Look at me now! Pauline Quirke proudly shows off her 7st weight loss on the red carpet


By Emily Sheridan

Feeling confident: Emmerdale actress Pauline Quirke poses in a black prom dress as she arrives at the TV Choice Awards at the Savoy Hotel in London

She admitted she used to hate award shows and avoided photographers when she weighed her heaviest.

But after losing more than 7st since January, Emmerdale actress Pauline Quirke is finally feeling confident again.

The former Birds Of A Feather star, 52, showed off her new trim figure in a black dress as she happily posed for paparazzi on the red carpet of the TV Choice Awards last night.

Joined by her co-star Danny Miller, 20, Quirke looked comfortable with her new size 14 figure at the Savoy Hotel.

After being warned by her doctor in January that she was 'severely obese', Quirke started following the LighterLife weight-loss programme - which combines a low-calorie diet and counselling sessions.

After tipping the scales at 19st 6lb last Christmas, the actress is now down to a healthy 12st and has dropped from a size 28 to a 14/16.

In an interview with the Mail last month, she admitted she had begun to look at fashion for the first time in years.

She said: 'I look at the fashion pages in magazines, too, which I'd never done before because I had no interest. Why would I? My size was so limiting to the amount of stuff I could buy.'

Even in May, when she was a few stone heavier than she is now, she had already begun to feel her confidence growing.

She recalled: 'A few months ago, I went to the Soap Awards with the Emmerdale cast. They're not my idea of a fun evening, but I was nominated for Best Newcomer.

Who's your date? Quirke arrived on the arm of her young co-star Danny Miller, who plays the boyfriend of her character Hazel's late son Jackson in the soap

'Anyway, I went and bought a dress at Monsoon, the first time I've been able to pick up a dress from a shop that isn't targeted at larger women.

'Usually, I'd have got out of the car and run like the wind just to get into the building and avoid photographers because I hated having my picture taken. But that night I sauntered down the red carpet thinking, "Look at me".'

Quirke attended last night's awards after being nominated as Best Soap Actress for her portrayal of Hazel Rhodes in Emmerdale, but missed out to Jessie Wallace in EastEnders.

Her young co-star Miller, who looked dapper in a River Island suit, also missed out on Best Soap Actor to EastEnders' Shane Richie.