Nadia Sawalha is extremely close to her family and on Monday’s episode of Loose Women, the star was visibly emotional as she opened up about her younger sister Julia – who is best known for her role as Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous. Admitting that the pair have a “stormy relationship” the former EastEnders actress explained: “My mum got pregnant with Julia and I was so excited as there are four years between Julia and I, and my mum then had her and freaked out so sent me away to my grandmothers. he says when she looked back at it ‘what was I thinking?’ but there you go. And so I think because of that, my younger sister and I have always had a really stormy relationship. She’s totally amazing.”
Nadia Sawalha with her sister Julia in 2010
The mother-of-two then cut off as she welled up, and added: “Sorry, it’s emotional. She’s amazing my sister, but we’ve always had a really volatile relationship and have always had periods of time in our lives where we don’t speak. But I also have the worst time or best time in my life with her.”
The star has previously spoken about Julia’s fame, and how she felt lucky that from her sister being in Ab Fab as well as her father working as an actor, she found that it slightly easier when she became well-known after joining EastEnders in 1997 as actress Annie Palmer. During a discussion on her YouTube channel in March, where she was discussing fame, she said: “Having been on a soap opera – I was in EastEnders 20 years ago – and I used to watch the youngsters come into it. You come in and then you film for six weeks, and for six weeks you are in EastEnders you are working as a soap star, but you are not yet a star. And then suddenly that episode will come out and the next minute you are ludicrously famous. At the time I was in it it had 20 million viewers, honestly to just have that sudden fame.”
Nadia and Julia with their dad Nadim
She added: “I was very lucky because I came from a family that had always been in the film business. My dad [Nadim Sawalaha] was an actor and my sister [Julia Sawalha] was very famous in Absolutely Fabulous, so I had a bit of a sense of what it was like. But still it was a bit of a shock.”
Nadia also has a sister called Dina who is just two years older than her. The star lives next door to Dina and her parents Betty and Nadim – who is known as Teddy, and they often go on holiday together, as well as appearing on the star’s YouTube channel, Nadia Sawalha and Family. The TV presenter is married to husband Mark Adderley and the pair shared daughters Maddie, 16, and 11-year-old Kiki.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.