EE's Laurie tells of baby gifts
EastEnders star Laurie Brett has told how her Albert Square co-stars have been showering her with gifts and advice as she prepares to become a mother.
The actress - who plays childless Jane Beale - is to become a mother for the first time at the age of 40 with her child due in May.
She tells Hello! magazine: "I keep arriving at my dressing room to find that Steve McFadden (hard man Phil Mitchell) has left all sort of gifts outside my door, including a beautiful crib.
"He's been like Santa," she said as she spoke about her pregnancy for the first time.
Brett, whose long-standing character Jane is unable to have a baby, said she has been receiving pregnancy advice from Jo Joyner - mother to twins in real life. Linda Henry (Shirley Carter) and Cheryl Fergison (who plays Heather Trott) have also promised to take her on a shopping spree.
Brett was planning to keep quiet about her pregnancy in the early days, but co-star Adam Woodyatt - her on-screen husband Ian Beale - realised.
"He said, 'you're pregnant, aren't you?' It's not surprising that he knew as we spend more time with each other than we do with our partners. I had suddenly become very sensitive to certain smells and I wasn't going out for cigarette breaks."
She and boyfriend Johnny Milroy - whom she began dating last year - were not actively trying for a child, although both are delighted and Brett had become broody.
"I thought I would be very sad if it didn't happen. I felt as though something was missing from my life, and Johnny really listened and understood that."
:: The full interview is in the new edition of Hello! magazine out now.