Actress recently returned as Stacey Branning
The young actress, who was just 16 when she first joined the soap as Stacey Branning in 2004, decided to try her hand at a series of very low-key jobs.
‘I just wanted to do something normal,’ says Lacey, 26.
‘I started on EastEnders when I was so young that I hadn’t got to do any of the things my friends had. So when I left I thought: “I’m going to go and do those things now.”
‘I worked as a painter and decorator – that was quite hard, so I wouldn’t do that again. And I worked in an office, but had no idea about admin.
‘Then I worked in a clothes shop – Cream in Stanmore, London – which I loved.
‘I’d been going there my whole life, so when they said they were a bit stuck for staff one day I said I’d help out.
‘I had a Saturday job and I was quite good at it.’
Lacey, who returned to Albert Square in February, managed not to be recognised for a surprising amount of time during her alternative career.
‘I tried not to talk because that gave the game away,’ the London-born star tells TV Magazine.
‘I did an Irish accent, but it was awful. I thought: “I’d better go back to acting!”‘