INSOMNIA and sparks of fiery rage are the first signs of what Tamzin Outhwaite thinks could be the menopause — and having just turned 50, she knows it’s coming soon.
The former EastEnders actress has watched friends go through the “change” and recently starred in YouTube series Dun Breedin’, which follows a group of women as they navigate the M word.
But while Tamzin knows it is coming, she dreads becoming a “horrifically hormonal mum” to daughters Florence, 12, and Marnie, eight.
And while the 21-year age gap between her and live-in boyfriend Tom Child has never been an issue since they met three years ago at a yoga studio, life could be about to get more difficult.
She said: “The menopause seemed to come on when I was doing Dun Breedin’ because I was so aware of all of the symptoms.
“Before then, I’d thought I was going to be pretty much like my mother, who had said to me, ‘Oh, when I went through the menopause, I remember being a bit grumpy for a few days’.
“So in my head I was going to be a carbon copy of her and it was just going to flow over for me.
“Dun Breedin’ opened my eyes to what all those symptoms are, such as insomnia.
“I’ve not had the hot flushes or sweats, but I’ve definitely had the insomnia, and so in my head it’s about to happen, and I’m at the beginning of it.”
While Tamzin and 29-year-old Tom, a film and documentary producer, are at different life stages, she insists age is just a number.
She said: “If it ever did become a problem in the future that would be a different thing, but we try and live in the now, and enjoy it, because as I’ve always said, I might get hit by a bus tomorrow.
“I know it’s ridiculous, but the only sort of reality we have is now, and we’re not promised anything else, so we’re just trying to exist in the now.”
Tamzin has previously said that at first it was just a fling with Tom, but two years ago she moved him into the family home — after getting the approval of her daughters.
Yet marriage is definitely not on the cards. Tamzin said: “My daughters were excited by him moving in, but they wouldn’t like us to get married — they’d hate that.
“They always say, ‘You two are not getting married’. They don’t like the idea of it, but that’s fine because we’re not desperate to do it.
“I feel like I’ve done it so I’m not that bothered really.
"It’s a very liberating place to be when you don’t need to get married and you don’t need to have kids.
“I do feel much freer than I’ve felt in life, and at the same time being in a very loving relationship. You could say I’ve got the best of both worlds really.”
Tamzin was previously married for seven years to actor Tom Ellis, who played Gary in BBC sitcom Miranda.
They split in 2013 after 41-year-old Tom allegedly cheated with Australian actress Emilie de Ravin in Los Angeles while filming fantasy drama Once Upon a Time – while Tamzin stayed in the UK with their children.
Tom now lives in LA with his new wife, screenwriter Meaghan Oppenheimer, which makes co-parenting complicated.
In August he spoke about being unable to see his three daughters — he also has 15-year-old Nora from a previous relationship — for seven months due to being trapped in California at the height of the pandemic.
Tamzin therefore relies on the children’s nanny, who has been with the family since Florence was a baby.
She said: “She’s really who I’m co-parenting with and have done for a very long time.
“She’s like the sensible head. I can go to her with pretty much anything and she knows them so well.
“She’s not full-time, but she pops in and she’s been with me over 12 years. She and (current partner) Tom are very supportive.”
And now the blended family could be on the cusp of a new chapter as Tamzin enters the menopause, just as Florence starts her turbulent teenage years.
She said: “I don’t want to be horrifically hormonal and clashing with my horrifically hormonal daughter. It would be nice if I was the peacemaker.
“My friends have been through it, or are going through it, and say it’s the rage, the fiery rage, that you really notice.
“So when I get sparks of that I think, ‘This must be it,’ because it’s not like me. I just want to be a nice person to be around.”
OVERNIGHT SEX SYMBOL
Tamzin first shot to fame as Mel Owen in EastEnders in 1998 and became an overnight sex symbol, winning the title Sexiest Female In British Soap in 1999 and 2000.
She left in 2002 and went on to appear in TV dramas such as Hotel Babylon and New Tricks before returning to the Square in 2017 for a final two-year stint.
She was starring in the West End in Chekhov play The Seagull alongside Emilia Clarke before Covid struck at the start of the year and theatres closed down across the country.
And while Tamzin admits the first lockdown took its toll on her body, she is in great shape after a few weeks at a fitness retreat in Majorca over summer.
She said: “I’d put on nearly a stone, but I did 31 days at The Body Camp and abstained from alcohol, dairy and meat. I ended up losing it all and a bit more.
“I don’t really weigh myself very often, but I can tell in my clothes when I’ve put weight on, and when my jeans are tight.
“Now I feel nearly back to the weight I would like to be, and it’s not just weight, but getting back to how I used to feel.”
Tamzin advocates a healthy diet and exercise over surgery when it comes to combating the ageing process.
She said: “I’d never go under the knife unless it was for a medical reason. I tried Botox a very long time ago and I regretted it.
“I’ve been looking in the mirror at the old lockdown lines and lockdown love handles. You can do something about both, but I’d rather try everything else first.”
- Tamzin stars in Matinee – Goldfish radio edit music video, directed and edited by Tom Child and Ben Wood of ManChild Films. Find it on YouTube.
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