The actress says she no longer stresses about her performance, because there are more important things to worry about…

EastEnders actress Tamzin Outhwaite has revealed that she has become less self -critical about her career since becoming a mum.

The 47 year old, who returned to the soap last month – 20 years since she first made her debut as Mel Owen – says she has become less stressed about her performance as an actress since giving birth to daughters Florence and Marnie, aged nine and five, from her eight-year marriage to actor Tom Ellis.

Comparing her latest stint with her earlier spell in EastEnders, from 1998 – 2002, the popular star said: “What you bring to your performance is the wisdom and the experience. But also for me, nothing is as important as making sure that my children are healthy. So as long as my kids are alright, the way that I played a certain scene is never going to be as important now.

She adds: “As much as I absolutely adore my job and my craft and I’m always learning and trying to be better, I wouldn’t go home and obsess over it. When you’re younger, it’s easier to do that because it’s everything – there’s nothing else, I suppose. Having my children in my life makes everything else not insignificant, but secondary. It puts everything into perspective.”

The blonde favourite added that as a woman in her forties, she is more content than ever.

“I personally am the happiest I’ve ever been right now,” she says. “It’s having the confidence to not care about what people think of you, and it’s very liberating.

“Everyone has an opinion, and it’s a really liberating feeling to not worry what other people think.”