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Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me!

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1989-10-12 Sun.jpg


• Dr Who's girl weighed 6½st

• She existed on pints of water

• She stole her flatmates' food

TELLY star Sophie Aldred is used to facing extermination by Daleks as Dr Who's sidekick Ace in the top children's series.

But the 27-year-old actress almost exterminated herself for real in a five-year battle with the slimmers' disease anorexia nervosa.

Pretty Sophie, who is 5ft 3in tall, ended up looking like a skeleton when her weight plummeted to fist 71b during her nightmare ordeal. And despite winning her battle with the disease, She has revealed that she still suffers side-effects six years later.

Now she has opened her heart on her horrifying fight for life in a bid to stop other young girls making the same mistake.

Sophie was a 17-year-old schoolgirl living at home in Blackheath, South-East London, when she began wasting away on a starvation diet of apples and low-calorie drinks.


She says: "I felt under tremendous pressure with my A-levels and "I hated having the

one day a friend at food in my stomach. To Blackheath High School me, it was like a huge

said that I'd put on a stone that I had to get

bit of weight. That com- rid of.

meñt triggered it all off. "I went on a drastic ;4 diet and things got out of hand.

"My weight fell dramatically but at that time anorexia nervosa wasn't a well-known disease and everyone kept telling me how great I looked because I was so thin!

"I felt wonderful, too. The aching emptiness in Amy stomach gave me a matches about it, but I made up lies to cover up the fact that I wasn't eating.

"When I went on to university I was hoping that my problems would end. But things were just as bad.

"I shared a council flat on Manchester's Moss Side with some other students and I started pinching. food from their cupboards.


"I didn't want to buy it myself because it made me feel so guilty.

"But I didn't think anything was wrong with me until suddenly my periods stopped, my hair started falling out and my nails and skin turned grey. My bones stuck out all over the place."

The crunch came when Sophie got a kidney infection and she ended up in hospital fighting for her life.

She revealed: "One day I just collapsed at home, with back pains and a blinding headache. My mum dragged me off to Greenwich Hospital but I still felt there was nothing wrong with me.

"The kidney infection saved me. If I hadn't collapsed then God knows what would have happened.

"I was so weak it was a major achievement for me to walk 300 yards down the road. It took years to recover fully.

"As long as five years later I was still making myself sick. The trouble is that after living on just an apple a day anything you eat makes you put on weight immediately.

"I remember eating a piece of toast for breakfast, a small salad for lunch and a tiny dinner, mainly of vegetables, in the evening and I was still putting on weight. It drove me mad!


"But eventually I realised that I was getting back to a normal weight—I wasn't putting on EXTRA weight. Finally, I forced myself to eat normally.

"Now my metabolism is more or less back to normal and I adore food!

"The only good thing to come out of that awful part of my life is that I now love healthy food. I live on salads and baked potatoes and never touch alcohol.

"My advice to anyone who thinks they might be anorexic is to get help.

"You must realise that anorexia can be fatal."

Sophie now weighs 8st 71b, is fighting fit and busy battling bad-

•dies on Dr Who.

She lives in a £68,000 two-bedroom flat in Peckham, South London, and often spends weekends at the home of her Dr Who screen pal Sylvester McCoy, playing with his children.

She has a loving boyfriend she has been dating for a year and is playing Cinderella in panto with Les Dennis in Hull at Christmas.

Sophie says: "I'm very lucky to have survived anorexia. I realise that every day—and now life couldn't be better!"

real high and I played sport obsessively to get rid of even more unwanted calories.

"All 1 wanted was to be thin and if I went a whole day without eating I felt really virtuous. If I was in a situation where I had to eat, like a restaurant, I'd sneak off to the loo and make myself sick afterwards.

"I cut out food and drank pints of water to fill me up. Even if I ate an apple I felt guilty.

"My weight dropped to six-and-a-half stone but I felt great, so fit. I survived on adrenalin, full of this incredible, manic energy. But really my body was falling to bits.

"My mum noticed 1 was missing meals and we'd have screaming

SHAPING UP ... Sophie beat anorexia and now weighs 8st 7/b Picture by MARTIN CULLUM

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: Hill, Suzanne (1989-10-12). Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me!. The Sun .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hill, Suzanne. "Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me!." The Sun [add city] 1989-10-12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hill, Suzanne. "Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me!." The Sun, edition, sec., 1989-10-12
  • Turabian: Hill, Suzanne. "Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me!." The Sun, 1989-10-12, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me! | url=! | work=The Sun | pages= | date=1989-10-12 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Anorexia Almost Exterminated Me! | url=! | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 December 2023}}</ref>