EastEnders star Laurie Brett has told how her Albert Square co-stars have been showering her with gifts and advice as she prepares to become a mother. The actress - who plays childless Jane Beale - is to become a mother for the first time at the age of 40 with her child due in May. She tells Hello! magazine: "I keep arriving at my dressing room to find that Steve McFadden (hard man Phil Mitchell) has left all sort of gifts outside my door, including a beautiful crib. "He's been like Santa," she said as she spoke about her pregnancy for the first time. Laurie, whose long-standing character Jane is unable to have a baby, said she has been receiving pregnancy advice from Jo Joyner - mother to twins in real life. Linda Henry (Shirley Carter) and Cheryl Fergison (who plays Heather Trott) have also promised to take her on a shopping spree. Laurie was planning to keep quiet about her pregnancy in the early days, but co-star Adam Woodyatt - her on-screen husband Ian Beale - realised. "He said, 'you're pregnant, aren't you?' It's not surprising that he knew as we spend more time with each other than we do with our partners. "I had suddenly become very sensitive to certain smells and I wasn't going out for cigarette breaks." She and boyfriend Johnny Milroy - whom she began dating last year - were not actively trying for a child, although both are delighted and Laurie had become broody. "I thought I would be very sad if it didn't happen. I felt as though something was missing from my life, and Johnny really listened and understood that." The full interview is in the new edition of Hello! magazine out now. Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk's weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.