Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crisis for Denise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Crisis for Denise

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sam Wonfor Arts And Entertainment

Father tells of concern for star's health

The father of North-East actress Denise Welch spoke emotionally last night about his concern for the health of his daughter.

Denise, who is married to Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Tim Healy, has suffered a breakdown after becoming exhausted due to a punishing work schedule over the past 12 months.

It emerged yesterday she had been forced to pull out of remaining performances of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport where she had been playing the Wicked Queen since the beginning of December.

Her father, Vin Welch, who travelled down to the Cheshire home Denise shares with Tim and their sons, 15-year-old Matthew and three-year-old Louis, to help look after the 46-year-old actress, said he was relieved last week when she took the decision to rest.

Vin, who lives with Denise's mother, Ann, in Consett, County Durham, said: "She hasn't been very good all the way through the pantomime, which makes it more unbelievable that she managed to put in all those performances.

"What was making it worse, I think was that she didn't want to let anyone down. She felt like she owed everyone who had bought tickets to see her and was determined to get on stage every day.

"It was like she had a huge black cloud hanging over her but she somehow managed to rally herself to perform two shows a day."

Mr Welch said Denise, who is also starring in the BBC1 drama, Down to Earth with Ricky Tomlinson, which began on Sunday night, was getting total bed rest at home.

He said: "Tim is having to go back to London today to resume rehearsals for the Billy Elliot musical, so I came down to help take care of Denise. It's a tough situation for the family.

"We were down there for Christmas with Debbie (Denise's sister) and the kids and to be honest, it was pretty horrendous to see Denise in the state she was in and we were incredibly worried about her. …

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