Joely Richardson has spoken for the first time about her struggle to cope with the grief of losing her Natasha.

She reveals that she threw herself into work, going back on set the day after Natasha’s funeral, and describes how close their relationship was despite being like ‘chalk and cheese’.

Describing the shock she felt at her sister’s untimely death following a skiing accident in Canada, the 44-year-old told Tatler magazine: “The shock shatters you on a cellular level, and it takes time for the pieces to come back together, albeit in a different formation.”

Joely said: “We were such opposites. Chalk and cheese, but completely enmeshed in each other. I hadn’t lived a day in my life without her.

“You worry about your children and your elders, but I never imagined such a thing as this. Tash was a given to me.

Joely completed filming The Day Of The Triffids for the BBC in the wake of Natasha’s death, followed by a trip to New York to finish Nip/Tuck, before moving on to play Catherine Parr in The Tudors.

She said: “A strange autopilot kicks in; your psyche puts your work day into a different compartment from your private life. I’m not kidding – my first shot back on set was reacting to someone dying.

“I cannot imagine that there will ever be a day when I don’t think of Tasha.”

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