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July 25, 2002
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Following struggles with ill health, Martine McCutcheon is back on form with two hot new projects in the pipeline – a leading role opposite Hugh Grant in a new film and an album of songs from musicals.

Despite positive reviews for her stint as Eliza Dolittle in the West End musical My Fair Lady, the former EastEnders actress was dogged by criticism after illness led to erratic appearances and her quitting the production early. Things had got so bad that she was considering fleeing the country to escape. “I was seriously thinking about relocating to Spain. It was all getting too much for me,” she says. “I was literally carrying my passport around with me in my bag.”

Then came the offer to star opposite Hugh Grant in a romantic comedy featuring the About A Boy star as a British prime minister who falls in love with his Cockney cleaning lady. “When the offer came through I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I thought I’d never get these opportunites again.”

Filming for Love Actually, which is being written and directed Richard Curtis of Notting Hill and Blackadder fame, kicks off in September. Martine says she will be concentrating on music and film work rather than undertaking any new stage projects for the time being.

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Photo: ©
Martine's run in My Fair Lady was dogged by problems with ill health, and the resulting criticism nearly drove the actress to quit her native shores
Photo: ©
But these days things are looking up for the former EastEnders actress. In her new film, the tale of a Cockney cleaning lady who wins the heart of the British premier, Martine will share the screen with About A Boy star Hugh Grant

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