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Bellingham tells of cancer battle

Actress Lynda Bellingham received an OBE from the Prince of Wales today and declared she was still living life to the full and "giving it some welly" despite battling cancer.

The celebrity, best known for her long-running role in the Oxo TV adverts, was diagnosed with the disease last year and has made public her fight against the life-threatening illness.

Looking relaxed after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony she appeared full of energy and said: "It's been well documented I'm dealing with cancer and having chemotherapy so unfortunately my acting career is on hold - in the sense that I need to pay attention to the chemotherapy really, but hopefully eventually one will get back into it."

The actress, who has not disclosed what type of cancer she has, added: "I'm having treatment it's all going swimmingly, but it obviously becomes part of your life and you have to deal with it, so that's what I'm doing.

"I've got lots to be doing, lots of charity work. I only mention the cancer because you have to get into a routine with that and work your life around that - once you've factored it in then you work around it.

"I'm still at it all, getting out there and giving it some welly."

The 65-year-old Loose Women panellist career has spanned 40 years, and highlights include TV series All Creatures Great And Small, competing in Strictly Come Dancing and starring in the touring stage production of Calendar Girls.

Bellingham also starred as the mother in a squabbling family in the long-running Oxo TV adverts, first screened in the 1980s.

Her acting roles included the sitcom Second Thoughts, which began on BBC Radio 4 in 1988 before transferring to ITV.

The mother-of-two also presents ITV show Country House Sunday, in which she explores stately homes around the UK.

Bellingham, whose sister Barbara died from lung cancer, has been a high-profile supporter of Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The actress, who was adopted, published a best-selling memoir, Lost And Found, which dealt with her search for her birth mother.

Her debut novel, Tell Me Tomorrow, hit bookshelves last year and she is working on a second book Royal Box, based in a theatre.

Bellingham admitted she had mixed feelings about her role as the Oxo mother: "Some days I think it ruined my career and other days I think 'what does it matter really, it was a job'. It bought me things I couldn't have and I did lots of things as an actress I couldn't have afforded to do if I didn't have the money from the adverts."

Speaking about her writing she added: "I'm writing my second novel, my first novel came out in paperback two weeks ago and got to number 26 in the top 100, which is not bad for a first novel. And my second is due out in the summer called the Royal Box and is based in the theatre."

Turner prize winning artist Susan Philipsz was recognised for her work and awarded an OBE during the investiture ceremony.

The Glasgow-born artist who now lives in Berlin began her career as a sculptor but is now best known for her powerful sound installations.

She said: "I now live in Berlin and am not here very often so it's nice to be recognised by the place I'm from."

The artist went on to describe a new project, saying: "I have an exhibition on the entire west coastline of Scandinavia, it's a radio transmitted project.

"The idea is I'm able to transmit these sounds to these remote parts where you wouldn't normally hear things from, so you're hearing them from a distance."

Also recognised was fashion designer Phoebe Philo, the creative director of French fashion house Celine, who received an OBE.

And Pc Claire Murphy, who bravely jumped into the fast-flowing River Irwell in Salford to save a woman, was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.


From Belfast Telegraph