Hollyoaks star Emma Rigby has admitted that playing an anorexic was really upsetting.

The 18-year-old actress – who plays schoolgirl Hannah Ashworth in the Channel 4 soap – won the British Soap Awards Best Actress gong but admitted the role was emotionally draining.

Emma told New! magazine: “I just threw myself into it, really. I didn’t want it to be unrealistic or disrespectful to people who suffer from the illness and I didn’t want to glamorise it, either.

“There was a time when I was feeling really, really tired at work and it was really upsetting. But afterwards, I’d have the support of my family.

“Actors who weren’t in scenes with me would come up to me during the day and say, ‘Oh my God! You look awful.’ I had so many people saying I looked awful, I started to feel really tired and depressed.”

The stunning blonde also revealed she worried she would look too fat for the storyline.

Asked if she had to lose weight for the show, Emma said: “No, not really. I was panicking that it wouldn’t be believable and that people would say I was too fat, but the producers said, ‘We don’t want you to lose weight at all’.

“The make-up and wardrobe department really helped me out in that respect.”