Lordan is most famous for her role as Lynne Hobbs in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which she appeared in from 2000 until 2004. Following reports of drunken behaviour on and off the set, Lordan left the show in mid-2004. Before landing the role of Lynne Hobbs in EastEnders, Elaine worked as an aerobics instructor for 10 years. Elaine appeared in Gimme Gimme Gimme as Linda La Hughes's Eurovision-singing sister Sugar Walls in two episodes (1999, 2000). She also appeared in Game On as Mandy's university friend Julia in 1996, Tucker's Luckand Casualty.
She appeared on the fifth series of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! in November 2005, but within a day of arriving she passed out and was removed from camp on medical advice. She was the first person to be voted off the 2007 series of Soapstar Superstar after performing Bonnie Tyler's "It's a Heartache".
She married Peter Manuel in December 2005, and her baby son died a few days later, aged one, having had surgery for a diaphragmatic hernia. This tragedy came just nine months after the suicide of her mother Bernie. She became pregnant again in 2007 but suffered a miscarriage. Fresh tragedy occurred in April 2008 with the death of her father from a degenerative illness.
She wrote about this part of her life in the book Whatever It Takes: A Story of Family Survival (2008).