Corrie star ‘felt shame and desperation’ turning to alcohol after loved one’s death

Strictly Come Dancing star Jill Halfpenny has revealed her battle with alcoholwhich left her feeling ‘shame and desperation’.

The Coronation Street actress, 48, revealed she knew she needed help and turned her life around in 2013 after attending an AA meeting in her new book.

Jill has been open about the grief she suffered and how she found happiness again after the death of her partner in 2019.

The EastEnders actress tragically lost her partner Matt Janes when he died from a heart attack while in the gym.



The shock death mirrored that of her dad’s, who died aged 36 in 1979 when she was just four years old, from a heart attack after playing a game of football.


In an extract in her new memoir, A Life Reimagined: My Journey of Hope in the Midst of Loss, she’s spoken about turning to alcohol as an ‘escape’ after the death of her dad.

According to The Sun, Jill wrote that she turned to alcohol to help her ‘stop thinking’.

Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett at Strictly Live Tour

She said: ‘I began to see that I became a different person when I drank and I didn’t always like who I became.

‘For a long time, alcohol had helped me escape, to stop thinking.Jill Halfpenny

‘Conversely, I thought it also helped me access all the things that lay dormant inside me.’

She added: ‘It took me a while to admit I needed help.’

Talking about the AA meeting she attended in 2013 at the age of 38, she went on: ‘I felt a mix of shame and desperation as I approached the door but I took a seat at the back and attempted to take it all in.’

Jill Halfpenny
She added: ‘I experienced something I never have before – people, strangers, sharing how they feel.TRENDING FOR

‘No small talk or pretence, just real authentic feelings.’

Earlier this month, Jill spoke about the time it took her to feel as though she deserved to be happy after her partner’s death.

Talking about her grief over the last seven years after the death of Janes and processing the death of her father too, the Byker Grove actress said: ‘Grief is so scary and so isolating, and there’s a tendency to want to lock yourself away.’

She added that she’s now written her book to share how she coped and learnt from her grief for people in similar situations, saying: ‘I just wanted to put them out there in a book and say to anyone that’s struggling, it’s okay, I get it, and these are the things I’ve learnt.’

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