Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony reveals secret Parkinson's battle

Lysette Anthony attending the British Soap Awards 2018 held at The Hackney Empire, London. (Photo by Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images)
Lysette Anthony said she kept her Parkinson's diagnosis secret for fear of losing her job. (Getty Images)

Hollyoaks star Lysette Anthony has revealed she has been secretly living with Parkinson's disease for several years.

The 58-year-old actor — whose character in the Channel 4 soap Marnie Nightingale was killed off in January — revealed she was diagnosed the same week she was offered her role in the soap, and was terrified her diagnosis would result in her losing her job.

Anthony told OK! magazine: "I decided to, well, brave it and speak out now because there is no cure and I need to be a part of the cure, but also because my symptoms have got worse."

Read more: Lysette Anthony claims she went through '18 months of humiliation' on 'Hollyoaks'

She added: "When I decided to come out 18 months ago I was always frightened I would lose my job and then what happened was I lost my job."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JUNE 03:  Lysette Anthony attends The British Soap Awards at The Lowry Theatre on June 3, 2017 in Manchester, England. The Soap Awards will be aired on June 6 on ITV at 8pm.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Lysette Anthony starred as Marnie Nightingale in 'Hollyoaks' from 2016 to January 2022. (Getty Images)

The Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star revealed her first symptoms included shaking while trying to light a cigarette on stage.

She said: "I heard Billy Connolly on Desert Island Discs and I thought 'That's what I've got!'"

Actor and comedian Sir Billy Connolly, 79, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — a neurological condition that affects body movement — in 2013 and recently revealed he is now unable to play musical instruments.

Anthony said: "I’ve made my peace in many ways, in terms of I now call my add-on Parky. If I do too much it will basically shut me down and paralyse my, or my hands won’t work."

She starred as Marnie Nightingale in Hollyoaks since 2016, having previously appeared in a different role in the soap between 2008 and 2009.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06:  Lysette Anthony (L) and Nicole Barber-Lane, winners of the award for Best Partnership, attend the Inside Soap Awards held at The Hippodrome on November 6, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Lysette Anthony and Nicole Barber-Lane at the Inside Soap Awards in 2017. (Getty Images)

She said she had felt, "scared and humiliated" and worried she would not be able to look after her child.

Anthony criticised Hollyoaks shortly after her exit scenes aired.

She posted on Instagram that she had "endured 18 months of humiliation, of Hell”.

“Gagged, silenced, suspended, fined... oh do I have a story to tell,” she told her 75,000 followers.

“Ask yourselves this. Why oh why have @hollyoaksofficial EXTENDED my contract a few weeks back until the end of February..? RIP Marnie..etc.. boo hoo.. ??”

Read more: Sarah Jayne Dunn says she 'had to take a stand' as she exits Hollyoaks over OnlyFans

Yahoo has contacted Hollyoaks for comment.

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