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Jill Halfpenny reveals she's found love after late partner's tragic death – details

The Long Shadow star's partner Matt died of a heart attack in 2017

Jill Halfpenny on This Morning in 2022© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
June 20, 2024
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Jill Halfpenny has opened up about finding love again after the tragic and untimely passing of her partner Matt Janes, who died of a sudden heart attack in 2017. 

The soap star opened up about her new relationship on Wednesday's edition of The One Show whilst promoting her new memoir, A Life Reimagined, which explores "love, loss and life after tragedy". 

"When you lose a partner, a romantic relationship, it can sometimes feel like betrayal if you move on," explained Jill. 

Jill Halfpenny as Ann Fletcher in The Red King© UKTV
Jill shared her grief after losing her partner in 2017

"It's not, you absolutely are allowed to be happy again, but I think if you do the processing and the healing and do the work, you can go into another relationship and be happy again. But if you haven't done that work, there will always be a part of you somewhere else."

She continued: "I fortunately feel that I do deserve to be happy and I do feel happy, and it's really nice to be in love again."

Jill Halfpenny© Rachell Smith
Jill's new book explores love and life after tragedy

Matt's tragic death mirrored the passing of Jill's father Colin, who also died of a heart attack decades earlier in 1979, when the actress was just four years old. 

Opening up about losing her partner in the same way she lost her dad, Jill told This Morning hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard on Thursday: "I just thought, 'Ok, this is awful but this is my choice now. I'm cracked open and raw, let's go and do all the work I hadn't done with my dad and grieve them both together and see what I can learn from it and see if it can set me free'". 

WATCH: Jill Halfpenny on grieving her father and late partner

Speaking about the impact of her father's death, Jill explained that she confronted her grief later on in life. "It was 1979, we weren't sitting down with therapists," said the Coronation Street star. "We went into survival mode and we became a big family of doers. 

"We were busy and productive and got on with things. Externally we all looked really good but internally we were struggling because sometimes you just really need to talk about how you feel. When you're little and you don't have the words, you need the guidance."

Jill revealed she's found love since her late partner's passing © SOPA Images
Jill revealed she's found love since her late partner's passing

The 48-year-old went on to add: "What was really difficult was grieving somebody who I didn't really know a lot about. You have to allow yourself to sit in those uncomfortable feelings and be ok with not being ok for a while."

Back in 2019, Jill opened up about losing Matt whilst chatting with Line of Duty star Craig Parkinson on his podcast, The Two Shot Podcast.

Jill Halfpenny as Doreen Hill in The Long Shadow 
© Justin Slee
Jill is known for her various TV roles, including Doreen Hill in ITV's The Long Shadow

 "My grief at losing Matt, my partner, was so brutal and so shocking but then what happened was it brought out all of the grief from my dad as well. It was like dealing with a double loss – a loss I'd never actually dealt with," said Jill. 

The Long Shadow star added: "I just found myself thinking, 'Oh my god, this is unbearable. What am I going to do? I cannot cope. I just want cessation, this feeling to stop.'"

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