by Miranda Thompson
Actress and TV presenter Denise Welch
I take pride in the fact that I lasted so long on ITV’s Dancing on Ice in 2011. I was rubbish, but the audience got behind me and I managed to get to week nine – despite the judges. I still go to the rink and do the odd spin.
My mum and dad fought like cat and dog but worshipped each other. We lost Mum five years ago on my birthday, but Dad is still flying the flag at 80 with his Raquel Welch drag act. He out-parties everyone!
I love pottering while listening to music on the record player that Dad bought me. I adore the Carpenters – my son Matty, 28 [who’s the lead singer of pop-rock band The 1975], says he’s written a Carpenters-inspired song for their next album.
I loved the dress I wore when I married Lincoln [Townley, the artist] in the Algarve, Portugal, in 2013. I’m not superstitious, but Russell Grant told me that, if I was remarrying, my dress had to be yellow. I thought, ‘OK, I love yellow anyway’ – and I felt as though I had sunshine in my life.
When my husband and I began dating, I didn’t know how he would respond to one of my depression episodes – but he was marvellous. This painting is his depiction of my illness and reminds me of what a brilliant support he has been.
Matty and his friends started The 1975 in our outbuildings about 14 years ago. I used to scream, ‘Go and get a normal job!’ – but now I realise it’s my pension. I’ve never known four boys to work so hard. I’m incredibly proud of his talent.
I love those nights when you gather round an old box of photos with your family and spend three or four hours going through them together. Nowadays, every photo looks good, so there’s no ‘Why was I pulling that face?’ – I think it’s a shame.
These awards are so important to me. I love the LGBT community, so being named Ally of the Year by Diva magazine in March meant a lot. And I always aspired to work at Manchester’s Royal Exchange when I was at drama school, so winning this one in 2004 for my lead in its production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was special.
Denise stars as Mrs Otter in The Wind in the Willows at the London Palladium until 9 September; willowsmusical.com, 0844 874 0665
MAKE-UP: CAITLIN DUFF. STYLING: PAMMIE SHARROCK