EastEnders legend looks unrecognisable in throwback childhood snap with niece – can you guess who it is? | The Sun

AN EastEnders legend shared a sweet childhood throwback to celebrate her niece's birthday – and she looked unrecognisable!

The star uploaded the family photo on Instagram, adding a lengthy tribute to her loved one who she called "a best friend".

Sonia Fowler actress Natalie Cassidy, on the left in the snap, looked worlds away from the Walford icon we know her as today.

She captioned the post: "Happy birthday to my niece @mariawino.

"Thank you for all the years of joy, laughter, tears and special times. If anyone is blessed to be an auntie at a very young age, you’ll know that a niece is not only a niece.

"But a sister and a best friend and to them you are an auntie first, but everything they need you to be at the same time."

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She added: "My life would be very sad without you."

Natalie, 39 – who has starred in the BBC One soap since 1993 – regularly gives fans a peek into her personal life on social media.

Earlier this year she posted a series of snaps from a family holiday with her fiance Marc Humphries and her kids.

Natalie and Marc, who works as a cameraman on EastEnders, share daughter Joanie, five.

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She is also mum to Eliza, 11, from her relationship with ex Adam Cottrell.

Natalie, who has lost an impressive four stone in recent years, recently opened up about being fat-shamed on Strictly Come Dancing.

She said she felt ridiculed when asked to perform a move on the BBC show that was usually reserved for men.

Talking about an incident on Strictly when she took part back in 2009, Natalie said: “I was about four stone bigger than I am now.

"Vincenzo (Simone) was quite little. And I remember one week, it was like, ‘Oh we're going to do this dance, but you’re going to pick up Vincent’.

"And I think about it now and I think, ‘Oh, that was out of order. It was a bit out of order to me.’ You couldn’t do that now.”

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