Michelle Collins has confessed she was struggling with her mental health when she competed on Celebrity MasterChef.
The 59-year-old actor told the Sunday Mirror's Notebook magazine she was "really in a bad way" when she decided to take part in filming for the show in the second half of 2020.
Her mother was in the midst of a battle with cancer — she later passed away in 2021 — and couldn't leave the house due to shielding rules.
"I was shopping for her and also helping out at a friend’s food bank. So, I just kept myself busy,"" said the EastEnders star.
Collins added: "During that Christmas lockdown I did suffer. My mum was going downhill. I did Celebrity MasterChef, and I was really in a bad way.
"Mentally I wasn’t right and I shouldn’t have done it. Then in April mum died, so last year wasn’t a happy time for me."
Read more: Who won Celebrity MasterChef 2021?
Collins has spoken frankly about struggling with mental health in her past, including battling an eating disorder.
"We all go through times in our life when we suffer from mental health issues, and we should talk about it," she said.
"I did write about it in my book, including the time when I attempted suicide. I’ve become much stronger as I’ve gotten older, but I still want to help other people as much as I can."
Collins rose to fame for portraying the villainous Cindy Beale — wife of Ian — in EastEnders from 1988 until the character was killed off in 1998.
In 2011, Collins took on another eye-catching soap role as Rovers landlady Stella Price in Coronation Street, staying on the cobbles until 2014.
She is now on tour with a theatrical production of Cluedo, in which she plays Miss Scarlett.
Watch: Michelle Collins pays tribute to "working class hero" Barbara Windsor