Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I'mamemberof Aclubnobody Wantstojoin; Midwaythroughchemotherapy Afterbeingdiagnosedwith cancer,actressandauthorLynda Bellinghamhasalotonherplatebut She'sdeterminedherdebut Novelwon'tbeovershadowed, as HANNAH STEPHENSON Discovered When They Met

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I'mamemberof Aclubnobody Wantstojoin; Midwaythroughchemotherapy Afterbeingdiagnosedwith cancer,actressandauthorLynda Bellinghamhasalotonherplatebut She'sdeterminedherdebut Novelwon'tbeovershadowed, as HANNAH STEPHENSON Discovered When They Met

Article excerpt

Byline: HANNAH STEPHENSON

LIKE the pragmatic, sensible panellist she is on ITV's Loose Women, Lynda Bellingham is not going to let cancer interrupt her life too much.

Conducting our interview from hospital where she's undergoing her fourth round of chemotherapy, the actress who famously played the Oxo mum for many years doesn't want her illness to overshadow the publication of her debut novel, Tell Me Tomorrow.

"It's bad timing," she admits. "It looks like I'm selling my illness. But hopefully I can put the illness away, get on with the chemo, come out the other side and then talk about that."

Tell Me Tomorrow is an epic tale of three generations of mothers and daughters who have loved, suffered hardships and often endured errant fathers.

Bellingham is already working on her second novel, The Royal Box, about a group of actors in a small repertory company in the Eighties.

"It's good to write about what you know," says Bellingham, 65, whose career spans 40 years, with highlights including TV series All Creatures Great And Small, Strictly Come Dancing and the touring play of Calendar Girls. "When I finish chemo I'd like to write another book about that (the cancer)," she says.

She's upbeat about her treatment and confident of her recovery. She hasn't lost her hair and says she hasn't been too sick.

She may not want to make too much of it but she admits it was a massive shock when she was diagnosed.

"It was a desperate shock.

I work a lot with Macmillan and Marie Curie, and I know all the statistics, but the trouble with cancer is you just hear 'death'. Yet the research is phenomenal, and moves so fast.

"Having cancer gives you a horizon. I'm 65 - that was considered a good lifespan 50 years ago. We as a society have to stop thinking that we are going to last forever. …

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