Inside Gemma Oatens life from rival soap role, health battle and miscarriage

Gemma Oaten made her name as Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale and she's now off to Weatherfield to star in rival soap Coronation Street.

The actress, 37, will play Tyrone Dobbs' new love interest Isla, who will undoubtedly cause some drama on the Cobbles.

She played Rachel in Emmerdale for four years and has also appeared in Doctors and Casualty.

Away from Soapland, the TV star has bene open about her eating disorder battle.

As Gemma gears up for her soap comeback, Daily Star has taken a look at her life in the spotlight.

Big break

Gemma had a part in Doctors before she got her big break in 2011, landing the role of Rachel in Emmerdale within a year of leaving drama school.

She stayed in the ITV soap until 2015, and the character was killed off a few years later.

The actress once said on Instagram that the part totally changed her life.

"It really was a dream come true," she said.

"Forever grateful for those four years playing her and the comfort of those jogging bottoms and hoodie (perhaps not so much the scrunchy)."

After she waved goodbye to the Dales the actress went on to land a role in the movie Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool.

She was then cast as Sydney Somers in Holby City, staying from 2017 until 2018.

Health battle

Gemma has been open about suffering from anorexia.

She once shared that she developed the eating disorder when she was just 10 and that she later spent time in a psychiatric unit due to the illness.

Earlier this year, the actress said she nearly died four times during her long battle with the eating disorder.

Talking to Love Island's Dr Alex George in a film that aired on ITV's Lorraine, she said: "I lost 13 years of my life and nearly died four times. I don't want that to happen to anybody else.

"It's not about food – food is the symptom, it's not the cause."

Gemma is now patron of voluntary organisation SEED Eating Disorder Support Services.

Miscarriage heartbreak

Earlier this year, Gemma shared that she suffered a miscarriage three years ago.

The star had not previously spoken about the experience but opened up in an Instagram post about the impact of eating disorders on fertility.

She told fans: "Ever since I can remember I've always been told 'you're so good with kids Gem, you're a mum before you're a mum.' Then anorexia took hold and the conversation was about how if I carried on like this I may not be able to have children. I buried my head in the sand… That won't happen to me.

"The last ten years though, being well, away from the eating disorder, it's become more and more prominent on my mind."

She added: "Three weeks ago I went to a fertility clinic to look at the prospect of having children, freezing my eggs… facing up to my fears.

"Having had a miscarriage three years ago, something I've never spoken about until now, and also being a single 37 year old, it was time to be brave.

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So here I am, heart exposed and arms wide open, saying 'here I am!' and if it helps one person, it’s worth it."

The star she felt there was a real stigma when it came to eating disorders and the impact they can have.

"We need to be open to create change in the conversation," she said.

Rival soap role

Gemma is now swapping the Dales for the cobbles and is joining Corrie as Isla Haywood, who may make a love connection with Tyrone Dobbs.

The actress has said Isla is world's away from Rachel, although the pair are both "feisty".

"I would say she is bold," The Sun quoted her as saying. "I found her quite brave and courageous.

"She knows who she is and owns it. I think that was something Rachel struggled with, she was never heard."

Coronation Street airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday on ITV at 7.30pm and 8.30pm

If you're worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website

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