Great Britain

Linda Nolan was dressed as Wicked Queen when given devastating cancer diagnosis shortly before brave panto performance

LINDA Nolan revealed she was dressed in her pantomime costume when she was told she had cancer, and went straight back to work afterwards.

Linda, 62, was performing as the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Belfast when she got the devastating news.

The star was in costume when her doctors told her she had cancer and five days later she was having a mastectomy.

She told ­radio host Andy Jaye: “I was in Belfast doing pantomime and I had to go for my results in ­between shows on the Friday.

“I was dressed as the Wicked Queen so it was a bit of a worry for them
when I walked in.

“I was told then it was breast cancer. It was stage three, and I’d have to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

“I remember as he [the doctor] was saying these things, I’m looking down on him. The minute he said the word ‘cancer’, it was as if I’d left the room."

She added: “My ­husband Brian was there and he was going greyer by the second. In fact, they had to give him water and not me. He was so devastated.

“He said to me when we got outside – and I obviously cried – ‘Shall I call them and tell them you can’t come in for the second show?’

“And I said, ‘No, we’ve got two nights left, nobody can really do the part I am doing because they don’t do understudies in panto, and it won’t make any difference to the diagnosis’.

“I said, ‘The only thing is, you cannot be standing in the wings ­because if I see you, it will be like a reality check and I will cry’."

Linda then told Andy: "So I went and did the last three shows and we had a party after the one on Saturday.

“By the Thursday, I had an appointment to have the mastectomy.

"It was three days before my birthday.”

Linda was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and has been treated by the same hard-working consultants who battled to treat her 15 years ago.

She learnt in April last year her incurable cancer had spread – saying her heart "literally missed a beat".

Her and her sister Anne, 70, were both diagnosed with cancer again in April last year.

She opened up in an extract from her book Stronger Together: How We’re Living While Fighting.

Linda wrote: "Things really went crazy. Just as I was coming to terms with Anne’s devastating news, 30 minutes later my doctor’s secretary from Blackpool Victoria Hospital called.

"With my cancer metastasising (spreading) in my hip three years prior, I was given quarterly scans from my thorax down to my pelvis."

Linda Nolan says third cancer diagnosis has been the 'hardest' and admits she 'took people for granted' before pandemic

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