Entertainment & Arts

Lynda Bellingham's last TV interview aired on Loose Women

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Media captionBellingham recorded a final interview with Loose Women earlier this month

Actress and presenter Lynda Bellingham shared her hopes for a final Christmas in a special edition of ITV's Loose Women that was broadcast on Wednesday.

She died on Sunday aged 66, weeks after saying she had planned to end her cancer treatment.

The former Loose Women panellist said in her final TV interview, filmed earlier this month, that she was determined to see one more Christmas.

Bellingham also said she wanted to be remembered for her honesty.

Ahead of the interview, host Ruth Langford said: "It was just two weeks ago she was here in the studio - obviously we didn't know it would be her last ever."

The actress died in the arms of her husband, Michael Pattemore, after colon cancer spread to other parts of her body.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bellingham (second right) with former Loose Women colleagues Sherrie Hewson, Coleen Nolan, Carol McGiffin, Jackie Brambles and Jane McDonald at 2007's TV Choice awards

He was in the studio audience for the recording of the interview with Bellingham's friends and former colleagues Janet Street Porter and Coleen Nolan, during which she insisted she would make it to another festive season.

"Bloody right I am! I am. I am," said Bellingham, who was given a standing ovation as she entered the studio.

"We're going to go to the hotel and have the meal, but just my little bit of control - we're going home for pudding and presents, it's exciting."

Image copyright Ken McKay/ITV/Rex
Image caption Bellingham recorded the interview on 8 October, just 11 days before her death

She revealed she had been sending her husband and sister Jean out to get presents and "bizarre things" and discussed how much she loved a real Christmas tree and would be getting one, despite Mr Pattemore not being a fan.

Bellingham also said she had struggled with scaling back her acting since being ill, but said her friend Kay Mellor had written her a minor role in BBC One drama The Syndicate, which she had been hoping to film next month.

However, she said she had never taken the view that her illness was "not fair".

"To be honest we have no right to live forever. You know how I love a survey - a survey says you can live until you're 80, yes lovely, but it's not a given.

"Somebody else decides when you pop off the twig."

At one point, Nolan was moved to tears and Bellingham comforted her by saying: "Don't cry. It's going to be fine, it will be fine - don't worry."

Bellingham said her memoir There's Something I've Been Dying To Tell You - which was released less than a fortnight ago - was "for everyone".

She said: "It's very hard to take on board, obviously it's taken us a year to absorb it. But once you do, instead of worrying about dying, you must enjoy the bits in between."

Following the interview, Langford said it "seems unbelievable she's not here - she was still full of life".

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Image caption Bellingham with husband Michael Pattemore after she accepted her OBE in March

Street Porter added: "It just shows you all the best things about her - always thinking about other people and full of positivity.

"When she did that interview, she was living in the moment. I think it will be inspirational for people."

Speaking on the phone, Mellor said she had written the part for Bellingham in The Syndicate because she was "in awe of her talent".

"Now I can't think of anybody else in the role," she said.

The programme ended with a montage of clips of the actress on the show, in tribute to the "sassy, intelligent, honest and irreplaceable Loose Woman".

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