From being a Spurs fan to having a famous best friend, here are a few things that may surprise you…

Louisa Clein has made waves in Emmerdale since joining the cast last year as teacher Maya Stepney. Originally introduced as the wife of village GP Liam Cavanagh, Maya subsequently split from the dishy doc, and is now in a relationship with grocer David Metcalfe.

But more recently, Maya’s attentions have been focused on David’s 15 year old adopted son, Jacob, whom she has manipulated into becoming romantically involved with her.

Jacob gives Maya an ultimatum

Louisa has caused a stir as Maya in Emmerdale

Off-screen, actress Louisa’s life is, thankfully, a world away from that of her soap character. But how much do you really know about her? Here are a few surprising facts about Louisa Miranda Clein…

 1. She’s married to a Barrister

On-screen, Maya has a failed marriage to doctor Liam, and her relationship with David isn’t likely to go the distance, either. But off-screen, actress Louisa is happily married to Jeremy Brier, a Barrister and writer who stood as the Conservative candidate for Luton North in the 2010 General Election. Like Louisa, he’s sometimes on the telly himself, talking about legal matters and Brexit. The couple have three children together, and live in London.

2. Her sister is a top cellist

Natalie Clein

Natalie Clein has performed all around the world

Louisa’s elder sister is world-renowned cellist, Natalie Clein. Natalie won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1994, and has since performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world, and released a number of recordings.

3. She supports Tottenham Hotspur

Away from acting, one of Louisa’s biggest passions is football. She’s a massive Spurs fan, and one of her first dates with husband Jeremy was at a match. Her love for Harry Kane and the lads made a nightmare five hour train journey from Manchester to London back in November particularly grinding – because she missed the team’s Champions League clash against Inter Milan.

4. She’s a vegan

Don’t ever offer the Emmerdale star a juicy burger, because the actress is a vegan.

“Hummus is my friend,” she says, “as are lots of aubergines.”

5. The Emmerdale star attended the same drama school as Michael Fassbender!

Michael Fassbender

Louisa has a Hollywood connection!

Louisa learnt her craft at The Drama Centre in London – sometimes nicknamed “The Trauma Centre” – where some of the most famous thespians in the country trained, including Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Paul Bettany, Pierce Brosnan, John Simm, Helen McCrory and Anne-Marie Duff. Which means she’s probably been to a few star-studded dinner parties in her time!

6. Her first TV role was in Judge John Deed

Louisa’s first professional acting job was in BBC legal drama Judge John Deed, playing the title character’s rebellious daughter, Charlie. Louisa is full of praise for her former co-star Martin Shaw, who helped guide her through her TV debut. “I couldn’t have asked for a better person,” she says. “I learnt so much from him – he’s both generous and supportive.”

7. She’s best mates with Judge Rinder!

Judge Rinder

The Emmerdale star is mates with Judge Rinder!

One of Louisa’s closest pals is telly judge Robert Rinder. The pair met when Louisa shadowed him to prepare for her role on Judge John Deed, and were introduced by an equally famous mutual pal – Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch!

It was Robert who introduced Louisa to her husband Jeremy, and he was best man at their wedding in 2011. “Robert has always been a rock in my life,” says Louisa. “I’m trying my best to tempt him on to a soap. He’d be great on Emmerdale!”

8. Maya isn’t the only dark character she was played

Between 2016 – 2017, Louisa played Kim Whitfield in Holby City, a character who had just as many issues as Emmerdale’s Maya. Addicted to prescription drugs, she left teenage son Parker to fend for himself – who was then fostered by nurse Essie Harrison. Later on, Kim had a relationship with surgeon Raf di Luca, and told him he was the father of her unborn twins. But it was all part of a plot with another patient to embezzle money from a company, and Kim was later jailed for deception…

9. She was in The Railway Children…

Louisa with Sally Thomsett

Louisa with Sally Thomsett

Back in 2010, Louisa played middle sister Phyllis in a production of the 1970 classic film,  that was staged on the disused Eurostar platforms at London’s Waterloo station. Amongst the audience was actress Sally Thomsett, who played Phyllis in the film. Louisa reprised the role in 2015, in a production at London’s Kings Cross station.

10. She can play the viola

Dorset-born Louisa comes from a very musical family. Her mum was a professional violinist and, as a kid, she played viola. She was so good, that she was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Wonder if she’s ever given her cast mates a quick tune?

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Main pic: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock, Natalie Clein pic: Paul Grover/REX/Shutterstock, Michael Fassbender picture: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock, Judge Rinder picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock, Railyway Children pic: Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock