TV needs more overweight nurses and midwives – Lisa Riley

The actress has told of her pride at losing weight ‘the hard way' over the past two years.

Lisa Riley has called for there to be more “overweight” people portraying nurses and midwives on television, because she does not believe current depictions are true to life.

The former Emmerdale star, who has lost 12 stone in weight over the past two years, said that while she thinks the industry is improving in its representation of larger people, there is still work to be done.

Riley told the Radio Times magazine: “The TV industry is changing and people are more accepting of different body shapes on screen these days.

“But I’d still love to see an overweight nurse or midwife on telly.

“Because trust me, when I spent time in hospital, there was not a single size-six nurse, and that is not what’s being portrayed in medical dramas.”

The 42-year-old, who will next appear in BBC One drama Age Before Beauty penned by Poldark writer Debbie Horsfield, said that she is proud of her weight loss, but that she does feel somewhat regretful looking at her younger self on TV.

She said: “I do wince when I look back at myself on TV – in fact every single garment they put on me in You’ve Been Framed! made me look like a giant Christmas tree.”

Riley, who is best known for playing Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale from 1995 until 2001 and has also appeared in Fat Friends, Waterloo Road and Three Girls, said she lost weight “the hard way”.

“I look in the mirror now and I feel proud,” she said.

“No slimming pills, no gastric band. I’m a fitness addict – I work out twice a day. I do yoga, high-intensity interval training, body combat, everything.

“There is no fat on me, I’m solid.”

Radio Times is on sale now.

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