ULRIKA Jonsson Has Revealed That [...]; Ulrika Jonsson Talks about Her First Novel as She Enters a New and Exciting Chapter in Her Life

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Byline: Jane Oddy

ULRIKA Jonsson has revealed that she held back on writing love scenes in her new novel for fear that readers would think they were based on her own personal experiences.

"It was a very conscious decision. If you're not a celebrity it's a different story. But if I wrote it, people might be thinking 'Oh my God, I wonder if she did that with so and so?'" she said.

The 44-year-old TV star was concerned that they may be seen as a re-enactment of her own love life, which has included a fling with former footballer Stan Collymore and ex-England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

She also felt that sex scenes were inappropriate for the gentle romance of the book. "I didn't think the book would be enhanced by them. I wanted it to be more subtle," she said.

Ulrika, star of BBC's Shooting Stars, is hopeful readers will be pleasantly surprised by her first attempt at fiction.

"I've worked hard on it and I really hope the public understand that it's not a Jordan kind of book, I've actually written it myself and not just put my name on someone else's work."

Her debut novel The Importance of Being Myrtle, which is out today, is a touching tale about a middle-aged woman suddenly widowed when her bullying husband dies of a heart attack.

Without his domineering presence, she slowly starts to forge a new life for herself and finds love again at 58.

"I thought, 'Who writes about the kind of women in this age group?' I became totally immersed in it and I would be thinking about my characters in the shower."

Ulrika acknowledges it is a brave step to make the jump from TV work to writing - exposing herself to potential criticism - particularly as she is plagued by self-doubt.

"I do expect people to take a pop at me over it. The book certainly isn't offensive and, although it's taken me 44 years to say it, it's good.

"I don't know whether it's something that everyone is going to like and it's certainly no masterpiece. But it's me and it's my writing."

She says her third husband, American advertising executive Brian Monet, manages to allay her fears.

She admitted: "I'm a great worrier and always dissect everything. Brian is a great influence in that respect because he is so completely and utterly relaxed. To the point of comatose sometimes.

"Sometimes it can be frustrating but it's actually fantastic for me because it calms me down."

The couple, who married in 2008, have their own son, Malcolm, three. Brian is also a stepdad to her three other children - Cameron, now almost 17, Bo, 10, and Martha, seven. Her blended family spawned headlines a few years ago, declaring that Ulrika was a 4 X 4 mum, but she shrugs it off: "It's a fact, so I can't object to it. I didn't set out to shock the world.

"I provide for my children, I care for them and nurture them - I'm not a bloke who has had a child and then buggered off. It's not a conventional family but we all love each other and my kids are very well rounded. …