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Elaine Tan is of Chinese heritage and was born in London, England. At an early age, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, by chance, as it was the only school close to her Mother's work. There, she trained in jazz, ballet, modern, tap, singing and drama and performed in West End stage productions, including South Pacific and The King & I, several Royal Variety Shows, commercials, film, TV, and radio. She was offered a scholarship to stay, but left to attend a regular academic school but continued taking her LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) Exams, and carried on working in productions mainly for the BBC.She went on to study Law and graduated from Exeter University. Later Elaine played the lead role of Liat in Sir Trevor Nunn's production of South Pacific at the National Theatre in London, and sang 'Happy Talk' as a duet with the character of Bloody Mary which features on the musical soundtrack recorded at Abbey Road Studios. After returning to acting full time, she completed the last part of her law training part time.Best known for her role in the BBC's prime time flagship show 'Eastenders', it was the first East Asian regular role since the show began in 1985, and for her portrayal of 'Lucy Chang' from the Bestseller book turned movie, 'Starter For Ten', opposite James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch.