Star of stage and screen, Yorkshire native Natalie Anderson is best known for her role as bold and brassy Alicia Gallagher in the ITV soap Emmerdale.
The 40-year-old actress, singer and presenter left the Dales in 2015 after forging a glittering showbiz career on the London West End.
Natalie has carved a reputation as a lifestyle guru and celebrity podcast star and won the hearts of the nation after revealing she experienced a devastating miscarriage.
As the mother-of-one and devoted wife gets set to take on an explosive new role in Hollyoaks, the Daily Star has taken a peek at her amazing career, personal life and secret pop star past
Pop star Past
In 2001 Natalie’s began her journey to become a pop star when she appeared on the first series of Pop Idol.
She made the Top 40 but narrowly missed out on a place in the live finals after finishing third in her group.
She appeared in the same heat as Will Young, who eventually went on to win the show.
Natalie went on to release her debut album Return to Me in 2008, before being crowned the winner of ITV’s celebrity singing/impressions show Your Face Sounds Familiar in 2013.
She appeared as Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Kate Bush, Justin Bieber, Jessie J and Mariah Carey.
Glittering showbiz career
You may recognise Natalie from a string on TV and stage appearances throughout her career.
The star appeared as Nurse Stella Davenport in the ITV drama series The Royal between 2005 and 2008 and has taken guest roles in Wire in the Blood, Holby City and Dalziel and Pascoe.
Her most recent stage role was performing as Nessarose in the London production of Wicked.
In 2016, she launched her lifestyle brand The Capsule, focused on fashion, beauty and wellbeing, and in 2019, its accompanying podcast The Capsule in Conversation interviewing celebrities and experts.
Natalie is a guest presenter on ITV’s This Morning covering features, fashion and travel items and has performed the role of Showbiz Editor on both Daybreak and Lorraine.
Her acting work has earned her numerous award nominations including an RTS award for best dramatic performance and TV Choice award for Best Actress in a soap.
Natalie recently described how cathartic it was to open up about the miscarriage she experienced over a decade ago on her podcast.
She revealed she had kept the loss a secret and “felt ashamed of it for so long".
Natalie went on to say that the experience was “part of me and in many respects it’s made me who I am today".
She said of the devastating loss: “When I lost my baby in January 2010, I suffered a ‘missed miscarriage’. I didn’t know I’d lost our baby until during one of our scans. Hearing the words ‘I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat, the baby has died’ was absolutely heartbreaking.
"I was in denial as I hadn’t experienced any of the typical miscarriage symptoms to tell me there could be a problem. I then had to wait a week to see if I would miscarry naturally. Walking around knowing my baby had died inside me was the most horrendous feeling. My body couldn’t look after my baby. I’d failed it.”
Natalie was seven months pregnant with her son Freddie George James Shepherd when she went on maternity leave from filming Emmerdale.
She eventually left her role on the soap to spend more time with her son, nine, who she shares with her husband of 13 years, James Shepherd.
The happy couple got married in 2008 in a romantic ceremony in Harrogate.
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