Casualty favourite Amanda Mealing has taken to Twitter to hit back at claims she is suffering from an eating disorder.
The 51-year-old actress, who plays Connie Beauchamp in the long-running BBC hospital drama, said: "I'm forced to address something I'd hoped not to. My weight."
She added: "Luckily for some of you & your insensitivity I am not struggling with an eating disorder. I am in extreme & constant back pain and have been for nearly a year."
The London-born star added of her gruelling schedule on Casualty: "Standing for 11 hrs a day takes its toll. End of."
Fans immediately jumped to her defence, telling Amanda – who is mum to sons Milo, 20, and Otis, 17, with husband Richard Sainsbury – she was "beautiful inside and out" and that her weight was "no one's business".
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Her former co-star Paul Bradley, who played Elliot Hope on Holby City from 2005 to 2015, also offered his support.
I'm forced to address something I'd hoped not to. My weight. Luckily for some of you & your insensitivity I am not struggling with an eating disorder.
The actor replied to Amanda's tweet, saying: "Dearest Amanda I'm really sorry to hear that but not surprised. I hobbled about for a year and a half after Holby. It does take its toll. Love you x."
Amanda, who first appeared as Connie in Holby City, responded, telling her former co-star: "Thank you my lovely Pauly. Miss you xxx."
Amanda's on-screen alter ego has had a tough time of late. Connie was attacked by a deceased patient's daughter, with fans fearing for the much-loved character after she fell down a flight of stairs and was left for dead.
However, Connie made a full recovery and, after appearing in the Casualty/Holby City crossover episodes earlier this month, has hinted that we may see her return to her "old friend" Holby, which she left in 2010.
"I didn't realise how much I loved it, so we'll see" she said of the show she left in 2010. "Do you know what, when I was there, I was walking around thinking, I'd like to come back. I love it there."
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