HOLLYOAKS star Lysette Anthony has opened up about how she kept her Parkinson’s a secret from show bosses.
The 58-year-old, who was killed off the soap last year, was diagnosed at the same time she landed the role.
She asked her son Jimmy not to tell anyone because she feared she would lose her job playing Marnie Nightingale.
Becoming very emotional as she spoke on Loose Women, Lysette said: “I remember when we moved up for Hollyoaks, the hardest thing – and I feel so bad about it – was saying to him, let’s find someone you definitely can talk to, but you cannot confide in anyone because I’ll lose my job.
“Being a single parent and being an actor, it’s nigh-on impossible. How are you meant to work?
“When I was giving birth to Jimmy, they wrote it into the story and then were like, can you hurry up? That’s the trade-off.”
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It was only her onscreen son Greg Finnegan who knew about her diagnosis.
Parkinson’s disease is a condition where parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
She went on to reveal that she first started noticing symptoms after hearing Billy Connolly talk about living with the condition on Desert Island Discs.
She said: “Just hearing him talk, I just thought, ‘That’s what I’ve got’.”
Lysette, who has been on the soap since 2016, was killed off at the start of the year and shocked fans with a series of explosive claims about the soap.
She said she was “gagged, silenced, suspended and fined” by bosses in “18 months of humiliation and hell”.
Posting on Instagram, Lysette raged with a screenshot of a report about the race row that engulfed Hollyoaks in 2020.
At the time actress Rachel Adedeji hit out at Hollyoaks over their treatment of black cast and crew members – causing an investigation and widespread changes at the soap.