By Fiona Mccarthy
Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante on treading the boards, treasured pottery and her horse’s head habit
Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante
I’ve collected a number of Goldscheider art deco face masks since my mother gave me this one about 20 years ago. I look at them and think of her – she was a complete hoot, with a brilliantly dry Liverpudlian sense of humour.
This photo of me with my adopted son Lorcan when he was ten months old (he’s now nearly 14) shows such joy and the great bond between us. My love for him is unquestionable – no matter what he does – and he makes me laugh all the time.
In the 1990s I started a group called Bloodstock, with my accountant and then agent, to invest in racehorses. Our first was called Supply & Demand and the trainer told us not to expect too much when he raced at Epsom Downs in 2000, but he won by furlongs! My friend Stephen Ross gave me this jockey to celebrate.
I performed in the title role of Calamity Jane at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1974. I was the only cast member allowed to ad-lib and be as outlandish as possible. I always felt that as an actress I was born in the wrong era; I should have been performing during the days of music halls.
Lorcan made me this sculpture when he was about eight – apparently it started off as a bird. It makes us laugh because it’s the most ridiculous piece of pottery ever, but it’s much treasured and I’d never part with it.
I bought this horse’s head in the 80s, after I missed out on buying a black panther sculpture in an antiques shop on London’s King’s Road. Now every time I fail at something I buy another one – I have so many horse’s heads, big and small, scattered around the house.
The actress Ann Mitchell, who played Dolly in my 1983 TV miniseries Widows [currently being made into a Hollywood film by director Steve McQueen], gave me this photo of a wall with ‘You Showed ’im Dolly’ written in graffiti. It shows how much people took the series to heart.
Lynda’s latest novel, Good Friday, is published by Bonnier Zaffre, price £18.99, to order a copy for £15.19 until 17 september, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.