Best on the Box tonight comes courtesy of Piers Morgan and ITV.
Singer and TV presenter Coleen Nolan looks back at her extraordinary life in the spotlight in the latest edition of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories.
From her first stage appearance, in Blackpool, at the age of two to selling more than 25 million records with The Nolans and becoming a regular panellist on Loose Women.
She opens up about the cancer ‘curse’ that has devastated her family and reveals that she is considering a mastectomy after seeing three of her sisters battle the disease, including Bernie, who passed away in 2013.
She also talks about her two marriages and how she’s now dating in her mid-50s and reflects on the violence she and her sisters experienced at the hands of their alcoholic father and how Jimmy Savile invited her to his hotel room when she was 14 years old.
On being asked about the tragedy of cancer in the family:
“Yeah, you almost feel like it’s a curse that’s been on you but it’s not. So many families go through this. But it’s hard because, well it’s cancer. It’s hard. Losing Bernie was just catastrophic in our family. She was the life and soul of our family. We all pulled each other through it. And then me and my sisters had this fantastic opportunity to do the cruising show. And literally within two or three weeks of it finishing, first Anne was diagnosed again and then literally four days later Linda. And it was just bam. It was really shocking.”
The topic later turns to more tragedy for the Nolan family when their mum Maureen had a long period of declining health from Alzheimer’s.
“She turned into this woman that was so hard to watch. And then the more she lost recognition of everything, she was just angry.
“We used to go visit her every single day and I used to dread it, I’ll be honest. She hadn’t spoken to us, hadn’t recognised us but sometimes she’d have a glimmer. I lay on the bed with her one time, I just lay on the bed and she just looked at me and opened her eyes and she went ‘I love you’. And then she was gone again. And it was like a [gasps], and it was just a moment. The fact we were that close and she just said I love you. I just said I love you too and that was the last time she spoke.”
The programme also covers her appearances on Top of the Pops with the alleged pervert Jimmy Saville when she was fourteen.
“You know when it came out about Jimmy Saville I wasn’t in any way shocked, thinking about it. I was 14 [years old] there and that same night, he asked me to go to his hotel. …He said he had a suite in a hotel and I should go up and see it and he’d look after me.
“…at the time I just thought you dirty old man. As if I’m going to go up there, I wouldn’t do it anyway. I’ve got four sisters on the stage that would have beaten the crap out of him.”
Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Coleen Nolan, ITV, STV, UTV at 9pm