Actress Claire King has told HELLO! how having cosmetic surgery and landing her role on Coronation Street brought her back from the brink of quitting the career she loved.
"It was the most vulnerable time of my life. It felt as if my industry didn't want me anymore, it hit me in the heart," the 52-year-old former Emmerdale star tells the magazine in an exclusive interview. "I felt so low and unsure of myself that I didn't want to leave the house. Sometimes I couldn't even afford to – I didn't have enough money to fill the car with petrol."
When she was invited to audition for Coronation Street, she reveals, "My heart leapt. But I promised myself there and then that if I didn't get it, I would give up the job I loved – I would quit acting."
And, she says, part of the reason for the lack of work was her age.
"Although my older peers had warned me that when actresses reach the big 5-0, work often starts to dry up, I couldn't imagine it ever happening to me," she said. "But then, a few years before I'd even reached that landmark birthday, the phone stopped ringing. It was as sudden as a tap being turned off. I was devastated."
She realised that many of her peers had gone under the knife to look younger telling HELLO! "they were old friends with new faces" and she decided to follow their example by undergoing a suspension facelift, when a simple stitch is placed under each cheek to pull up the lower half of the face.
"When I looked at my double chin and sagging jawline, I was prepared to try a cosmetic procedure to improve my chances of being offered new parts in the job Ioved," she admitted.
She says that after the op: "My life started to take off again. I felt happier and more upbeat."
To read more of the interview with Claire, pick up the latest issue of HELLO!, on sale now.