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EastEnders

BBC EastEnders Karen star’s life – lookalike sister, soap exit and weight loss transformation

Lorraine Stanley is best known as top-knot loving broke single mum Karen Taylor in BBC soap EastEnders but her life off-screen is a far cry from her Albert Square alter-ego

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EastEnders Karen Taylor has become a firm fan favourite since she arrived in Albert Square.

From her messy updo to her crass sense of humour, actress Lorraine Stanley has brought the Walford resident to life with just the right amount of chaos and kindness. Her on-screen persona has a life tinged with tragedy after Karen’s daughter Chantelle Atkins was murdered by abusive husband Gray Atkins.

She was later put in the path of the serial killer himself – and has had her fair share of trauma involving son Kegan Baker, too. Kegan was attacked by racist thugs at the hands of estranged wife Tiffany Butcher’s shady boyfriend, Aaron Monroe.

Lorraine couldn’t be further from her alter-ego, with a happy love life and a passion for boxing keeping her busy behind the scenes. Daily Star takes a look inside her life away from the cameras.

Life before EastEnders

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The EastEnders star often shares glimpses of her personal life (Image: Lorraine Stanley/Instagram)Lorraine , hails from Portsmouth but left to train for her acting career at London’s Arts Educational School.

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She kicked off her career with a big-screen appearance in movie Gangster No1, making her TV debut two years later playing the role of Fran in London’s Burning.

Since then she was nominated for an ALFS Best Actress award for her portrayal of Kelly in London to Brighton in 2007, and won the Women Film Critics Circle Award alongside the rest of the cast of Suffragette for Best Ensemble.

Before landing the role of Karen she also appeared in smaller parts in big-name shows including Call the Midwife, Holby City, Casualty, The Bill, Babylon, and Doctors.

Lookalike sister

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Lorraine also has a sister who is the spitting image of her (Image: Lorraine Stanley/Instagram)

Lorraine lives in London with her boyfriend Mark Perez and often shares glimpses of their life together on her social media pages.

The adorable pair have been together since January 2014 and are parents to six-year-old daughter Nancy who they welcomed in 2015.

Lorraine also regularly posts pictures with her sisters, Donna and Karen, as she shares her personal life with fans.

Her fun posts show her and Mark making the most of life as they laugh and play with their daughter, doing everything from pressure washing the patio, to riding wild rollercoasters.

Luxurious home

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The actress was keen to show off her mini bar to fans (Image: Instagram/ Lorraine_stanley_)

Another aspect of her life Lorraine loves to show off on Instagram is the interior of her stunning home.

The star has recently added her very own mini-bar to the property and couldn’t wait to share it with her followers alongside the legendary Queen Vic catchphrase: “Get aaaaaat my pub!!”

Elsewhere in her home, she has a stunning landscaped garden, complete with a luxury barbecue and hot tub.

Other details she has shared include an eclectic Morrocan rug and wall art including a framed bathroom print urging guests to “have a nice poo.”

Co-star pals

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Lorraine has sweet relationships with the rest of the cast

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Lorraine has formed some firm friendships with her cast mates, including her former on-screen son Keanu Taylor actor Danny Walters, and on-screen son in law and Gray Atkins aka Toby Alexander Smith.

She shared a snap of the trio enjoying lunch close to the Hertfordshire based EastEnders set in Borehamwood.

Lorraine wrote: “So lovely to see @danny_walters (it’s been too long!) & @toby_alexander_smith for a lovely lunch at my fave pub @thegeorgeofharpenden.”

Transformation

Lorraine Stanley
Lorraine has been working out with a personal trainer

Lorraine has been working out with a personal trainer and told fans that she was really feeling the benefit. Posting pictures on social media showing her in tight black exercise gear, she told her followers: “I got this.”

One snap showed Lorraine standing head on, with a fist raised triumphantly in the air. Her long hair was tied back and she looked confident as she posed for her mirror selfie. Another image was snapped from the side, showing off the TV star’s sleek figure and toned arms. “Thank you @louiseappelpt I’m feeling fantastic!!!” said the star.

Soap exit

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Karen quickly became a fan favourite character when she joined the show in 2017 (Image: BBC/Jack Barnes)

The soap actress has confirmed on Instagram that her time in Albert Square was going to be up soon, saying that she would be “sad to be saying goodbye to Karen”. She previously told The Sun that although she was sad, leaving EastEnders was also going to be “exciting” as she could explore other opportunities for her career. “You can get a bit relaxed there and a bit comfortable,” said the 47-year-old.

Lorraine aid she hoped that fans of the soap would remember Karen as “the best mum on the Square” with a “heart of gold”. EastEnders bosses have not shared how Karen will leave, but there has been speculation about the launderette worker being killed off.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday from 7.30pm on BBC One and BBC Player

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