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Helen Flanagan reveals that she once suffered from a borderline eating disorder

Actress was "obsessed with being skinny"

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They say that life’s difficulties provide valuable lessons for the years to come – and that’s certainly true for Corrie star Helen Flanagan.

The 26-year-old, who plays troublemaker Rosie Webster in the soap, has confessed to suffering from “borderline anorexia” as a younger woman.

In an interview with Fabulous magazine, she said: “I had a problem with my food from about 16 to the age of 23. I was obsessed with being skinny.”

And considering the actress joined Corrie as a nine-year-old, that means she must’ve been suffering from her own private hell while we watched her on screen.

Helen says she hopes to bring Matilda up the right way (Credit: Helen Flanagan/Instagram)

Thankfully, the Bury-born star managed to overcome the problem – though she says she has to eat like a horse to keep the weight on, as her metabolism is so high.

She’s previously said: “At the canteen, I have two lunches and two desserts. I’m really lucky.

“I’m obsessed with the food in the Coronation Street canteen – it’s one of the best things about being back.”

Read more: Corrie’s Helen Flanagan defends two-year-old daughter’s 11pm bedtime

And now, the actress – who was once voted the most attractive British celebrity in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women In The World poll – says she wants to be the perfect role model for her daughter, Matilda, two.

She has said: “It was horrible struggling with eating problems and I would hate for Matilda to have an eating disorder, so even if my metabolism slowed and I was bigger, I would be cool with that. I don’t ever want her to see her mum talk about dieting.”

Not that her parenting methods would necessarily be to everyone’s taste.

Earlier today, we reported that Helen has admitted she sometimes doesn’t put her daughter to bed until 11pm.

Helen is back on Corrie after a five-year absence (Credit: ITV)

Due to her work schedule, she often doesn’t get back from the Corrie set till 7pm, and understandably she then wants to spend time with the little girl.

Referring to her partner and Matilda’s father, Celtic footballer Scott Sinclair, she told Fabulous: “I’m not strict at all. Scott says [Matilda] has me wrapped round her finger, but she’s my little princess and I adore her, so I don’t mind.”

Read more: Former Wimbledon champion opens up about being “on the brink of dying”

Helen announced in February 2012 that she was leaving Corrie to pursue other interests, but came back to Weatherfield earlier this year.

In one of her first scenes upon returning, she appeared on screen wearing a bust-enhancing pink bra and a man’s shirt.

The outfit provoked criticism on social media, with one viewer writing: “I see now why they brought Rosie back. It certainly isn’t here [sic] acting ability.”

Well, at least it means she’s finally confident about what she looks like.