‘If I fall out of a nightclub now it will be because I have tripped, rather than because I’m drunk,” laughed actress Denise Welch, mulling over the tabloid interest in her personal life.
The title of Denise’s new autobiography is Starting Over and that pretty much sums up the actress’s outlook, as she met journalists at a recent launch for Cinderella, this year’s panto at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton.
Denise is playing a “funky” fairy godmother and it seems she has waved a magic wand over her own life this year.
She said: “On the show Loose Women I’m known as Denise Welch as well as for being an actress. I have done myself no favours, I’m a party animal and have got myself into situations where I can’t blame people for writing about me. Having said that I don’t like it when they tell lies about me, I provide enough material whereby they don’t have to tell lies. I have got fed up with it and made some changes. My fiancé and I have both stopped drinking now and I think some of the tabloids are furious as they want me to be Drunk Spice as I call it.”
She may have won Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year – during a painful time in her personal life, as she was going through a break-up with actor husband, Tim Healy – but she described the win as “a hollow victory”.
She said: “I hated it, although it was wonderful that people voted for me. I did some outrageous things but really I would rather have done what I did than be horrible. It felt like a hollow victory as I had felt so miserable. I was going through a lot in my personal life and it wasn’t the best way to go. I wouldn’t do it again.”
But 2013 promises to be far happier for Denise, who is to wed 39-year-old Lincoln Townley next July, despite a 15-year age gap which in itself has prompted a few headlines.
With a “private” life which has become so public, most recently with last week’s appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, it might be easy to forget Denise’s successful acting career. But she said: “People only really know what I want them to know. I did the Piers Morgan show as I wanted that alcohol and madness out of my life.”
After a stint playing Marsha Stubbs in Soldier Soldier, she went on to play a string of high-profile roles in shows including Coronation Street, Where the Heart Is, Holby City, Doctors, Hollyoaks, Waterloo Road, Benidorm and Casualty.
She also recently completed a successful run playing Truvy in the national tour of Steel Magnolias.
From December 7 until January 6, Denise will be on stage in the Derngate panto, starring alongside Bobby Davro and, for two weeks of the run, her own son 11-year-old Louis.
“Louis won’t have a mammoth role, but I think we are going to play off the fact that I’m the mummy and I’m sure Bobby will come up with some great ideas. Louis is more excited about ‘are any of the babes hot?’”
To see a video of this interview in full, log onto www. royalandderngate.co.uk or www.northantstelegraph.co.uk