Lynda Bellingham: ‘I’ll talk about my cancer once I’ve dealt with it’

Lynda Bellingham says she is determined not to let cancer overshadow the publication of her debut novel.

The 65-year-old actress and Loose Women star is undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer, but refuses to let it interrupt her life too much as she releases her debut novel, Tell Me Tomorrow.

Lynda said in an interview from hospital: “It’s bad timing. It looks like I’m selling my illness. But hopefully I can put the illness away, get on with the chemo, come out the other side and then talk about that.”

The star has not revealed the type of cancer she has.

She said: “I know we live in an era of everybody having to tell all, but I wanted to keep one thing to myself. I’d only known for five days that I had cancer when it [the story] broke. I was dealing with it. If you’re not careful you end up just talking in medical terms. I will talk about it once I’ve dealt with it.

“It was a desperate shock… We did a lot of crying, which is natural and as it should be. But the nature of the human spirit is, if you keep things as normal as possible then you put it to the back of your mind.”

Tell Me Tomorrow is an epic tale of three generations of mothers and daughters who have loved, suffered hardships and often endured errant fathers.

The former Oxo mum is focused on publicising her book, under the watchful eye of her husband, property developer Michael Pattemore.

She said: “He has been incredibly supportive and positive. It was a terrible shock for both of us. We met each other late in life [Michael is her third husband and they married on Lynda’s 60th birthday] and it makes you appreciate what you’ve got even more. It’s brought us closer together.”