Anna Friel nearly died from a ruptured cyst in 2001.

Anna Friel

Anna Friel

The 43-year-old actress was just one hour from death when she was rushed to hospital with septicaemia, caused by a burst ovarian cyst.

She told The Guardian's Weekend magazine: "I nearly died by burst ovarian cyst in 2001. I was doing the front cover of a magazine and someone said, "Can you not pull your tummy in?" It turned out that I had been carrying two litres of blood in my stomach. I was rushed to hospital the next morning and nearly died of septicaemia. They had to give me two blood transfusions. Had it been an hour later it would have been bye bye."

After the cyst ruptured, Anna was diagnosed with endometriosis and was told by doctors that she could have trouble conceiving as a result.

However, the star was overjoyed when she and then-partner David Thewlis discovered she was pregnant with their daughter Gracie in 2005.

Asked when she was happiest, Anna replied: "Finding out I was pregnant when I'd been told it would be difficult to have children."

And the star revealed that a love poem given to her by her ex, just before Gracie was born is her most treasured possession.

She said: "A love poem that covers an entire book, which David wrote for me and gave to me just before I gave birth to Gracie."

Anna was also asked about the most important lesson life has taught her and she replied: "To care about the right things, not to worry about useless things and that being positive can help many situations. My nana always told me to keep my pecker up. It sounds like a small thing, but actually, if you keep your head in the air it keeps you calm."