Jill Halfpenny says 'it's nice to be in love again' after bereavement

The actor lost her partner in 2017 and has written a book about grieving and starting a new romance.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/07/07: Jill Halfpenny attends a South Bank Sky Arts Awards at the Savoy, strand in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Jill Halfpenny has talked moving on after grief. (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Jill Halfpenny has shared her feelings about moving on with a new relationship after her partner's death, saying "it's really nice to be in love again".

The EastEnders and Waterloo Road star appeared on Wednesday's The One Show to talk about her book on grief, A Life Reimagined: My Journey of Hope in the Midst of Loss.

She opened up on how she and her son had dealt with their loss and how happy she is in her new relationship.

Halfpenny's new book on bereavement sees the TV star open up on some of the toughest moments of her life, including her father's death when she was four and then losing her partner Matt Janes in sudden and similar circumstances.

The actor's dad had died while playing football and Janes passed away from a heart attack at the gym - but she said as well as the tragic similarities, losing her partner also made her address unresolved feelings from her childhood.

She told The One Show: "In 2017 I lost my partner in very similar circumstances and I just felt at that moment that what I really needed to do was feel all the things that I had never really dealt with when I was younger. I really wanted to go through the full experience. I instinctively knew that if I was to put it away in a little box it was just going to get bigger and scarier."

Halfpenny added: "Grief is so scary and it's so isolating and there's a tendency to want to lock yourself away."

Explaining how she had worked through her feelings and offered advice in her book on how to do the same, she addressed her new relationship with partner Ian.

"It can sometimes feel slightly like a betrayal if you move on and it's not," Halfpenny said. "I fortunately feel that I do deserve to be happy and I do feel happy and it's really nice to be in love again."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Jill Halfpenny attends the press night afterparty of
Jill Halfpenny has shared her thoughts on dealing with grief in her new book. (WireImage)

She also said that she had helped her son Harvey, from a previous relationship, through the grief of Janes' death. She said: "When my partner died I just really wanted my son to know that you can be in a lot of pain and you can have a lot of suffering but you can get through it. I think that's an important lesson for a child to see a parent in a lot of pain and a lot of grief but also say to them I will be ok."

Halfpenny was joined on the show's sofa by interior designer Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, who lost his own father aged nine. "One of the things I do remember was feeling slightly at sea because I wasn't grieving and I felt I didn't feel sad," he said.

Talking about how his mother was diagnosed with MS around the same time, he added: "As a family unit we felt very, very vulnerable at that point. We definitely put it in boxes, some of which I do unpack and make gothic wallpaper out of. That probably explains some of my more outre schemes."

Hamza: Strictly Birds of Prey (w/t),Hamza Yassin,Wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin stands with his camera in the Cairngorms National Park,Ellie Jo Hilton/Silverback Films,Ellie Jo Hilton
Hamza Yassin met with his old teacher. (BBC)

The episode featured a film from nature cameraman and presenter Hamza Yassin, who spoke about his dyslexia and visited his old school for thank a teacher day.

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Yassin met up with his old teacher Mrs Strange who had helped him to get his dyslexia diagnosis.

In a tearful reunion, Yassin told her: "Who I am now is a result of me being dyslexic, so thank you for letting me see that," as Strange replied: "You make me feel very emotional."

He added: "She believed in me and I'll be grateful forever."

The One Show airs on BBC One at 7pm on weekdays.