Wednesday 29 August 2018

Thoughts with Fenella

Last night we heard the awful news that the glorious Fenella Fielding was in very poor health. Fenella, we were told in an official statement, had suffered a severe stroke at the weekend but was receiving the best possible care and remained in good spirits. 

The love and devotion for Fenella was almost palpable on Twitter last night with countless people across the country expressing love and concern for this legendary actress. Whether people had been fortunate enough to meet Fenella or not, it is clear she is one of those rare performers to have left an extraordinary impression on generations of cinema and theatre lovers. An instinctive, completely original performer, Fenella has continued to delight audiences for decades and it makes me really sad to think this dreadful blow may mark the end of her theatrical career.

Recent years have seen Fenella back in the limelight where she deserves to be. Having written her delightful memoirs, Fenella began touring around the country performing excerpts as only she could. I was so lucky to be able to attend a couple of these shows and she was nothing short of spellbinding. I count myself as very fortunate to have met Fenella several times and despite her amazing career and reputation, she has only ever been gentle, gracious and unassuming. A nicer lady you couldn't wish to meet. There were such triumphant 90th birthday celebrations and the icing on the cake was the announcement that Fenella was to be awarded the OBE - an honour well overdue.

My heart really does go out to Fenella's family and those closest to her during this difficult time. Fenella has been fortunate to have such a good friend and supporter in Simon McKay in recent years and I know the bond they share will provide Fenella with much comfort. 

I know you will join me in wishing Fenella all the best and hoping that her condition improves. Fenella Fielding is such a life-force and I'm just so sad this has happened.

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