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Kate Ritchie opens up about growing up on the Home and Away set

Being a teenager on the Summer Bay set was tougher than it looked.
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If you thought high school insecurities were bad, try growing up on the set of one of the world’s biggest soap operas.

Appearing on The Project on Tuesday night, Kate Ritchie discussed the issue of teenage body image and drew on her own experiences on the set of Home and Away.

“I have to admit it was pretty awful at times but after 30 years I am so used to people commenting on my body,” the actor-turned-radio-host revealed.

Kate Ritchie on the set of Home and Away in a scene with Heath Ledger. (Image: Instagram @aacta)

Kate starred as the much-loved Sally Fletcher on the Aussie soap for 20 years, but seeing as she started at just eight-years-old, growing up in the spotlight wasn’t the easiest feat.

“I’m sure this isn’t too crass, but I kind of grew overnight and I’ve had people since then, I go and buy sausages at the butcher or I go to the hairdresser and people tell me they remember the day when Sally Fletcher grew breasts,” she told the Project panel.

The 40-year-old mum of one previously told The Herald Sun that her move from television to radio was partly to rid herself of her Sally Fletcher label.

“Of course, I know I got the job on Merrick and Rosso because I was that girl from Home and Away. I think to start with I had planned to have a break and give everybody a break from me but I’m not sure that has happened. Instead it has been 10 years of reshaping this career of mine,” she said.

READ MORE: Kate Ritchie reveals the adorable way the Home and Away cast celebrated her first Logies.

Kate previously told Good Health that though she stayed relatively grounded in her formative years, she couldn’t escape the insecurities totally.

“In the old days television did make you look bigger than you really were,” she says.

“I spent the formative years of my life having people come up to me saying, ‘Wow, you’re not as fat as I thought you were’. People think they are paying you a compliment, and it comes from an honest place. But I can’t deny that in some ways it made me develop a self-consciousness.”

Kate is also the proud mum to daughter Mae, three, and is determined for her not to have the same hang-ups.

“The last thing I would want is for my daughter to have… I don’t want to say ‘body issues’, but I’m very conscious of curtailing any behaviour around feeling self-conscious.”

“She is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my life. I am most at ease with myself when I am with her,” Kate told The Weekly.

WATCH: Kate Ritchie discusses her daughter, Mae.

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