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Being burgled when I was seven months pregnant was absolutely terrifying; ACTRESS TAMZIN OUTHWAITE ON HER HOME BEING RAIDED WHILE SHE SLEPT.

The home is somewhere that everyone deserves to feel safe and secure - especially if you are a parent.

But, in May, actress Tamzin Outhwaite suffered a terrifying ordeal when her house was burgled as she and her young daughter slept.

Tucking her four-year-old into bed, the star, who played Melanie Owen in EastEnders, had thought she could hear an intruder - but, rushing downstairs, found no one was there.

Feeling vulnerable, and with her actor husband Tom Ellis away working, the heavily pregnant actress locked all of the doors and returned upstairs to say goodnight to Florence.

But a burglar had breached the security of their North London home and was hiding inside waiting for her to go to bed.

He then fled with her Mac computer, an iPad, Mulberry handbags and a purse.

"The whole incident really shook me up and it has made me feel really vulnerable in my own home," admits Tamzin, speaking about the burglary for the first time.

"I was reading a bedtime story to Florence when I heard a noise downstairs but I couldn't find anything untoward when I went to look around. But it did make me feel nervous, so I locked all the doors and windows. Later that night, I went to bed not actually knowing that I had locked the burglar in the house. He'd obviously waited until Florence and I were asleep - which is really scary - found what he wanted and then let himself out of the front door. " She adds: "I have never been burgled before and it's a terrifying feeling. It doesn't even bear thinking about that I could have disturbed and come face to face with him when I was seven months pregnant.

"It was made all the worse that Tom wasn't there. It was his last night away working and he was very upset when he found out. He is extremely protective of me."

Being nearly seven months pregnant at the time, Tamzin admits she felt emotional and vulnerable but still refused to cry over the crime. "I was in such shock when the police turned up that I didn't even give myself the chance to have a good blub," she admits. "I was more angry than anything that someone had been in my home and been walking around while I was upstairs asleep. But I refuse to move house. Tom and I have spent years doing things to the house and it is our home. I am a very resilient person and I have this survival technique, which enables me not to deal with things in a dramatic way and move on.

"Unfortunately, the police haven't caught the culprit yet - and I hope they do - but I have more important things to concentrate on, like having another baby and all that entails."

With her baby due next month and turning 42 later this year, the Red Cap and Hotel Babylon star is one of a growing number of women having children in their 40s but, fortunately, she has avoided any complications that can come with being an older mum.

And yet she is acutely aware of the increased risks to her and her unborn child. "Being older, I am more concerned as you can face a higher risk of complications like miscarriage, premature labour or pre-eclampsia and the risk of having a child with Down's syndrome increases with age," admits Tamzin.

"But when I had all the blood tests and scans they showed my maternal age is a lot younger than the first time around, which means I should be a bit safer.

"However, I am superstitious. Life is so fragile and I won't be able to properly relax until he baby arrives and I am holding her." Her? h b b i d I h ldi h " H ? tA aht h "All I do know is that I am having another girl and I am thrilled," reveals Tamzin. "But you hear of people coming back from hospital to he nursery they've done up and things haven't gone right, so I am very cautious about even buying things for the baby."

gbwc Cbo" Unwilling to divulge the due date, Tamzin will admit she is already booked in for a planned caesarean. "I have been advised to have a C-section because Florence was in an extended breach position and she had her feet in front of her face, in this funny yoga pose," she says. "Medically, it will be the safest option for me and the baby."

ahedb a" Apart from bouts of sciatica, her pregnancy has so far been trouble-free, although, as she enters the final stage of her pregnancy, she doesn't sleep well due to her big bump and the baby's nocturnal kickings.

"Sometimes she can be very active, so I don't always get the best night's sleep," grins Tamzin. "But I've just bought Fifty Shades of Grey so I can read that if I'm awake."

c Whether the raunchy book spices up her ife is unclear, but what is evident is how much Tamzin dotes on Tom, who she married in June 2006. They recently celebrated their sixth wedding anniversary and Tamzin reveals how he arranged lunch at a top London restaurant followed by a trip to the cinema to see What o Expect When You're Expecting.

lT2whft mhI i whf mh "I cried a lot when I watched it and felt really mellow compared to the women in it, who even had to have the babies' booties folded perfectly.

am not that kind of woman.

att "And then, when we got home, Tom ran me a bath and lit some scented candles. He is very houghtful like that. At the moment, we are rying to get in as many romantic nights as possible, as Tom starts filming the TV show Miranda after the baby is born until October." Tamzin loves the fact that she has swapped pMT her partying days for nights in and doesn't miss them for a moment.

her mis "G feel "Going out to a club now would make me feel quite old," she laughs. "I don't miss those days of going to bars, although I do miss having a glass of wine.

"However, I have discovered this brilliant new non-alcoholic wine called Sorelle, which only contains 24 calories per glass.

"I love the taste of wine and I don't like the thought of totally depriving myself, so this is perfect to have with a meal or with a few other pregnant mums when they come over for dinner. That way we all get to enjoy the taste of wine but without the alcohol and calories - or the hangover!" Nowadays, the only time that there are alcohol-fuelled events in the Outhwaite household is when they invite over old friends such as Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton. "Tom and I are mad about food and we love cooking roasts, which are often enjoyed with a few bottles of red wine, although I have obviously been abstaining," says Tamzin.

"It's great when Liam and Nicole come over and we have a few other actor friends who have kids and they all play together and it's a real family occasion."

She adds: "Tom is a great, hands-on dad. I am so glad that I met him when I did and I am definitely glad that I had children later in life. I feel like I've had the career that I wanted and surpassed all my ambitions.

"I've done lots of travelling - a passion that Tom shares - and life for me has been a series of experiences and phases. Now my life is about being married and being a mum. Sometimes I can't believe that I have all these responsibilities as, deep down, I still feel like a teenager. But I love where I am at now."

At 5ft 7in, Tamzin normally weighs just over nine stone. She has so far put on two stone, compared to four stone with Florence, and is looking forward to getting her body back after giving birth.

"At the moment, I look down and I can't even see my thighs because of my bump," she laughs. "But I was lucky after I had Florence because I got my figure back and, when I was in the West End musical Sweet Charity, I was toned all over... I had exactly the body I wanted at the age of 40."

Looking fresh-faced and wrinkle-free, it's no wonder that Tamzin is still in demand. Since last year, she has filmed episodes of Silent Witness, New Tricks and has a part in the new Mike Newell film Great Expectations.

"I am lucky at my age that I still have work coming in and it's all great roles," she says. "Admittedly, I haven't worked much recently because I've been heavily pregnant. But I have worked hard all my life, so I'm happy to take time out to have a baby and enjoy what is such a special time."

By Olivia Buxton ?TAMZIN IS CURRENTLY WORKING WITH SORELLE, A NEW 0% ALCOHOL WINE-STYLE DRINK, WHICH ONLY CONTAINS 24 CALORIES PER GLASS. FIND SORELLE ON FACEBOOK AT WWW. FACEBOOK.COM/SORELLEDRINK AND ON TWITTER @SORELLEDRINK.

CAPTION(S):

FAMILY: Tamzin, Florence and Tom EASTENDER: As Mel with Ian Beale CLASS ACT: In Sweet Charity FRIENDS: Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton GLOWING: Tamzin is expecting baby No2 next month
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 23, 2012
Words:1562
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