You’ll need tissues to hand for this one, as Lynda Bellingham's final interview – recorded a few weeks before her death – airs today
We didn’t know Lynda Bellingham, we never met her, but she’s been popping up on our television screens for, well, our entire lives.
Even through that impersonal format, it was clear the actress was a warm, funny, brilliant human being, and from the outpouring of grief and endless tributes that have been made since her death on 19 October, it’s clear the loss of Lynda – actress, friend, wife and mother – has been deeply felt.
Which only makes watching her final interview – which aired today on Loose Women, where she was a regular panelist – all the harder.
In the interview with her friends, Coleen Nolan and Janet Street-Porter, Lynda heartbreakingly insists she will survive until Christmas.
‘Bloody right I am! I am. I am,’ said Lynda, who was given a standing ovation by the audience – which included her husband, Michael – as she entered the studio.
Lynda added: ‘We’re going to go to the hotel and have the meal, but just my little bit of control – we’re going home for pudding and presents, it’s exciting. My only problem is getting the presents – my sister Jean has been absolutely amazing and I keep sending him [points to her husband in the audience] out for bizarre things.’
The 66-year-old, who had battled with colorectal cancer since July 2013 before it spread to her lungs and liver, added that she wanted a real Christmas tree. Lynda said: ‘Hey I’m getting one, I’m getting a real tree. [Michael] will just have to struggle out of the window with it afterwards, that’s fine.’
She also talked about how she wanted to be remembered.
‘Just as an honest person,’ she said. ‘Honesty. We’ve been through this as Loose Women – you can’t do Loose Women unless you’re honest.’
Lynda added: ‘What’s been so wonderful this year is that I’ve learnt so much from people. You know when you get so cynical in life – they say yet again, “You’re not right for this part.” You learn so much and the biggest thing – as you know I’m not very confrontational, I’m a bit of a weed, of course I’ve become a bit grumpy – it’s amazing to be able to say things to people. It’s taken me 66 years to find any dignity.’
The full interview airs at 12.30 and we’ll be updating this story with the video clip then. Our hearts go out to Lynda‘s loved ones, we know she’ll be hugely missed.