Charlie Brooks - who played Janine Butcher on the BBC soap - became emotional as she praised her 'strong and positive' friend, who has been living with stage four breast cancer for four years

EastEnders star Charlie Brooks broke down on live TV this morning as she discussed her best friend’s battle with incurable cancer.

The actress – who played Janine Butcher in the BBC soap until 2014 – was joined on Lorraine by her ‘inspirational’ friend Lorna, who has been living with incurable stage four breast cancer for the last four years.

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The star fought back tears as she discussed her friend’s ‘strong and positive’ fight, saying it had been ‘really hard’ to cope with.

‘It’s just so painful but the strength and how brave this woman is when I speak to her, how strong she is and how positive, it’s just constant​,’ she said.

With tears welling in her eyes, she continued: ‘​I’m getting emotional. But she’s so strong and positive. It just astounds me. I don’t know if I could do it​.’

Lorna – who was diagnosed with the breast cancer in 2006 – described living with the disease as ‘very lonely and isolating’, but praised the support of her famous friend, revealing: ‘When I was first diagnosed, Charlie was there, right from the first day.’

Charlie was away filming in Yorkshire when the news came through, but rushed home to be by her friend’s side.

Lorna said: ‘I came home from the hospital, having had the diagnosis. Charlie had gathered some of my friends at my house​.

‘​She got a train back especially so she could be with me, which was lovely. And we spent the evening celebrating getting better.’

The friends appeared on Lorraine to raise awareness of charity Second Hope, a volunteer-ran organisation dedicated to people living with advanced breast cancer, a form that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be cured.