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PHOTO: Bernie Nolan Credit: Featureflash /

‘Talented, courageous and inspirational’: Bernie Nolan’s celebrity friends pay tribute

“Steve was one side of her and Erin the other, then the rest of us were all around. Then Bernie opened her eyes and took her last breath. “It was all so peaceful. I like to think she saw us all there together. There was no pain on her face and she just went to sleep. “It was lovely really because she died in the

arms of Steve and Erin, the people she loved most. And her CD was still playing and she was singing Get Here If You Can. “By then we were all crying. Then her version

of How Do I live Without You came on – and that’s when I had to walk out of the room. “Bernie had planned every last moment of her funeral. I remember saying to her once, ‘Aren’t you scared?’. ‘No, not at all,’ she replied. “‘Well I’d be terrified,’ I said. ‘I won’t know about it by then so no, I’m not scared,’ she said. ‘But I am annoyed because I’m going to miss the biggest party afterwards!’ “And so the funeral will be the party she

wanted... it is just so sad she won’t be there for it.” Her sister Linda added: “There could be

no better place for Bernie’s funeral than Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. “The theatre was our lives. Bernie was a born

performer and she did summer seasons and pantomime at The Grand. “We even played there in front of the

Queen. Bernie would have been so pleased to be back there.” It was only fitting that when Bernie left the

theatre for the last time, her coffin was carried out of the building by the stage door.

A HOST OF CELEBRITIES took to Twitter to pay tribute to Bernie Nolan when news broke of her sad death. Many offered condolences via the micro-

blogging site, to the late star’s husband Steve Doneathy and 14-year-old daughter Erin. Daybreak host Lorraine Kelly wrote: “Bernie Nolan was a very special woman. Brave, funny and hugely talented. She will be sorely missed. Thoughts are with her family and friends.” Philip Schofield was one of the first to tweet

his condolences. “Just heard the very sad news that gorgeous, courageous and inspirational Bernie Nolan has died,” he wrote. “Big love to @NolanColeen & all the family x” TV presenter Kate Thornton also reached

out to Bernie’s sister Coleen: “Devastated to hear about the sad passing of Bernie Nolan. She was beautiful and inspiring. Thoughts with @NolanColeen and all her family x” Kate and Coleen’s fellow Loose Women panellist Sherie Hewson wrote: ‘RIP the wonderfully talented Bernie Nolan, a beautiful person that lit up this sometimes dark world of ours! Sing forever Bernie ! X’ Heartbeat actress Tricia Penrose wrote a

touching tweet: “RIP my lovely friend Bernie Nolan. Such sad news, thoughts go out to her family & friends, no longer in pain and in the arms of the Angels x” Actor Joseph McGann, who appeared alongside the Irish actress in a stage production of Calendar Girls, said: ‘RIP Bernie Nolan - Fabulous voice, funny, generous pocket - amazon I was lucky to have known. Thoughts are with Erin and Steve.’

Jennifer Ellison, who worked with the

talented star in Channel 4 soap Brookside and in Calendar Girls, added: ‘So sad to hear Bernie Nolan has passed away! Such an amazing lady, had the honour of working with her twice will cherish the memories x’ Jason Donovan offered the actress ‘peace

and love’, while Blue singer Duncan James gave his condolences to Bernie’s family, writing: ‘So so sad to hear the news about the fabulous Bernie Nolan who lost her battle with the big C. Heart goes out to her family esp Erin . Rip.’ Coronation Street actress Catherine

Tyldesley tweeted: “RIP Bernie Nolan. Such a pure heart. Such talent. Deepest Sympathies to your family xxxx” And Catherine’s Corrie co-star Kym Lomas

wrote: “Just heard the sad news about Bernie Nolan. I was so lucky to have known her and worked with her. She was a beautiful lady. God bless xxx” Away from Twitter, Chris Askew, Chief

Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “We’re deeply saddened by the news that our wonderful supporter Bernie Nolan has passed away. “Bernie was a truly inspirational woman who became a part of the Breakthrough family after her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2010. We were devastated to hear that her breast cancer had returned in 2012. Her spirit and determination to try and fight the disease spurred us all on and will continue to do so. Our thoughts are with Bernie’s husband, daughter, family and friends at this time.”

Farewell Magazine 11

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