Terminally ill Lynda Bellingham has urged her fellow Loose Women panellists to stop the tears, promising that “everything is going to be just fine”.
The actress, who has terminal bowel cancer and just weeks to live, filmed her final appearance on the ITV show, where she received a standing ovation form the studio audience.
However, rather than getting distressed, Lynda was upbeat and spent the interview smiling. At one point she even comforted Coleen, who was seen getting visibly upset. She leant in during the touching scene and said: “Please don’t cry… it will be fine”.
Singer Coleen, 49, who lost her sister Bernie to cancer 15 months ago, had to fight back tears when she asked her friend Lynda: “How would you like people to remember you?” reports the Sunday Express.
“Just as an honest person,” Lynda replied. “You can’t do Loose Women unless you’re honest. You can’t hide anything, it really is honest when we answer questions.
“Trust is a huge thing. Not just as an actor, not just as a lover, not just as a wife, that trust thing. Just to say ‘you could trust her’.”
Loose Women had asked fans to send messages of support for Lynda, a regular panellist for the past four years. They received 40,000 tributes via social media in 24 hours and good-wish pages have been shared more than 10 million times.
Lynda, who was award an OBE in March, announced that she was stopping treatment for her cancer at the end of last month.
She has planned her funeral, to be held in Somerset before a burial nearby, in a plot next to her father, and has ordered family and friends to hold a big party in her honour in London afterwards.
A source on the show said: “All of the girls were crying when she left them. “It was very emotional. I think they realised they might never see her again. For some of them it hadn’t really dawned on them until then.
“Lynda spent four hours here and was very weak by the end of the day, but she was a model professional as always. She’s an inspiration.”
Loose Women, ITV, Mon-Fri, 12.30pm. Lynda will say her goodbyes on Wednesday, October 20.