Martine McCutcheon at 46: ‘How I changed my shape’

From soap star to stunner, Closer takes a look at how actress Martine McCutcheon knocked 10 years off her appearance

by Ben Pulsford |

She rose to fame as Tiffany Mitchell on hit BBC soap EastEnders – securing her place as a national sweetheart when she released her best- selling hit, Perfect Moment, a year after her character was killed off in 1998.

And after winning a Laurence Olivier Award for her stage work in 2002, Martine proved she could do it all when she took on the role of Hugh Grant's love interest, tea-lady Natalie, in 2003’s film Love Actually.

Now, almost a decade on from the making of the hit rom-com, Martine, 46 – who made her career comeback when she took part in The Masked Singer last year – is looking happier and healthier than ever, and took to Instagram last week to show off her recent transformation.

Martine McCutcheon's transformation

Looking dramatically slimmer, the singer, who shares her seven-year-old son Rafferty with husband Jack McManus, wrote, “Finally booked our holiday. I can’t wait to see the ocean! Time to get the bikini, sunglasses, flip flops and sun hats packed.”

And it seems Martine’s transformation hasn’t gone unnoticed as she recently signed a contract with Naomi Campbell’s modelling agency. But her journey to peak fitness has been far from plain-sailing. Martine has candidly shared her struggles with peri-menopause, which she said had made her feel like she was “losing” her mind before undergoing hormone treatment, and she has battled fibromyalgia – a health condition that causes pain and fatigue – since 2012.

She also revealed earlier this year how she had been “addicted” to Diet Coke and was forced to kick the habit after feeling shamed by other mums at the school gates.

“The mothers looked at me disgusted, absolutely disgusted, – ‘She’s not got her posh coffee cup, she’s rocked up with a Diet Coke...’ I loved that little buzz it gave me,” she said.

"I’ll have treats 20 per cent of the time"

These days Martine – who has revealed her favourite treats are now pizza, chocolate and gin – prioritises health eating and regular exercise. “For 80 per cent of my week, I will have mainly just healthy proteins, vegetables and fruit, organic and veggie juices, and Flora ProActiv spread. And then I’ll have treats 20 per cent of the time,” she said. “It’s taken me such a long time to look through all the stuff that’s out there, and just do what works for me. So it’s not as simple as just going on a crazy diet.”

Martine – who says she spent years being judged like “a piece of meat” in the public eye – says she prefers gentle activities like walking her dog and stretching, and says she keeps her mind healthy with daily meditation and cold showers.

Martine McCutcheon is a fan "tweakments"

The mum-of-one, who has shared her plans to renew her vows later this year, is also very open about being a fan of “tweakments”, revealing on Loose Women that she had “bought and paid” for all of her teeth, adding, “It’s the best money I’ve ever spent”.

And in August last year, Martine, who has said she feels like “Willo the wisp” without hair extensions, shared images of her undergoing Botox, after revealing how her illness had left her looking “ragged”.

She added, “I just looked in the mirror and thought, ‘I’ve always had nice skin, I’ve always had a nice, beautiful glow – and now it’s gone’. So I had Botox. I just looked like me but not a creased pillow, basically."

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