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Deena Payne: 'I've got my life back'

By
Deena Payne aka 'Viv Hope'

© Rex Features / David Fisher

Deena Payne has claimed that she has "got her life back" following her Emmerdale exit.

The actress left the ITV1 soap in January, when Viv Windsor became one of the two victims of a devastating blaze. Speaking to Channel 5's OK! TV, Payne admitted that she was enjoying her chance to spend time at home.

"Oh I love it, I love it. I'm just indulging at being at home," she said. "I've painted my healing room and I've made curtains, cushions and everything. I'm just being a mum and enjoying it. I've got my life back.

"You did have a bit of a life [on the soap], but it was always constricted. You know, you go on holiday with a load of scripts."

Speaking about her 18 years in the role, she said: "I loved it, I loved it. The challenges that I had and making the character - getting involved with [her] and making it work. I was always given challenges and I hope I rose to those challenges. I really enjoyed working on it and I loved the crew, I got on well with everybody, all the directors - mainly!

Discussing her exit, Payne confessed that her exit had "hurt" for a while but said that was beginning to "heal".

"I didn't want to leave, but it was the right time if ever I had to," she said. "My contract just wasn't renewed. It came at the right time."

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