Tara Fitzgerald and her sister

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Actress Tara Fitzgerald, 41, lives in London and is in a relationship

"Arabella and I have the same nerdy laugh and when we hear each other, we can’t stop. She helps me take myself less seriously.

With only 14 months between us, we’re what’s known as ‘Irish twins’. We lived in the Bahamas until I was three, when my parents divorced and we moved to west London with our mother. Arabella and I looked very different – I was dark and chubby, while she was delicate and angelic looking.

When I was 19, I discovered that my father had committed suicide, and hadn’t been killed in a car crash, as I’d been told at 11. I distracted myself by being a party girl, but I could talk to Arabella. It bonded us and we have a shorthand because of it.

In the same year, I suffered an ectopic pregnancy, but I didn’t turn to Arabella then. I was focused on going to drama school that September and, while I was aware that it could make childbirth difficult in the future, my career was my priority.

Being so close in age creates a natural competitiveness and when Arabella had her first child, I felt this weird thing of, ‘Hang on, I’m meant to do that first’. I don’t know if I’ll have children, but I love hanging out in Arabella’s bustling home, and I cherish our closeness and that non-judgemental love."

Tara will be in a new series of Waking The Dead on BBC One later this year

Arabella Drummond, 39, lives in London with her husband and their four children

"Growing up, I looked up to Tara and absolutely trusted her. We’d put on plays for our Mum’s friends and, while I never had her desire to get up on stage, I was proud when Tara said she had a place at drama school.

I love being a full-time mother and don’t envy Tara’s lifestyle. I’ve had friends who struggled to understand motherhood, so we’ve drifted apart, but there’s never been any unrest between Tara and me.

I always feel excited when Tara comes on TV – you never lose that. I remember seeing her play Ophelia in Hamlet before a packed house. Watching her in the show was magical, but the best part was knowing I could see her afterwards."

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