The one thing I can still do is act - that hasn't changed.'Which is why we're here. 'Look, it's taken me five years to get to this stage. If there was any chance of getting that back in any way, shape or form, I wanted to do it.'It has made me so happy to sit on set and feel like I was before.'Leslie is in tears now.Leslie will soon appear on BBC1's Holby City as hospital executive Vanessa Lytton in her first role since contracting the bug and receiving a whopping £5 million payout for, er, loss of earnings. I've lived through being hoisted in and out of bed and not being able to sit up, being in terrible pain, being in wheelchairs, on crutches or with this stick.'I had the rug pulled from under me and my whole world was flipped up in the air. 'It just feels like normal, like yesterday...' which is when she excuses herself for the loo, returning with her make-up repaired.It can happen and it did happen.'I fell off the bed and when I tried to get up, I found it difficult to breathe. It can be cruel, but life is cruel.'Leslie was 26 when she met Lee in a nightclub.
Foolishly, she'd undergone the procedure at her friend's flat so had no legal comeback.
Her lips remain abnormally swollen today.'I felt absolutely stupid that I could have destroyed myself like that so easily,' she says. All the stuff in the newspapers hurt really badly.'So how did Lee, 49, and her sons, Joe, 20 and Max, 17, react?
In the following months Leslie underwent an MRI scan, after which it was discovered she had been injected with liquid silicone, rather than a more commonly used filler such as collagen.
The silicone had set around the muscles in her lips and was impossible for surgeons to remove.
In her autobiography, Leslie blamed an energetic sex session. 'And, yes, we do argue, but that's how we always talk to each other. My mum was always nagging my dad and my dad was always telling her to shut up.''But we don't have a violent marriage.
We were having sex and it was a horrible, horrible accident.When Leslie was 12, debt forced her from her spacious home and private school into a flat on Clapham High Street above her parents' decorating shop.She remembers hearing her mother sob at night, but couldn't comfort her.'Lee and the boys have always been incredibly supportive,' she says. Don't have anything else done." Some days, when they want to be horrible, they might take the p***.'Not that supportive, then.There has, of course, been constant speculation that Lee, an ex-Arsenal, West Ham and Leeds footballer, is a volatile man who was responsible for putting Leslie in hospital five years ago when she was taken to casualty with a punctured lung and two broken ribs. 'My husband and I do have a very passionate relationship,' she says.'Every day I think, "Maybe I'm back to normal," but I know I'm not.