The Silent Witness team encounters a supernatural world of demons and exorcisms next week as they investigate the mysterious death of a teenage girl at a psychiatric care centre.

The two-part story, screening on BBC1 on Sunday, April 29 and Monday, April 30, guest stars Tamzin Outhwaite as the mother of the girl, and her husband, Miranda actor Tom Ellis, as a priest.

We caught up with the former EastEnders actress to find out more…

In Silent Witness I’m playing a woman who’s a bit like me… She’s a very real woman who works in a petrol station and loves her family, but finds herself in an extraordinary situation. She’s married to an alcoholic and has a blind son and then her teenage daughter dies. The pathologists are called in to investigate because there are overtones of the supernatural.

I found it therapeutic to play a character who’s having an emotional time… One day, the director, Mike Barker, put his arms around me and said, “We’re putting you through it a bit, aren’t we?” As a mum, filming scenes about children dying is a bit harrowing, but as an actress, it helps you get out all your own angst and you go home feeling a bit lighter.

It was a coincidence that Tom and I were cast together… I was already filming when he got the offer out of the blue. He plays a priest at my daughter’s funeral. We wondered if it would be a bit odd because there’s no comedy in Silent Witness, and yet at home there’s loads of laughing, but it went well.

Once you’ve been in EastEnders, it’s harder to watch it… I dip in and out of it now, rather than watch it religiously as I did before I played Mel. I still think it’s a great programme with some wonderful underrated actors, but once you’ve been in it, the magic goes a bit.

I’m not worried about being in my 40s…You do suddenly realise, “Gosh, I’m the same age my parents used to be!” But otherwise I don’t feel any older than I was in my 30s.

I’ve got no more jobs coming up at the moment… I’m having another baby in the summer, and there’s not much work out there when you’re pregnant, but I’ll go back to work next year. I like making time for the family. Motherhood is tough, but very rewarding.