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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Patsy has early baby
Patsy Palmer
Palmer's baby is said to be more than a month premature
Ex-EastEnder Patsy Palmer has given birth to a baby boy a few weeks earlier than expected.

The 28-year-old actress had baby Fenton - her second child - on Tuesday at London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital. She was due to give birth in July.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said Palmer and Fenton were doing fine, although Fenton was receiving the kind of special attention usually given to premature babies.

Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen
Patsy as EastEnder Bianca at her marriage to Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen)

"I can confrim that Patsy Palmer gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday 13 June. Both are doing fine but since the birth was a few weeks early, the baby is being looked after in the hospital's new baby unit," she said.

However, neither the hospital nor Palmer's agent would give any details of Fenton's weight.

Palmer is said to have gone into labour unexpectedly while on a routine check-up visit at London's Great Portland Clinic. She was later transferred to the Chelsea and Westminster.

The baby, whose father is Palmer's taxi driver boyfriend Richard Merkell, is the actress' second son.

She also has an eight-year-old boy Charley from a previous relationship.

New projects

Palmer, known to millions as Bianca Butcher from EastEnders, left the BBC soap last year after six years to spend more time with her family and to concentrate on other projects.

One of these can be seen on BBC One on Friday night when she stars in a one-off pilot detective drama called McCready and Daughter.

Patsy Palmer and  Lorcan Cranitch in McCready and Daughter
Palmer and Cranitch in McCready and Daughter

Her co-star Lorcan Cranitch joked that the birth was ideal timing to tie in with the TV show, which is screened on Friday evening.

Speaking about the birth on ITV's This Morning, he said: "I only heard about it on the way in this morning.

"It's fantastic news. The secret of showbusiness is timing and you can't get much better than that."

Palmer recently spoke about what she would do differently as she became a mother for the second time, saying: "I'll be a lot more patient because I'm a little bit older.

"I was really happy with Charley but I didn't have anyone to share him with - only my mum.

"I'm also very excited for Charley because he's desperate to have a little brother or sister," she added.

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See also:

28 May 00 | Entertainment
EastEnders cleans up soap awards
22 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Patsy Palmer to leave EastEnders
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