Public's amazing love for my Lynda
The late Lynda Bellingham's husband has explained how the public grief for his wife caught him by surprise, as he prepares for his first Christmas since her death.
Widower Michael Pattemore is planning to spend the festive season in Dubai, the location to which she took him for a 50th birthday treat.
Bellingham, who died in October, had longed to see one final Christmas and had been making plans to spend time with her family after she decided to end treatment for her cancer.
In an interview for BBC Radio 5 Live, Pattemore expressed his amazement at the public reaction to the death of his actress partner, who went on to become a presenter of Loose Women and was much loved for her role as the Oxo mum in a series of TV ads.
He said: "The outpour for her since her death has been amazing. Even I'm gobsmacked - I know she was loved, but I just didn't realise how much."
Outlining his plans for Christmas he said: "Lynda took me to Dubai for my 50th, so we decided let's go to Dubai. My son said, I'll come with you dad, so that's where we're going."
Pattemore said that for 18 months he would have expected her to continue receiving every available treatment to continue her life.
But he came to the conclusion that she needed to be able to have some quality of life, explaining: "It was the chemo that was killing her, as well as the cancer."
He added: "Suddenly you realise when you're with someone it's all about one thing, it's called the quality of life. If there's no quality there, there is no point."