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Interrogation: KACEY AINSWORTH: `My breasts leaked at the TV awards' Kacey Ainsworth, 35, talks EastEnders, being a mum, her famous friends - and weeing on her shoes.

Byline: Words: Naomi Greenaway.

Did you think much about Little Mo while you were on maternity leave? Kacey Ainsworth: No, I completely left her behind. It was hard to concentrate on my return because I was thinking, `I've got to breast-feed in half an hour.' But as soon as I was back working with Perry (Fenwick, who plays Billy Mitchell), everything fell into place.

So your six-month-old daughter, Blossom, comes to work with you? KA: Yes, but she stays in my dressing room. I've only brought her on set once. We were working late and I thought everyone needed cheering up.

Is it strange going back to EastEnders with a new boss and new scriptwriters? KA: It feels different, but good. The new boss, Kathleen Hutchison, is a `no mess' woman and I think she's going to be great. Right now, scripts are coming in late because she sends them back for rewriting. But it's worth putting up with the chaos because what's coming out at the end is better.

Did you keep up with the happenings in Albert Square while you were away from the show? KA: We were in France for a while, but when I was at home I sometimes switched on. It was good seeing the show from the outside. There were some great plots, even though it was getting a slating by the press.

Have you had a chance to go out on the razzle yet? KA: Because I'm breast-feeding, I can't drink. I'm trying to knock the breast-feeding on the head though. Blossy's got teeth. It's getting scary.

What part of your body has changed most since giving birth? KA: All of it. But pregnancy has made me appreciate my body. Now I think, `Not only can I grow a baby, I can feed it too.' What I don't like is the cellulite. Kate Winslet said she had an arse like purple sprouting broccoli after giving birth, and my thighs have gone the way of the sprouting broccoli. But I have a personal trainer who comes to the house and shouts at me to do more exercise, so hopefully it will go.

You had a miscarriage two years ago. Has Blossom helped put the trauma behind you? KA: It's helped, but I don't think we'll ever forget it. We're changed forever. The tree we planted when we lost our first baby always flowers in November, so it's in full bloom at the moment. If anything, our experience has made us enjoy Blossom even more.

Is it hard dealing with both Blossom and your on-screen baby, Freddie, at work? KA: Freddie's actually played by two girls, Milly and Niamh, who are very sweet. It's great having a storyline connected to my life. The writers have really captured the adjustments new parents have to make, and how difficult it is for men as well.

Did you and your partner, Darren, 37, find it hard to adjust? KA: The first three months were a bit of a shocker. Initially, as a woman, you totally focus on the baby. You do your best to include your partner, but basically you're going, `Naff off. I'm dealing with this.' But Darren has taken to fatherhood so easily. He stayed at the hospital when she was born and changed her first nappies, which were absolutely disgusting.

Have you given your fellow Slaters any motherhood advice? KA: I spoke to Jessie Wallace and Elaine Lordan loads while I was off. It was great all being pregnant at the same time and sharing something so special. It's brought us closer.

Didn't you have other famous pregnant friends? KA: Angela Griffin and I were in the same postnatal group and, yes, I was in antenatal classes with Gwyneth Paltrow. I mentioned it to someone at work and suddenly it was in the papers, which is so embarrassing. We didn't discuss acting. It was in the first week of Apple's birth and just before Blossy came along, so we were both baby-mad.

Why did you call her Blossom? KA: We wanted something countrified, and all the blossom was out when she arrived in May, so it was perfect. We call her Blossy Boo, but she's just Boo most of the time. Sorry, I've probably just made everyone throw up into their Cornflakes.

How have your hundreds of dogs taken to Blossom? KA: We've got four Labradors - Mo, Tug, Claude and Ronnie - and a Cocker spaniel, Evie. It sounds like a mad house, but they all live in kennels outside. Our biggest Labrador loves Bloss, but Evie hates her, because Bloss gets all the attention.

You and Darren first went out when you were 13. Does he ever still surprise you? KA: Definitely, like the way he's taken to being a dad. He's a tough nut and a mountain of a man at 6ft 5in, but with Bloss he's mush. It sounds like a fairy tale, because we met so young, but it's not - we've had other relationships in between.

What bits of each of you do you hope Blossom inherits? KA: Darren's height - I've hated being a gnome all my life. From me? That's difficult. My nice small feet - although she might topple over...

Is it hard to be glamorous when you're a new mum? KA: My first night out in a party frock was a disaster. I was at the National Television Awards with June Brown (Dot) when I thought someone had thrown a drink down my dress. June looked at me and said, `No dear, you're leaking.' I had milk running all down my front, so I had to leave.

Is there any part of you that's similar to Little Mo? KA: Perhaps her lack of confidence. I can identify with walking into a room and feeling self-conscious. I love her to bits though. The public must do too, because they're always so nice to me.

What would you miss if you weren't famous? KA: I'd miss not being invited to premieres. It's cool to see films early. But I generally just hang out near where I live, in Hertfordshire, with friends who I've known for years. Occasionally a mate will ask me to open their kid's school fete, I'll say no, and that's about it.

That seems uncharitable... KA: I find it cheesy when celebrities get involved with things they have nothing to do with. It's so much better if you have a connection. I do lots for domestic violence charities through EastEnders, and my mum's on a kidney transplant list, so I'm involved with the Lister Hospital, where she goes. I'll do anything in my own local community. This year, Blossom opened the school fete.

Do you have a party trick? KA: Putting lipstick on without using my hands. I wedge the lippy between my cleavage.

Who'd make you star struck? KA: I love John Travolta. But when people sometimes go ga-ga with me, it's a bit embarrassing. I think, `Calm down, it's all right love.' So I'd go the other way and just act cool.

What's the worst thing you've done when drunk? KA: I've done a wee in public a few times. You think, `I'm desperate, I'll nip down this alley.' I'm not good at it - I wee on my shoes and everything.

KACEY'S REALITY CHECK

How much does a packet of Pampers nappies cost? I don't know. I buy biodegradable nappies - and I buy them in bulk. (From about pounds 5 up)

Which US State is President George Bush from? Don't know. (Texas)

What team does Wayne Rooney play for? He's moved to Manchester United. (Correct)

Can you name the Teletubbies? Oh yes! Dipsy, Laa-Laa, Po and Tinky Winky. (Correct)

CAPTION(S):

Kacey and daughter Blossom, six months
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 28, 2004
Words:1290
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