When her dream of conquering Hollywood failed to materialise, Martine McCutcheon was forced to look a little closer to home for her next big break.
Topping up her tan in the Caribbean sun - ahead of her British television comeback - the 31-year-old actress proves she is once again riding on the crest of a wave.
Curvy Martine McCutcheon looks a picture of health holidaying with her mystery man
The former EastEnders star, who is appearing in ITV1's new surf-based soap Echo Beach, happily slipped into character - and a bikini - during her latest holiday in Barbados.
Accompanied by her new boyfriend it was most definitely a case of life imitating art as the actress, wearing her hair loose and dark designer sunglasses, frolicked on the island's exclusive west coast before stopping off for an al fresco lunch.
"Martine looked in fine fettle and was having a very energetic beach-side morning," said a fellow holiday maker.
"She showed off a curvy but toned physique and certainly didn't receive any complaints from her boyfriend who could hardly keep his eyes off her.
"The two of them spent much of the day kissing and cuddling in the sea, and seemed oblivious to everyone else on the beach."
Loved up: Martine and her mystery new man take a dip in Barbados where they are relaxing in the sun
Miss McCutcheon, who moved to LA shortly after her popular EastEnders character Tiffany was killed off eight years ago, famously claimed she had been described by casting agents as 'England's answer to Jennifer Lopez'.
However, aside from an appearance in the hit movie Love Actually, her Tinseltown career failed to take off and she recently returned to live back in the UK full-time.
But early reviews for her latest TV project, in which she stars alongside ex-Neighbours actor Jason Donovan, have been positive and the post-watershed soap, set in a fictional town in Cornwall, is expected to be one of ITV1's biggest hits of the year.
The 12-part drama is being accompanied by a behind-the-scenes comedy show, Moving Wallpaper, which follows the show's fantasy production team's trials and tribulations in getting the series made.
Curvy Martine McCutcheon takes a dip with her new mystery man
It promises to mark a career revival for Miss McCutcheon, whose most notable work last year was the release of a fitness DVD.
Speaking about her health, she recently said: "There's been an awful lot of pressure on me to look thin and sometimes that hasn't been how my body's meant to be naturally.
"I'm a typical hourglass shape and I have to keep my curves in check. I don't want someone talking about my weight, I want someone talking about my performance.
"I know these women in the industry who say, 'I have a fast metabolism' and 'I do eat'. It's rubbish!
"Most of them don't eat very much, work out like you wouldn't believe and are paranoid as hell. I think the most beautiful thing about a woman is when she's naturally gorgeous and doesn't look like she's trying too hard.
"I hate that skinny look."
The happy couple stroll along the beach in Barbados, heading back to their hotel