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Lisa Riley breaks down as she recalls 'secretly' losing mum to cancer – watch

Emmerdale star Lisa Riley opened up to Lorraine Kelly

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Bridie Wilkins
Bridie WilkinsSenior Health & Fitness Writer
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Lisa Riley's mum Cathy sadly passed away in Lisa's arms nine years ago, after battling with cancer for over a decade. Emmerdale star Lisa has spoken out about the grieving process a few times since, and in an appearance on Lorraine, the actress broke down as she recalled memories of her late mother.

SEE: Lisa Riley reveals the very simple secret to her 12-stone weight loss

She told host Lorraine Kelly about her mother's determination to celebrate Lisa's birthday, just days before she passed away.

WATCH: Lisa Riley fights back tears as she discusses losing mother to cancer

"That really breaks my heart," she began. "Because she made such a difference. She came to the restaurant, she was so poorly, and as always, she ordered her garlic prawns."

She went on as she fought back tears: "She was so ill, but she did it and she was there so forever I can remember it. For my birthday, she made that effort. I think in life, what a legacy to leave."

MORE: Lisa Riley opens up about mum's heart-breaking death – and how it's changed her life

READ: Lisa Riley reveals the healthy sweet treat that helps to maintain her weight loss

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Lisa's appearance on Lorraine came as she discussed her feature on an emotional podcast for the Sue Ryder charity, Grief Kind. In it, Lisa detailed her decision to take part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, the same year that her mother passed away. She told how she kept the news of her mum's death a secret, in order to avoid sympathy votes.

"The producers knew I was really struggling," she said. "Robin must have spoken to them and said, 'She's in a mess'. There's only so much you can cover me in sequins and do my hair and not hide the pain.

strictly fight revealed backstage lisa riley© Photo: Rex

Lisa Riley appeared on Strictly in 2012

"I never wanted the press to know mum had just died because I didn't want anyone voting for us knowing she had just passed"

Lisa went on to explain how Strictly helped her and her family cope with their loss. "Strictly was our family grief pot," she said. "They would come down every Saturday from Manchester. They'd come to the audience, everyone made a fuss of them, and my dancing was growing and they were loving it."

Lisa's mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, then pancreatic cancer in 2012, the year that she died.

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