herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

TV star Lynda dies in the arms of her husband

ACTRESS and presenter Lynda Bellingham died in her husband Michael's arms, her agent has said.

The 66-year-old star had been battling colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.

The actress said she decided to end her treatment on August 13 to limit the amount of suffering her family would witness.

In a statement on behalf of Bellingham's family, her agent, Sue Latimer, said: "Lynda died peacefully in her husband's arms yesterday evening at a London hospital. Her family, to whom she was devoted, would like to thank the nurses and staff for their tremendous care and support.

"As an actor, writer and presenter, Lynda was a consummate professional to the very end.

"Those of us privileged to have known her personally will miss the entertaining, life-enhancing, true and honest friend that blessed our lives."

She was expecting to live until January and had planned to spend one last Christmas with her family.

Bellingham had just recorded her final Loose Women appearance on October 8.

Asked by Coleen Nolan how she'd best like to be remembered, she said: "Just an honest person."

At one point, Bellingham reached out to comfort Nolan, telling her: "Please don't cry... it will be fine!"

The show, which was originally scheduled to be broadcast this Wednesday, ended with the audience giving her a standing ovation.

The actress (66), who is best known for playing the mother in the Oxo TV adverts, wrote in her newly-published autobiography that she would stop taking chemotherapy in November after the cancer spread to her lungs and liver.

DRAMATIC

In excerpts printed in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, she wrote: "August 13, 2014. Yesterday was the glorious 12th - a day for us to remember because it is also the day I decided when I will die. I am very dramatic, aren't I?

"I know it is not ultimately my decision, but it is my last vestige of control to sit in front of the oncologist and say when I would like to stop having chemo and let the natural way do its thing.

"I sat down with Michael and Professor Stebbing and announced: 'The time has come to cease and desist. I would love to make one more Christmas, if possible, but I want to stop taking chemo around November in order to pass away by the end of January'."

Speaking about how he was going to cope after Bellingham's death, her husband Michael Pattemore said: "The past 10 years with Lynda have been the best of my life. I am the most positive-thinking guy in the world.

"Unfortunately it doesn't matter how positive I am on this one, the Good Lord is going to take her."

hnews@herald.ie

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