10 things you didn't know about Emmerdale star Louisa Clein - AKA Maya Stepney

Louisa Clein, who plays Maya Stepney in Emmerdale at an awards bash
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From being a Spurs fan to having a famous best friend, here are a few things that may surprise you…

Louisa Clein sent shockwaves through Emmerdale as twisted teacher Maya Stepney. Initially introduced as the wife of village GP Liam Cavanagh, Maya subsequently split from the dishy doc, and started a relationship with grocer David Metcalfe  - but it was his teenage son, Jacob, who she was really interested in.

The devious blonde groomed the schoolboy into having a sexual relationship with her. When she was finally found out, she was sent to jail for her sick crime - but in a shock twist she's now out of the slammer and it's been revealed that she's pregnant - will the baby arrive at Christmas?!

Maya makes a shock return in Emmerdale

Maya (Louisa Clein) made a stunning return to Emmerdale - she's pregnant, so who's the daddy?

Off-screen, actress Louisa’s life is, thankfully, a world away from that of her soap character. But how much do you really know about her?

Here are a few surprising facts about Emmerdale star Louisa Clein…

 1. Louisa Clein is married to a Barrister

Louisa, whose middle name is Miranda, is happily married to Jeremy Brier, a Barrister and writer who stood as the Conservative candidate for Luton North in the 2010 General Election. Like Louisa, he’s sometimes on the telly himself, talking about legal matters and Brexit. The couple have three children together, and live in London.

2. Her sister is a top cellist

Natalie Clein, sister of Louisa Clein from Emmerdale

Natalie Clein performing at London's Royal Albert Hall (credit: Redferns) (Image credit: Redferns)

Louisa’s elder sister is world-renowned cellist, Natalie Clein. Natalie won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1994, and has since performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, and released a number of recordings.

3. She supports Tottenham Hotspur

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Away from acting, one of Louisa’s biggest passions is football. She’s a massive Spurs fan, and one of her first dates with husband Jeremy was at a match. Her love for Harry Kane and the lads made a nightmare five hour train journey from Manchester to London back in November particularly grinding – because she missed the team’s Champions League clash against Inter Milan.

4. She’s a vegan

Don’t ever offer the Emmerdale star a juicy burger, because the actress is a vegan.

“Hummus is my friend,” she says, “as are lots of aubergines.”

Maya becomes jealous and heads out on a mission to sleep with Jacob in Emmerdale

Emmerdale fans have been both gripped and horrified by the Maya/Jacob storyline

5. Louisa Clein attended the same drama school as Michael Fassbender!

Louisa learnt her craft at The Drama Centre in London – sometimes nicknamed "The Trauma Centre" – where some of the most famous thespians in the country trained, including Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, John Simm, Helen McCrory and Anne-Marie Duff. Which means she’s probably been to a few star-studded dinner parties in her time!

6. Her first TV role was in Judge John Deed

Louisa’s first professional acting job was in BBC legal drama Judge John Deed, playing the title character’s rebellious daughter, Charlie. Louisa is full of praise for her former co-star Martin Shaw, who helped guide her through her TV debut. “I couldn’t have asked for a better person," she says. "I learnt so much from him – he’s both generous and supportive.”

7. She’s best mates with Judge Rinder!

One of Louisa’s closest pals is telly judge Robert Rinder. The pair met when Louisa shadowed him to prepare for her role on Judge John Deed, and were introduced by an equally famous mutual pal – Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch!

It was Robert who introduced Louisa to her husband Jeremy, and he was best man at their wedding in 2011. “Robert has always been a rock in my life,” says Louisa. “I’m trying my best to tempt him on to a soap. He’d be great on Emmerdale!”

8. Maya isn’t the only dark character she was played

Between 2016 – 2017, Louisa played Kim Whitfield in Holby City, a character who had just as many issues as Emmerdale’s Maya. Addicted to prescription drugs, she left teenage son Parker to fend for himself – who was then fostered by nurse Essie Harrison. Later on, Kim had a relationship with surgeon Raf di Luca, and told him he was the father of her unborn twins. But it was all part of a plot with another patient to embezzle money from a company, and Kim was later jailed for deception…

9. She was in The Railway Children…

Louisa Clein and Sally Thomsett attend a press night for The Railway Children

Louisa Clein and Sally Thomsett attend a press night for The Railway Children (pic: Getty images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Back in 2010, Louisa played middle sister Phyllis in a production of the 1970 classic film,  that was staged on the disused Eurostar platforms at London’s Waterloo station. Amongst the audience was actress Sally Thomsett, who played Phyllis in the film. Louisa reprised the role in 2015, in a production at London’s Kings Cross station.

10. She can play the viola

Dorset-born Louisa comes from a very musical family. Her mum was a professional violinist and, as a kid, she played viola. She was so good, that she was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Wonder if she’s ever given her cast mates a quick tune?

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Main pic: Getty Images

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.