SOPHIE LAWRENCE was born in 1972 in Ilford, Essex.

She shot to fame playing Diane Butcher in BBC1 soap EastEnders before quitting the show in 1991. Although she returned from time to time she notched up roles in TV series such as Cadfael and Men Behaving Badly.

She has also worked extensively in the theatre as an actress, choreographer and director.

Her latest project is co-hosting the touring stage show Simply Ballroom with Sam Kane.

Sophie lives with her partner in Buckinghamshire.

IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK IN A LIFT WITH SOMEONE, WHO WOULD IT BE? "Thierry Henry. One, because he's absolutely gorgeous and if you have to be stuck in a lift with someone it might as well be with someone gorgeous. But I also imagine he's really interesting. He always comes across as quite intelligent."

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? "Spiders. I hate them."

DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS? "I'm horribly superstitious. I don't walk under ladders or whistle in dressing rooms. It's nothing to do with the theatre; I'm just once of those people."

IF YOU COULD ONLY HAVE ONE SONG ON YOUR IPOD WHAT WOULD IT BE? "Oh, that's hard. Probably Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart."

WHAT'S THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM YOU'VE EVER BOUGHT, NOT INCLUDING PROPERTY OR CARS? "I once bought a pair of boots from Harrods in a rush. It wasn't until I was in the taxi I realised I'd spent £63;650. I still have them.’’

WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?"Jump and a net will appear. I'm a bit gung-ho like that."

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED AND WHY? "When I hit 34 something happened in my body and I honestly can cry at anything.’’


HOW ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ARE YOU? "Not as much as I should be, though my mother and sister are horribly eco-friendly and they embarrass me."


HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND IN A DAY? "I'm awful, I can't use predictive text and there's nothing I hate more than abbreviated messages. My mobile is to phone people."

WHAT ITEM COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? "My car; does that count?"

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE? "My height. I'd like to be taller. I'm tiny, only 5ft 2in."

WHERE ARE YOU GOING ON HOLIDAY? "I don't have one booked, but my dream place would be Thailand."

WHAT WERE YOU DOING THIS TIME YESTERDAY? "Doing a matinee of Simply Ballroom."

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING THIS TIME TOMORROW? "I'm going to see a friend whose birthday was yesterday, so hopefully I'll be drunk!"