Luisa Bradshaw-White’s life outside EastEnders including mental health fight

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Soap star Luisa Bradshaw-White is known for playing Tina Carter in EastEnders – but her life away from the cameras is fascinating too.

The actress joined the cast of EastEnders in November 2013, but her beloved character was brutally murdered after seven years in the BBC soap.

Soap fans were gutted when Tina Carter was attacked by the evil Gray Atkins – after she found out he had killed his wife Chantelle.

Eagle-eyed viewers didn't actually witness the shocking moment that Tina was killed, which has prompted some to believe that she's actually still alive.

However, Luisa's off-screen life has been far less grisly than Tina's time on Albert Square.

Successful TV career

Luisa's first big TV break came when she starred as Maria Watts in Grange Hill between 1991 and 1994.

After that, she appeared in popular shows such as The Bill, A Touch of Frost, London's Burning, and Bad Girls alongside her future EastEnders co-star Linda Henry, who played her on-screen sister, Shirly Carter.

In 2013, she joined Albert Square as the bold and brash Tina, but the role was changed as the character of Tina was originally described as "an overweight 50-year-old who's past it".

Marrying her 'best friend'

Tina had a famously chaotic love life, but Luisa's time in the romance department has been very different.

She has been married to her wife Annette Yeo for six years, tying the knot in 2015 when same-sex marriage became legal in the UK.

The smitten pair previously had a civil partnership in 2006, but they finally managed to get married and their teenage daughters were bridesmaids on their big day.

Luisa has affectionately hailed Annette as her "best friend" and "anchor" – as well as the nickname "Mumma Muff".

The couple adopted two girls over 15 years ago – sisters of three and four years old.

The pair became emotional when they saw a photo of the children before adopting them, and Luisa said: "I knew the girls were my children. I'd bought them clothes before we had even been approved to have them."

Luisa shared an emotional tribute post for her wife to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day.

She penned: "For those of you who don't know… I have been with my wife @annette.yeo for 21 years.

"We have two teenage daughters. We are a very happy family. Live your truth."

Accidentally coming out

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Discussing her life as a lesbian, Luisa recalled that she accidentally "came out as gay" and didn't think about being a lesbian during her earlier years.

When she was "around 19" she accidentally came out during a conversation with her pals.

She told The Metro: "The realisation came when I was around 19 and talking with some new friends.

"They both said they liked women and without thinking, I replied, ‘Ooh yes, me too!’. I sort of gasped as it was the first time I had even considered that I might not be straight.

"It’s crazy that a fleeting conversation with new friends could have had such an impact on my life and I got the best introduction to being a gay person you could ask for."

'Bipolar took me to a land of hell'

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Luisa has bravely spoken out about living with bipolar disorder – and this year she published an inspiring essay on the subject to mark Mental Health Awareness week in May.

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme changes in mood that includes emotional highs and lows.

Luisa told The Metro: "I have Bipolar Disorder, which luckily I have been stable from for years, although I look back and am shocked I didn’t get diagnosed earlier as I see patterns of it throughout my whole life,

"Bipolar took me to a land of hell, that I just couldn’t seem to get back from.

"My highs were so out of control and left me extremely vulnerable and my life was full of fear and anxiety."

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Apparently, it was breath work that changed her life as someone with bipolar.

She explained: "That and persistent self-love and self-care. Through breathwork, I learned to swap the agitated out-of-control constant rush of adrenalin (the bipolar high) for what I now call a spiritual euphoria, which was just infinitely better!"

Before her iconic EastEnders role as Tina, Luisa played midwife Lisa Fox in Holby City from 2001 to 2005.

The star was "devastated" at finding out that the medical show has been axed after a whopping 23 years on television.

She told ITV's Loose Women: "I'm so sad. I'm so sad for the cast. I spent four years on that show and I loved every second. It was like a real family, the crew and everybody… they were so lovely, I just feel really sad for them all."

Hiding tattoos from cameras

Luisa confessed that she hid some of her tattoos from the cameras, but she revealed her tasteful ink earlier this year on Instagram.

The actress has got the image of a naked lady meditating underneath a crescent mood, which is etched on the top of her arm inside a shaded triangle.

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Despite the woman being naked, her private parts are hidden behind her long flowing hair.

Back in July, fans were wondering whether or not Tina is actually dead and if she could make an explosive return to the soap.

However, she seemed to put the rumours to rest after her final scenes.

She said: "I’m happy with the fact that she can’t come back, so it’s a proper shut door, the final nature of it I needed,

"Tina is a character I have invested a lot in and a character that I really love, so to see that end is quite sad.

"When you do an acting job you usually know the ending, this is the only job where you don’t really know the ending.

"So after all those years in a character and then you find out the ending, it’s quite a strange experience."

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