Martine McCutcheon has admitted her acting career was a "fortunate accident".
The 41-year-old actress played the role of Tiffany Mitchell in the popular BBC One soap "EastEnders" but not many people realise that before she landed that role - which she held from 1995 to 1998 - she started out her career as a singer in girl band Milan in the early 1990s.
Her big break on screen turned Martine into a household name after she was offered a part in the soap while working as a shop girl at Knickerbox, and looking back on how she got where she is today, Martine admits that she always put acting second.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz at the O2 Silver Clef Awards 2017, held at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday (30.06.17), Martine said: "The TV side of things have been a happy accident, a fortunate accident, acting always came second."
Her soap character was killed off during a Christmas Special back in 1998 and Martine then went on to star in 2003 movie "Love Actually" where she played Natalie and starred opposite actor Hugh Grant.
The role scored her the Empire Award for Best Newcomer in 2004, as well as the MTV Movie Award for Best Trans-Atlantic Breakthrough Performer in the same year.
The "Love Actually" cast reunited earlier this year for a one-off Comic Relief charity special but Martine has since drifted back to her musical roots, recently releasing her new single "Say I'm Not Alone" which has been well received.
And she's delighted to be able to give music another shot, having signed a deal with BMG, with whom she is about to release her fourth studio album as a digital download.
Speaking about her new album "Lost and Found", which is expected to be released in August (11.08.17), she said: "It was about my journey of loosing myself and finding myself again."
Martine admitted she was chuffed with the response from both fans and the wider public.
She added: "For me to be getting the great response from my music at the age of 41 is unusual in this day and age - whatever your journey is it has to be real and authentic, there is so much out there that isn't anymore."