Clever ways EastEnders actress Kellie Bright has hidden her baby bump on screen

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Hiding a baby bump has been a bit of a game of double bluff for one of EastEnders much loved female characters lately.

Not only has Queen Vic landlady Linda been keeping a fictional baby secret from most of the other characters for months, she’s also been hiding her own real life pregnancy.

Even though actress Kellie Bright, 44, revealed her real pregnancy exclusively to OK! in March, show bosses had to do their best to try to cover up her growing tummy, as it didn’t quite tally with the timeline of her character’s pregnancy.

And not only that, Walford stalwart Linda was actually already trying to hide a pregnancy from family and friends in the show too. This week, Linda finally let everyone in on her secret when she dressed in a pink sequin dress that showed off her growing baby in a typically dramatic Queen Vic entrance.

Pub goers gasped, “You’re pregnant!” while her mother in law in the soap, Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) complained, “I’ve been with you every day for five months and you never said anything!”

All this bump covering has meant that those who work on the show have had to employ some clever tactics to play things down for now.

If viewers had spotted the size of Kellie’s real life baby bump, the idea of her keeping such an obvious sign secret from her Walford family might have seemed a bit far-fetched, even for their standards.

But given that the star had made her personal news public some moths back, eagle-eyed viewers will have spotted the many ways that Kellie’s middle section has been covered – both for continuity reasons and so that her on screen friends didn’t spot her TV secret.

Busy Linda has been stuck behind the bar in lots of scenes for quite a while now, often being filmed close in, from the chest upwards. Those who watch regularly will have noticed that many of her scenes have been close-up conversations with family members – handy that there is always so much whispering and covering up going on in the soap.

Linda’s fashion choices have had a subtle shift here and there too, with lots of her tighter more revealing tops suddenly being swapped for much looser, floatier styles.

The wardrobe team even seem to have switched the print of some of her dresses to bigger, bolder styles, perhaps in a bid to draw the eye from Kellie’s blooming bump.

Linda’s hush-hush pregnancy is the outcome of a controversial affair with Max Branning (Jake Wood) earlier in the year, meaning that the character has been reluctant to tell even her closet family members about the news.

Long-suffering husband Mick, played by Danny Dyer, decided to stand by his wife when she came back to him as he struggled to cope with revelations of child abuse from his past.

Since then, only the two of them have known about the baby fathered by Max and Linda has done her best to keep the pregnancy secret.

Baggy hoodies and dressed down joggers have become part of Linda’s look, particularly in a recent scene when Linda’s daughter, Nancy (Maddy Hill) invited her to the gym.

Viewers were finally able to see Kellie’s real-life bump as Linda chatted to on screen husband Mick about how she’d be able to keep the baby bump hidden at the gym. The pair agreed she’d wear loose tracksuit bottoms and a zip up hoodie, but it was only a matter of time before the news was out.

Other clever tactics, particularly to throw viewers off the scent, included items being placed in front of the actor as she chatted or worked behind the bar of the famous Walford boozer.

At the end of May, a large box of cleaning products was in shot in front of Kellie’s character as she went about her morning chatting to Mick and his newly discovered daughter, Frankie.

And the good old oversized handbag trick has come in rather useful too, in recent scenes, with Linda often being seen out and about covering her middle section with a bigger style bag.

The actress, who has spoken out recently over criticism of her decision to have a baby at 44, can relax a little on screen now as both her real life and storyline pregnancies are finally out in the open.

Kellie revealed in March that her pregnancy with husband Paul Stocker happened via a frozen embryo insertion.

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