Who is Lisa Faulkner? MasterChef judge John Torode’s partner and former Fi Browning actress on EastEnders

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LISA Faulkner is an actress who starred in EastEnders as scheming businesswoman Fi Browning.

Her partner, the chef, John Torode, is an avid fan of the BBC One soap. Here is the lowdown on the actress…

Lisa is a TV chef and actress
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Who is Lisa Faulkner, how old is she and what is her background?

Lisa Faulkner is a 46-year-old TV personality who has previously worked as an actress, a host and a telly chef.

Born and raised in South West London, she was educated in Kingston.

She lost her mother to cancer when she was just 16 – and she has frequently discussed this loss in interviews.

The same year she lost her mother, Lisa was scouted by a modelling agency and by the 1990s she was acting in TV dramas.

She drew from her relationship with her mum to create her first cookery book, titled Recipes from my Mother for my Daughter.

Lisa has since released two more cookery books called The Way I Cook and Tea & Cake.

The star became a household name thanks to Holby City
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Who did Lisa Faulkner play in EastEnders and when did she leave the show?

The actress played “stylish, sophisticated” businesswoman Fi Browning in the BBC soap, aiding Max Branning in his revenge plot against the people of Walford.

“I’m so happy to be joining the cast of EastEnders,” she said in a statement when her role was announced in 2017.

“It’s an iconic show and I can’t wait to play my part in it. Fi Browning is a hugely exciting character.”

Lisa has been dating John Torode since 2012
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Lisa has also revealed that her boyfriend John Torode helped her learn her lines.

She said: “He’s so excited and he’s a really big EastEnders fan. They gave me cards of all the characters and said go back and look at all the people, and see who they are. And we put them out on the bench in the kitchen, and every card I put down he knew them! He knew which family they were in and everything.

“He’s been helping me learn my lines! He’s very Aussie. He’s very sweet but he reads all the stage directions.

“We just go through the lines and I know I’ve got five minutes and he’ll read them all out. And if it’s not quite exactly the lines he’ll go ‘oh no you missed out “he”‘ and I’ll say ‘No it’s fine!’.”

Her character Fi eventually came good after learning the true nature of her father, James Willmott-Brown, and left the Square just after Christmas, handing the deeds of the cafe back to Kathy Beale.

The actress will play stylish and sophisticated businesswoman Fi Browning
The actress played stylish and sophisticated businesswoman Fi Browning

What else has Lisa Faulkner been in?

Lisa is most famed for her role in Holby City, in which she played Victoria Merrick in 43 episodes running between 1999-2001.

Victoria was a much-loved character on the show, but was stabbed to death in her own home.

She has also appeared in several long-running TV series, including Murder in Suburbia, Brookside and New Street Law.

After winning Celebrity MasterChef in 2010, Lisa turned her focus to TV hosting duties, specifically cooking programmes including What’s Cooking? on Channel 4.

She also worked in John’s London restaurant, Smiths of Smithfield, shortly after her MasterChef win.

When did Lisa Faulkner start dating John Torode?

Lisa and Australian-native John got together in October 2012, but originally met when Lisa took part in Celebrity MasterChef in 2010.

At the time of the show being filmed, Lisa was married to EastEnders actor Chris Coghill, with whom she has an adopted daughter called Billie.

The pair divorced in April 2012 after a seven-year marriage, and six months later Lisa went public with her relationship with John.

He had been married to wife Jessica since 2007, but the couple split in 2011.

Since they got together they have frequently appeared alongside each other on cooking segments for morning TV.

Before Chris, Lisa was engaged to Jonny Lee Miller, Elementary actor and star of Trainspotting.