Anyone who watched Sherrie Hewson when she was a panellist on Loose Women won’t be surprised to hear that she has us in stitches when we catch up with her over Zoom.

Whether it’s revealing she didn’t bother wearing pants on some days during lockdown or telling us men sent her very rude pictures after she joined a dating app, she is so entertaining we want to take her to the pub.

But ex-Corrie star Sherrie, who lives on her own in Lancashire, also opens up about the pain of losing her brother Brett to a brain tumour and admits she was lonely in the second lockdown.

And this leads the actress, 71, on to telling us about Readly, the digital newspaper and magazine subscription service she’s promoting that gives you access to 5,000 publications – and something she says would’ve been a great help on those lonelier days.

Sherrie opened up about her time in lockdown (

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Nicky Johnson/Harley Street Skin Clinic)

Here, Sherrie, who hosts a chat show on Facebook called Wonderbirds, talks about shifting some pounds after overindulging and how she misses Benidorm co-star John Challis – who died of cancer in September, aged 79 – every day…

Hi, Sherrie, you look fabulous!

That’s what filters do for you! My daughter cut and coloured my hair for me. She’s a trained hairdresser. It saves me £90! Thank God for
that over lockdown.

Do you live near your daughter and grandkids?

Yes. I see them every day. My grandson Oliver is 15 – he’s going to be a pilot. Molly is 11 and a big horse rider, like me. And Rosie’s two and a half. And she rules the world! Oh, my heart.

Do you help to look after your grandkids?

Yes. I pick up Molly from school, I take her horse riding, swimming. I take Rosie to the play area. I do everything. The problem is I’m about to do the Fat Friends tour with Les Dennis, which means I’ll be going away.

Sherrie loved the extra time with her kids and grandkids (

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Getty Images)

Sherrie in Benidorm

How’s that going to work?

I don’t know! I’ve enjoyed lockdown in the sense that I’ve been with Rosie the whole way through, so it will be a big wrench. But I’ve had a word with myself this morning.

Why’s that?

Tony Maudsley, who was Kenneth in Benidorm, always rings and says “Get off your a**e, Sherrie! You’re stagnating!” I’ve given into the world a bit and it’s a dangerous thing. I’m not a lazy person, but maybe it’s complacency. I think that’s what’s happened to a lot of people. It’s why we’ve put on weight!

Did you find it hard motivating yourself to work?

I’ve said no to just about everything that’s come up.

Why do you think that is?

I just wasn’t ready. I was offered a TV series and they went through how it would work. They said they’d pick me up, then I would have to stay in my hotel room, then I’d be masked up, go on and do the scene, put the mask back on and go back to the hotel. I thought it sounded like being in prison.

Sherrie starred in Corrie with Ken Morley

Did you do that lockdown thing where food and alcohol got you through the day?

Totally. I’m not a heavy drinker or big eater, but it became a lifeline. And washing was a thing too.

In what way?

I used my washing machine all day, every day. I thought, “What am I washing?” You didn’t have to wear knickers or bras – you could just put a sack over you because nobody’s there to go, “You don’t have any knickers on!”

Did you ever skip showers?

The opposite. I’d get up, have a shower, then in the afternoon have a bath. Then I’d have another shower and, before bed, another bath. I wasn’t even dirty!

Were you lonely?

Not in the first lockdown as it was such an extraordinary thing for us to go through. But when we went back into lockdown that really hit me. I thought, “No, I’m not doing this again.” And I’d lost my brother, so the loneliness was a thousandfold.

Sherrie with her brother Brett

You also lost your pal, John Challis...

He was just the most gorgeous man. We were always drinking red wine. I used to hug him a lot and he used to say, “Can you just stop?” And I’d say, “But I just want to hug you!” And he’d say, “Don’t do it when my wife is here because it just looks wrong!”

What did his wife think?

Oh, Carol and I get on so well. She used to say, “He adores you.” And I adored him. I miss him every day.

Are you still in touch with the Loose Women crew? Do you chat?

I was there for 16 years, so we have a connection. I knew Denise Welch’s dad Vin [who died of pneumonia in September] well. I know what Denise is going through, having lost my brother. I feel for her so much.

Will any of them go to see Fat Friends?

I shall make them! My character Julia is such a b***h, I just love it!

Are you hoping you’ll lose some weight when you’re back on the road?

Sherrie was a firm favourite on Corrie

The only problem is I’m with Les Dennis. After every show, he’ll be like, “Shall we have a quick one?!” He means a drink, by the way.

You’ve been single for years. Are you open to dating?

I went on Plenty Of Fish and started getting pictures of penises. I thought, “Oh my God!” So I came off it. I don’t know how I’d meet anyone now. Men my age want 20 year olds!

Finally, you’re promoting the Readly app. Are you tech-savvy?

I have three grandkids – I have no choice! But 44% of Brits over 60 have become more digital during the pandemic. If I’d known of Readly in lockdown it would have been such a help.

* Sherrie is fronting Readly’s digital seniors campaign. Readly is a digital subscription service that lets customers have unlimited access to about 5,000 magazines. Visit readly.com for info

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