Linda Nolan and Reverend Richard Coles reflect on 2020

Linda Nolan and Reverend Richard Coles reflected on a challenging year dealing with cancer and bereavement.

Speaking on the New Years Eve edition of ITV’s Good Morning Britain the pair reflected on their own circumstances as 2020 draws to a close.

“It’s been a difficult year. Myself and my sister were diagnosed in May of this year and it was frightening going to the hospital because Covid was there but really at the time the hospital was the safest place to be.

“We have done all our treatment and Anne has had great results. My cancer is treatable but not curable. It is the third time now that I have had a diagnosis and this time has been harder I think because of the pandemic. It makes you realise how much you need other people. I think possibly I took them people for granted and all of a sudden I wanted those people to be there with me and put their arms around me.

“But of course we couldn’t this year so I had to dig deep within myself and think, ‘I can do this’. They are there, they are a phone call away. As it happened, because Anne had cancer at the same time we were able to go through our chemotherapy together, which was a bit weird, but it was a great source of comfort that we were going through it together.” – Linda Nolan

On how she stays positive, she said: “Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I sob into a cushion or I shut the door, having been positive for everyone else, and slide down the wall and think ‘What is going to happen? It’s unfair.’ But you just have to dig deep and realise there will be a light at the end of the tunnel… We have got a vaccine, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I look forward to the Spring and being able to hug my great nieces and nephews who I have missed tremendously… I think positivity is just believing there will be something better.”

Rev. Richard Coles also spoke about how he has got through this year after the death of his husband David a year ago.

“Bereavement is a sort of personal lockdown actually, so then going into a general lockdown was especially difficult. There were some tough times actually. One of the good things that happened to me during lockdown was a chance to really concentrate on important things… It made me think about my relationships, my community… It made me really concentrate on the things that form the foundation of what is important to us.

“I think in lockdown one thing we have all discovered is how much we need each other, how much we rely on each other… and also to understand that we are not in this as individuals, that we are in this as a community, as a society, as a nation, indeed you might even say as a world.”¬† –¬† Richard Coles

On how his faith has helped, he added: “Absolutely it has. Faith doesn’t give you a ‘get out of jail free’ card when you lose someone because they are not there, what I really want is for David to walk into the room, preferably not smoking, I would settle for that. But of course I know that this is not all there is and that everything that was good in our life together is paid out in a future life that he has gone to and which awaits me.”

The pair spoke as this year’s One Million Minutes campaign has been extended throughout¬† January to help combat loneliness in isolation at the start of the new year. This year’s campaign has been GMB’s most successful yet with more than 76 million minutes already pledged.


To make your pledge go to itv.com/1MillionMinutes

Good Morning Britain weekdays on ITV from 6am

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