Former Emmerdale actress says Strictly helped through '˜worst time' as she reveals IVF baby bid

Lisa Riley. PIC: PALisa Riley. PIC: PA
Lisa Riley. PIC: PA
Lisa Riley has said she will try IVF in her bid to become a mother as she credited Strictly Come Dancing with helping her through what she says was 'the worst time of my life'.

The former Emmerdale actress, 41, said losing 12 stone and being in love for “the first time in my life” had contributed to her wanting to become a mother.

She told The Mail on Sunday’s You magazine: “When I went in to have surgery to remove the loose flesh after I lost all my weight, the first thing that came into my head when I saw my surgeon was, ‘Can I still have kids after all the surgery?’ I was worried that because my skin had been cut it would no longer stretch.”

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“I’ve decided not to live in fear. I want to have IVF (In vitro fertilisation) but I’m not going to put myself through a lot of stress if it doesn’t work.

“There are a lot of reasons why I want to have a baby: some to do with the fact I’ve saved myself by losing weight, but also that I’m in love for the first time in my life and he would like to have time in my life and he would like to have a baby if we can.

“I don’t just think about myself any more. If we were to have a child, that would be wonderful.”

Riley, who played Emmerdale’s Mandy Dingle, competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.

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She told You magazine she had decided to do the popular BBC One dancing series because her late mum would have wanted her to.

She said: “I went in there this big fat girl and I refused to be the comedy turn. I have been to drama school, I have rhythm. I was going to show everyone not to underestimate women like me and that even if you are big you can dance. The whole experience was amazing.

“Robin (Windsor) saw me at my worst, crying my heart out on my bed unable to move, and at my best when we were dancing. He was a rock. I don’t know why but being on Strictly helped me get through the worst time of my life.

“There was one point in Glasgow while on tour that I almost pulled out, but I knew mum would have been so cross with me if I did that.”

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In October 2016, Riley underwent a lie detector test, which she passed, on ITV’s Loose Women, to curb speculation she’d had weight loss surgery.

She said: “I don’t blame people. A lot of celebrities in my industry have lied about the way they have lost weight. But I have always been a very upfront person. Lying is not my way. I’ll tell the truth, however painful that is.”

Referencing her book, Honesty Diet, which documents her weight loss journey, Riley said she had not taken any “shortcuts”.

She will next be seen on screen in BBC One drama Age Before Beauty.