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BBC Death in Paradise: Guest star and iconic EastEnders character who attempted suicide after battling depression - MyLondon

Death In Paradise guest star Michelle Collins also played an iconic EastEnders role in the 80s and 90s

She is best known for playing Cindy Beale in the BBC drama from 1988 to 1998.

It wasn’t just that soap she starred in either, she also appeared on ITV’s Coronation Street too as Stella Price.

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Her Death In Paradise guest character Annette Burgess was a villain from "She Was Murdered Twice" from 2015, who was a CEO of an online travel agency.

Michelle played Ian Beale's wife Cindy Beale for eight years on EastEnders
Michelle played Ian Beale's wife Cindy Beale for eight years on EastEnders (Image: BBC)

The episode began by establishing Annette as participating in a team building exercise on Saint Marie with five of her employees, during which she was found dead in her bedroom, seemingly shot dead.

Despite the actress's success, Michelle has hit rock bottom before in her life. In 2014, she opened up about a time in her life that left her attempting suicide.

Michelle had quit Albert Square and shortly after her relationship with ex-partner Fabrizio Tassalini fell apart.

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As she began to spiral, Michelle previously revealed that her thoughts began to become increasingly dark.

She told The Mirror in 2014: “I felt like I’d been tipped over the edge. I felt like a failure and found myself sinking lower and lower as the days went on until, in the end, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the hole.”

Things became so bad that Michelle said she couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, so she tried to end her life.

In 2011 Michelle swapped Albert Square for Manchester with a shock move to Coronation Street
In 2011 Michelle swapped Albert Square for Manchester with a shock move to Coronation Street (Image: Rob Evans / ITV)

She added: “There was no definite plan or explicit ­decision behind my actions. It just happened. The question that kept going through my mind was, would anybody miss me if I wasn’t here?

“Foolishly I somehow decided no one would. When I think about what I did it all sounds very melodramatic, but I guess that’s the nature of depression. How low must I have been to do something like that? It was unthinkable.”

She has also previously broken her silence over her battle with an eating disorder.

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Speaking to The Mirror in 2013, Michelle explained: “I went for weeks without really eating any food.

“I’d starve all day then come home late and binge on anything I could get my hands on. I raided the fridge and cupboards then stuck my fingers down my throat to feel empty again.”

After years of struggling, Michelle finally asked for professional help. Her condition improved, and she went on to continue her acting career.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

Where to get help if you're struggling

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health.

Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence.

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill.

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141.

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline but offers useful resources and links to other information.

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Find out more here.

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Find out more here.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There's a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58.

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