Gemma Oaten used to 'dread' Christmas

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 15 December 2020
Gemma Oaten

Gemma Oaten

Former 'Emmerdale' star Gemma Oaten used to "hate" Christmas when she was battling anorexia and would "dread" the festive season because there was no escape from food

Gemma Oaten used to "dread" Christmas when she was battling anorexia.

The former 'Emmerdale' actress suffered from the eating disorder for 13 years during her younger years and it made her detest the festive season, because there was "no escape" from food.

She said: "I hated Christmas – I dreaded it.

"It was just food, food, food, and there was no escape.

"I remember feeling sadness, like why wasn't I on the countdown like other people?"

But Gemma – who played Rachel Breckle on the ITV soap – admitted she has "really got into the spirit" of the festive season over the past 10 years.

The 36-year-old star said: "Over the past 10 years, that feeling has completely shifted and I've really got into the spirit."

Gemma is usually in pantomime over the festive period so isn't always guaranteed to be at home for Christmas Day (25.12.20), but due to the coronavirus pandemic her panto roles are on hold, so she will be back in Hull for the festivities.

She said: "Some years I couldn't get home for Christmas Day because the panto schedule was so full-on.

"I love doing panto – that's normally my life so I'm going to miss that so much.

"With no pantos and no acting work, I'll be home in Hull for a nice break."

And she is looking forward to her mum's Christmas dinner.

She added to Closer magazine: "My mum's an amazing cook and her dinners are insane.

"These days she's very organised and even prepares my siblings' dinners and delivers them all. She's such a Yorkshire mum."

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