Martine’s Irish ‘nan’ used to say she inherited her dark hair and pale skin from her Irish family
The beautiful brunette will also take a moment to remember her Irish ‘nan’ Bridie, who used to tease Martine, that it was from her that she inherited her colouring - the Celtic fair skin and dark hair.
She laughs and says: “You can’t beat an Irish beauty. For me I just love that colouring and I was always wanted to look like Andrea Corr.
“I got some solace from the fact that she didn’t have those beautiful green or blue Irish eyes,” she jokes. “I just think Irish eyes are stunning and mine are brown, but Andrea was who I wanted to be.”
Martine, who was born in Hackney in London, reveals: “We do miss my nan so much, and Barbara Windsor was special to me, we had that EastEnd thing in common, and I knew her from a very young age and June Brown, another legend gone.
“We go to a midnight service on Christmas Eve and I love that. I will light a candle for them and remember.”
Meeting her husband Jack’s Irish family last year, Martine (47) fell in love with the quaint village of Adare, Co Limerick.
She says: “We go to Ireland every single year.
“We normally end up meeting in a hotel in Dublin, then all go for a mooch and shop, and then have a lovely bit of lunch. The Westbury is perfect for us because we don’t bother hiring a car and we can be central to meet people. We like the Dylan Hotel too. We have family from Longford, Waterford and Jack’s family are from Limerick.
“An area I recently fell in love with was Adare, and the people and the shops, and the little cafes, it’s so quaint and beautiful. The sweetest little place.
“The village of Adare has that old school feel about it, Ireland itself has just got this magical feeling. I love it there but I am biased.”
Martine is of course one of the stars of one-time Christmas box-office hit, Love Actually, alongside Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson.
She says: “Oh my mam will put it on the TV at Christmas, and I’ll leave the room and she’ll be like, ‘Come back, look at you, look at you!’. She’s a bit of a character, my mam.”
Martine – who has a son Rafferty with singer/songwriter husband Jack McManus – was speaking to the Sunday World to promote the One4all gift card.
She says: “Rafferty is all over Christmas and those elves. He is keeping us busy.
“Don’t pick up silly stuff if you can’t think of anything, give everyone a break and spend it wisely.
“In these times with such high inflation, people will totally appreciate a gift voucher they can use in so many shops.”