Emmerdale legend Claire King has endured some difficult times in her life, having to battle an “invisible” illness and getting her heart broken by a co-star.
The Kim Tate star has spoken openly about suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and how it almost stopped her from working.
She told OK! last year she was diagnosed with the illness when she was 28 years old.
“I struggled to go to work and do the things I love, like horse-riding, because of the terrible pressure it put on my knees, I can certainly relate to the ‘invisible disease’ – although my symptoms don’t always show, it doesn’t mean I’m not in pain or feeling exhausted,” Claire shared.
The actress, who has been on and off the Emmerdale scene for decades has also addressed her real-life heartbreak.
While her character has tied the knot five times in Emmerdale, Claire herself has only been married once.
She was married to co-star Peter Amory who played her stepson Chris Tate in the ITV soap for 10 years.
They got hitched in 1994, but it all came crashing down for Claire when she discovered he was having an affair.
It is understood, the affair was with an Emmerdale co-star, according to LeedsLive.
However, the 61-year-old actress has since insisted she and Pete are “on good terms”.
The soap star does not have any children of her own, but she does have two stepdaughters with her partner.
Claire has always spoken candidly about having a hysterectomy and why she can’t have children naturally.
She told OK!: “My ex didn’t want children as he already had one and by the time we split up, I was just on the verge of missing that window.
“But then I started getting ill and had to have a hysterectomy, so I just accepted it wasn’t meant to be for me.”
The soap icon added: “My ex-husband Pete had a son, so luckily I’d already had the experience of toddler to teenager.
“So when my current partner arrived in my life and I gained two teenagers, I was already well prepared. I like to think I was there for them through a few of their growing years.”
At present, Claire is still very much a large part of Emmerdale storylines, and with Super Soap Week approaching, will Kim be at the centre of an explosive plot?
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV and ITVX.