Suzanne Shaw ‘piled on weight’ during Emmerdale stint as Eve: ‘Lots of sitting around’

Emmerdale: Suzanne Shaw stars as Eve Birch in 2010

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Former Hear’Say member and actress Suzanne Shaw, 39, has opened up about piling on the pounds, during her role playing Eve Birch in ITV favourite Emmerdale. After leaving the band, which she claims was the “fittest” group around, she gained weight after turning to junk food while filming her year long, iconic TV appearance.

When I joined the cast of Emmerdale, my fitness really began to slide

Suzanne Shaw

In a candid chat about her health, the TV actress revealed that spending long days on the Leeds set left her eating out of boredom.

She explained that her health took a turn for the worse during her soap role.

Suzanne recalled: “When I joined the cast of Emmerdale, my fitness really began to slide.

“I piled on weight because there’s lots of sitting around and eating biscuits between scenes.

“Before then, I was dancing in a pop group or appearing in West End shows, not just saying my lines.”

She continued: “When I found instant stardom with Hear’Say, I had a good base level of fitness, thanks to all my dancing and gym sessions.”

Suzanne was in popular band Hear’Say for two years before they broke up in 2002.

Eight years later, Suzanne went on to join Emmerdale for a year-long stint as granddaughter of Edna Birch (played by Shirley Stelfox).

Speaking in the exclusive interview with Runner’s World, the actress openly stated that she had battled mental health problems for nearly two decades.

Suzanne said: “I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for more than 18 years.

“But it was only recently that I felt ready to open up about it because I wanted things to change.

“For years, I had been hoping my mental health issues would just go away, but it never happened; instead, I was having more dark days.”

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The singer also detailed her relationship with alcohol, explaining that she decided to not drink for a year, after developing bad habits.

She said: “I gave up alcohol for a year after I had developed an unhealthy relationship with it.

“Along with eating rubbish and hiding away when I was anxious, I would turn to drink as a quick fix.”

Suzanne continued: “Not only do I now not have hangovers, I also don’t have the self-loathing I had before.”

April’s edition of Runner’s World is out today [ON running]

Taking to Instagram at the end of last year, the former popstar opened up on facing Christmas with no booze.

She confided in her followers: “A year ago during the lead up to the festive holidays, the thought of spending my Christmas completely alcohol free would have filled me with absolute dread.

“The thing I found hard to truly comprehend is that you can change your path or journey at any time in this wacky ride called life.”

“Fast forward a year and I’m 11 1/2 months alcohol free and I’m more excited about Christmas than I’ve EVER been in my adult life.”

Read the full Suzanne Shaw interview in the April issue of Runner’s World UK, on sale now or the digital version here

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