This weekend’s bestseller charts will show that Gloria Hunniford’s latest book has soared up to number two in the non-fiction lists, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
The charts, to be published tomorrow (Sunday), will show that ‘Always With You’ - launched nine days ago in London - has moved from its initial entry at six to the runner-up spot. Only Paul O’Grady’s hilarious autobiography ‘On My Mother’s Knee’ is keeping Gloria off the top, with the comedian (aka Lily Savage) selling his book in hundreds of thousands.
“I’m delighted with the figures,” said Gloria, “especially as it’s in competition with a particularly rich seam of non-fiction books on the shelves right now. Michael Parkinson, Dawn French and Richard Madeley all have books in the charts right now.”
‘Always With You’ lays bare Gloria’s crushing grief after the death of her daughter Caron Keating who died in April 2004 after a secret seven-year fight against breast cancer. Gloria simply couldn’t cope at the start, and she was sustained by literally thousands of letters which poured in from people who had lost children in similar circumstances - among them many from Northern Ireland, including those from people who had lost off-spring in the troubles.
Gloria had also lost her mother, Mrs May Hunniford of Portadown, to cancer and it was not without irony that the TV presenter was the first woman in Britain to be screened for breast cancer - by Action Cancer in Belfast in 1978 - during her time as a presenter of the morning Radio Ulster show ‘A Taste of Hunni’. She was back in Belfast last week to mark the 30th anniversary of the service, following up on her book signing in the city’s main Eason store the previous weekend.
“It was also rather a coincidence that I replaced Cliff Richard’s book ‘My Life My Way’ at number two”, she said, the veteran singer having held the number one spot for a week or two. “Cliff was a great support to us during Caron’s illness and afterwards.”
If Gloria’s book doesn’t make that final dizzy climb up the charts, it won’t cost her a thought. “It wasn’t written for glory,” she underlined. “It was written as a therapeutic exercise and to help others who have suffered in the same way.”
It is the follow-up to ‘Next to You’ which Gloria wrote the year following Caron’s death, and which finished in the charts at... number two!
Sharon Osbourne's autobiography beat it to the top by just 11 copies.