By Chris King • 15 December 2020 • 3:13
MARTINE McCUTCHEON – Bankruptcy, A Wheelchair, to Happiness
Martine McCutcheon, now 44-years-old, was the nation’s sweetheart when she played Tiffany in BBC soap ‘East Enders’, with her romance with screen husband Grant Mitchell ending famously with Tiffany’s death on New Year’s Eve 1998, watched by an incredible 22 million viewers.
Martine was not expecting to be written out of the show, instead, hoping it would be a hiatus while she started a pop career, but, the BBC’s drama controller at the time, Mal Young, said to The Guardian, “I won’t do that, we’re not her charity”.
After East Enders, Martine’s pop career took off, with a number one single ‘Perfect Moment’, and a role in ‘My Fair Lady’ as Eliza Doolittle, she was estimatedly worth around £2 million, but suddenly, disaster struck, when she was hit by a streptococcal infection, leading to thrombosis in her leg and skull, and then, depression, ending with her being made bankrupt.
In a seven year period, Martine collapsed more than 20 times, eventually ending up in a wheelchair, and later diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome ME, and Lyme’s disease, suffering numerous miscarriages due to her immune system being so low.
Of course Martine came back in 2003, to star opposite Hugh Grant in the hit movie, ‘Love Actually’, with her condition thankfully improving, and in 2015, her dreams finally came true when, aged 39, she had her baby, Rafferty, with husband Jack McManus, later becoming a regular panellist on ITV’s daytime show ‘Loose Women’, releasing her new album in 2017, ‘Lost and Found’, and now living happily with her family in a stunning mansion in Surrey.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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