The ‘EastEnders’ star has revealed she keeps the “extraordinary collection” of clay-base pigs that range in sizes in her garden.
She told My Weekly magazine: “I have the most extraordinary collection of at least 500 terracotta pigs. They start from the size of my thumbnail to quite big ones in the garden. They’re wonderful – I love them.”
However, her “most treasured possession” are two “magical” statues of priests that look over Gwen and her husband Graham Reid – who she married in 1996 – as they sleep.
She added: “My most treasured possessions are two terracotta statues of priests. I saw them in a shop in Ireland and just fell for them. They’re very strange creatures, but they stand on top of a bookcase and look down over our bedroom.
“They look after me and I would want to rescue them if the house caught fire. They’re quite magical.”
What’s more, the 82-year-old actress is happiest when she is at home sitting quietly with the playwright in their conservatory.
She explained: “I’m at my happiest at home reading. We’ve got a conservatory. Graham sits on his big chair and reads voraciously all day and the nicest thing is when I’m opposite him with a cup of tea between us and we look up. It’s a lovely feeling.”
Gwen recently joined ‘EastEnders’ as Violet Highway, the straight-talking grandmother of Stuart (Ricky Champ) and Callum Highway (Tony Clay).
And despite her years of acting experience, she was nervous about her first day in Walford.
Former ‘Coronation Street’ star Gwen said: “Apart from being terrified, it was surreal seeing faces that I recognise from over the years.”
The ‘Barbara’ actress was also nervous about acting alongside ‘EastEnders’ legend Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell).
She said: “Steve is such a presence, and I loved working with him. “I was a bit nervous and he was so helpful. “He made sure I was alright. He was so kind and made me feel very welcome.”