Pauline Quirke admits she was overweight because she was 'greedy'.

The 52-year-old actress - who recently lost eight stone in 12 months - insists she had no-one to blame for her weight but herself.

In her new autobiography titled 'Where Have I Gone?' as excerpted in the Daily Mirror, the 'Emmerdale' star says her slim-down came about because she was 'bored' of being big.

In a diary entry from June 2010, she wrote: ''I'm not big-boned or pleasantly plump, I'm just fat! And I got this fat all by myself, because I'm greedy. I eat and drink too much and I exercise too little.''

Weighing in at almost 280lbs, Pauline admits her full-figure not only damaged her confidence, but also her health.

She said: ''I was tired of not being able to find clothes to fit, tired of sunbathing on a hotel balcony on holiday because I was too self-conscious to sit by the pool.

''Because I was overweight, I was unhealthy. I'd had a disc removed in 1991, I had diabetes in 1994 when I was pregnant with my son Charlie and had to have a hip replacement in 2009. Then I had a fall and fractured an ankle that wouldn't heal properly.''

But things came to a head when she had to ask for a seatbelt extension whilst taking a flight to Majorca with husband Steve Sheen.

She explained: ''On the plane I tugged the seatbelt across my body and felt its metal buckle cutting in. Discreetly as I could, I summoned the petrifyingly slim stewardess. 'Could I have an extension belt, please?' I muttered.

''She made her way towards me, brandishing it aloft. I saw pity in her eyes. And I wanted to die. In truth, nobody else knew what was going on. Nobody cared.

But I knew, and that was enough. It was time I sorted myself out.''