Her parents split when she was a child, and Martine claimed her mother was a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her father.
Martine’s mother Jenny remarried when Martine was young, to John McCutcheon, whose last name Martine took.
Martine’s mother gave birth to a half-brother, LJ, when Martine was 16-years-old, and later Jenny and John divorced, and she married Alan Tomlin.
She then gained a role on the series Bluebirds, opposite her later on-screen mother-in-law Dame Barbara Windsor.
After continuing acting, at 15 she was put in a girl band, Milan, who toured with boyband East 17.
The group was not successful, and Martine turned back to acting, being offered the role of Tiffany Raymond on EastEnders in 1994.
Martine expressed her desire to leave the soap to pursue a career in music, and Tiffany was killed off, which Martine has spoken out about in the press.
She told The Mirror: “As an actress, you never take for granted that you are ever going to be in a job for more than two minutes, but it was the way I was told by listening to the radio.
“None of the other cast members believed me. They were like, ‘I cannot believe you didn’t tell us!’
“At any time they can get rid of you. Nobody is the star of that show – the show is star.”
Despite this, she had a successful music career after the show, releasing chart-topping single Perfect Moment in 1999.
Her debut album, You Me & Us, went to Number Two on the UK album chart, and was followed by her second album, Wishing, in 2000.
In 2003, however, Martine made an acting comeback, starring as Natalie in Richard Curtis rom-com Love Actually, where she falls in love with the Prime Minister, played by Hugh Grant.
She reprised this role for Comic Relief in 2017, and the film is regularly played during the Christmas season.
Martine has gone back into the music business at times since her first three albums, releasing a fourth in 2017, and has also had small acting roles in the years since Love Actually.
On her Instagram biography, Martine calls herself: “Award winning singer & actress. Wife and proud mummy. Lifestyle lover.
“Ambassador for @hospice_uk Living with Lyme Disease, Fibro & M.E.”
She married singer Jack McManus in 2012 and they had a son, Rafferty, in 2015.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed