Lynda Bellingham (born 31 May 1948) is a Canadian-born English actress, broadcaster and author, best known for her being a panellist on the ITV lunchtime chat show Loose Womenbetween 2007 and 2011 and presenting the ITV lifestyle programmes My Tasty Travels and Country House Sunday.

Lynda got her big break starring as a nurse in an ITV afternoon soap opera of the 1970s, General Hospital and has since go on to star in several other television dramas and sitcoms, theatrical and productions and pantomimes.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Bellingham was born in Montreal and brought up in Aston Abbotts in Buckinghamshire, England. She was educated at Aylesbury High School and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Live performances[edit]Edit

Twice in the 1960s, Bellingham appeared in the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival.

In October 2007, she appeared in a play entitled Vincent River at the Trafalgar Studios in London. Her performance received critical acclaim, and it was announced on Loose Women in early 2008 that the play would be moving to Broadway in July of that year, although this never transpired.

From September 2008-July 2009 she played the role of Chris Harper in the stage version of the hit film Calendar Girls on tour and at the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End. She returned to the show for further tours in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Over the Christmas period of 2011-12 she played Fairy Godmother in the pantomime Cinderella at the Birmingham Hippodrome. She played the role again at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford over the Christmas period of 2012-13.

Bellingham was due to star in Kay Mellor's play A Passionate Woman at the Sheffield Crucible, followed by a national tour, however it was announced in July 2013, that the show had to be postponed due to Bellingham receiving treatment for cancer.


Television acting[edit]Edit

Lynda got her big television acting break as a nurse in an ITV afternoon soap opera of the 1970s, General Hospital. She also starred in Confessions of a Driving Instructor and Sweeney! in 1977.

Other prominent roles included the James Herriot drama All Creatures Great and Small (where she was the second actress to play Helen Herriot on television, replacing Carol Drinkwater) and the situation comedy Second Thoughts and its sequel, Faith in the Future.

She starred in the 14-part Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 as the Inquisitor. Bellingham reprised the Inquisitor character for the Big Finish Productions audio series, Gallifrey. In 1998 she appeared in Gleb Panfilov'sThe Romanovs: A Crowned Family as Empress Alexandra.

From 2000 to 2003, Bellingham played Pauline Farnell, the compassionate accountant in At Home with the Braithwaites alongside Amanda Redman and former All Creatures Great and Small colleague Peter Davison. For several months in 2004, she had a recurring role in The Bill as villainess Irene Radford.

She also had a memorable role in the ITV comedy Bonkers playing Mrs Wadlow, a man-eating suburban housewife who seduces her neighbour's teenage son and turns him into her gigolo. Later that year she filmed guest appearances in episodes of Love Soup and Robin Hood.


Main article: ITV (TV network)

Lynda joined Loose Women in 2007 and continued as a regular panellist until 2011, when she left. However, she was expected to return in late 2012, but producers would not take her seriously as an actress, whilst she was appearing on Loose Women, and so never returned to the show since.

She guest presented the ITV lifestyle programme Lorraine on 17 December 2010.

In 2012, Lynda presented her own daytime cookery series My Tasty Travels. Since 2013, Lynda has presented the ITV programme Country House Sunday.

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]Edit

Main article: Strictly Come Dancing (series 7)

In 2009, she was one of the contestants in the seventh series of Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC ratings winner where she partnered Darren Bennett. However, she was voted out by the judges in the fourth week.

Week # Dance/Song Judges' scores Result
Craig Revel Horwood Alesha Dixon Len Goodman Bruno Tonioli Total
1 Tango/"Under Pressure" 3 6 7 5 21 Safe
2 Cha-Cha-Cha/"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" 5 6 6 6 23 Safe
3 Paso Doble/"Devil Woman" 5 7 7 6 25 Bottom Two
4 Foxtrot/"Calendar Girl" 5 7 6 6 24 Eliminated

Other appearances[edit]Edit

She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1993 when she was surprised by Michael Aspel on the set of Second Thoughts.


She was best known as the head of the family in the Oxo television adverts from 1983 to 1999, and has been the face of online shopping brand since 2011.


Since 2007, she has been doing the voice-over on the Vodafone adverts with the slogan: Make the most of now.

In 2010, Bellingham was the voice-over for British rap band N-Dubz's six part reality show on Channel 4.


In 2010, Bellingham launched her book Lost and Found, a story of her life and career and toured the country for private readings.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Bellingham has been married three times, first in 1975 to film and theatre producer Greg Smith,[1] best remembered for the Confessions films. Her second marriage (1981–1996) was to Nunzio Peluso with whom she had two sons, Michael and Robbie.

On 31 May 2008, she married her boyfriend, Spanish-based mortgage broker Michael Pattemore (known on Loose Women as "Mr Spain") at St Stephen Walbrook on her 60th birthday.

Lynda has supported many cancer charities during her television and acting career.


On 16 July 2013, it was announced that Bellingham had been diagnosed with cancer. Her doctor gave her a good prognosis telling her that she was "not going to die."

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