Patsy Palmer admits working mum 'guilt'

Patsy Palmer admits working mum 'guilt'
Patsy Palmer admits working mum 'guilt' (Image credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima)

EastEnders star Patsy Palmer (opens in new tab) says being a working mother 'scrambles my brain' as she struggles to juggle time with her family and work on the soap. The 40-year-old actress - who plays single mum of four Bianca Jackson - has four children aged between 21 and two with her taxi driver husband Richard Merkell, and last year took a six-month break from Albert Square as part of her new working mums contract. Patsy told Closer magazine: "This whole working mum thing really scrambles with my brain. In the end, you feel guilty whatever you do, but if we want to give our kids the sort of life we want them to have, then I have to work. "I love my job and my character Bianca, but my biggest challenge is keeping all the balls in the air. "It's full-on, but Richard is an amazing dad and I couldn't do it without him. People look at celebs and think we're all living the perfect lifestyle, but we're just like everybody else and have the same issues." The actress also opened up about her struggle with alcoholism. Patsy has been clean since 2003 and follows a 12-step programme to support her with her sobriety. She said: 'It's been an amazing process for me. I still go to weekly AA meetings. It's all very anonymous and not necessarily something you share with the rest of the world day to day, but it makes me feel better and I can just be me. "I still don't get it right all the time, but I try to follow the steps as closely as I can."

Patrick McLennan

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.