always been career, kids, career, kids. 

‘I never missed EastEnders because it was so all-encompassing, so it was nice to have some family time for a bit. But I did love my time there.’

Patsy told how her daughter Emilia, 19, would often be quizzed by her schoolmates on her famous mother’s career, leading the school to let her have lunch early by herself so she could avoid it.

She explained: ‘All the other kids were driving her mad about me, saying things all the time. It was never mean stuff, and she was never bullied; she just found it all kind of overwhelming. Sometimes she’d say to me: “I just don’t know who my real friends are.”‘

Role: The actress, 48, starred on the soap from 1993 to 1999 and returned for six years in 2008 before leaving the UK and moving to Malibu in 2014

Role: The actress, 48, starred on the soap from 1993 to 1999 and returned for six years in 2008 before leaving the UK and moving to Malibu in 2014

Patsy said she lives an ‘ordinary life’ in Malibu and insisted she and her family are not wealthy, despite being surrounded by great wealth in the beach side town.

The soap star added she ‘doesn’t recognise’ the person she was as a teenager, when she had drink and drug problems and was pregnant at 19.

Patsy explained she has learned from therapy and a ‘stint in recovery’ to be true to herself and that is what she teaches her kids.  

The actress said her co-star Barbara Windsor’s death ‘hit [her] hard’ as the pair formed a close friendship while working on EastEnders.

Fame: Patsy told how her daughter Emilia, 19, would often be quizzed by her schoolmates on her famous mother's career, leading the school to let her have lunch early by herself so she could avoid it (pictured in 2018)

Fame: Patsy told how her daughter Emilia, 19, would often be quizzed by her schoolmates on her famous mother’s career, leading the school to let her have lunch early by herself so she could avoid it (pictured in 2018)

Patsy recalled how she was the first person Barbara met on set when she joined the soap and said it was ‘so sad’ she couldn’t have the send off she would’ve liked due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Along with Emilia, Patsy is also mother to Fenton, 20, and Bertie, ten, with Richard and Charley, 29, from a past romance with boxer Alfie Rothwell.   

On Valentine’s Day, Patsy took to Instagram and shared an adorable tribute to her husband of 20 years.

Patsy posted an artsy black-and-white photograph of herself and her husband, 56, relaxing against a wall with their two dogs. 

She said: 'I never missed EastEnders because it was so all-encompassing, so it was nice to have some family time for a bit. But I did love my time there' (pictured in 2019)

She said: ‘I never missed EastEnders because it was so all-encompassing, so it was nice to have some family time for a bit. But I did love my time there’ (pictured in 2019)

She wrote a heartfelt caption, saying: ‘We have been dating for 22 years today. In between dating we got married & had kids & dogs & a cat. 

‘We have listened to endless music, danced to millions of songs, laughed at stupid jokes, argued about stupid things but we are always together.

‘We are best friends & lovers and parents to our wonderful children. So grateful for you @richardmerkell. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone that believes in LOVE ❤️❤️’

Patsy appears to have swapped acting for a new passion, as she launched her new wellness page on Instagram, Good and Proper, last year.

Family first: The TV personality has made a home for herself in California with Richard and their children, Fenton, 20, Emilia and Bertie, ten, as well as son Charley, 29 (pictured right)

Family first: The TV personality has made a home for herself in California with Richard and their children, Fenton, 20, Emilia and Bertie, ten, as well as son Charley, 29 (pictured right)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk