Tuesday 21 January 2020

Alison Steadman on still grieving for her mother years after her death

The Gavin And Stacey star talked about the last few weeks of her mother’s life on a Marie Curie podcast.

Alison Steadman has said she still grieves for her mother after 24 years (Ian West/PA)
Alison Steadman has said she still grieves for her mother after 24 years (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Alison Steadman has said that she still grieves for her mother nearly 25 years after her death.

The Gavin And Stacey actress, who will reprise her role as Pam Shipman in the sitcom’s forthcoming Christmas special, said that she cries for her mother “all the time”.

Speaking to the On The Marie Curie Couch podcast, Steadman, 73, said: “She died quite a long time ago, however, I still carry the pain of that with me.

The older I get the more I seem to grieve, it's weird

“I can deal with it but it still makes me incredibly sad. It was such a shock because although she was suddenly not very well, we all just assumed it could be something that could be put right.”

The actress said she was “assigned the job” of telling her mother that her cancer was terminal.

“When we came home (from the hospital), I immediately lost my voice and started to cry,” she said.

“I pretended I needed the toilet quickly and I dashed upstairs and got myself together. My mum just looked at me and her first words were, ‘Any hopes?’ That phrase devastated me.

“Mum said to me, ‘do you think I’ll still be here by Christmas?’ This was about the end of November. I said, ‘of course you will, I’ve just bought you a new black skirt, a new jumper, a pair of slacks. Of course you’ll be here.’ It was my way of not being able to face it.”

Steadman’s mother Marjorie was cared for at the Marie Curie Hospice in Liverpool before she died.

“The older I get the more I seem to grieve, it’s weird,” Steadman said.

The cast of Gavin And Stacey ahead of their special Christmas one-off episode (Tom Jackson/BBC)

“I find it quite hard to talk about death and dying. It’s something that we always think happens to other people but isn’t going to happen to us.

“I still cry for my mum and my dad all the time.”

The On The Couch With Marie Curie is hosted by bereavement specialist Jason Davidson, who has years of experience working in palliative care.

Steadman will be back on screens on Christmas Day alongside Gavin And Stacey co-stars James Corden, Ruth Jones, Mathew Horne, Joanna Page and Larry Lamb for the hotly-anticipated one-off episode.

On The Marie Curie Couch featuring Steadman will be available to download on Friday December 20 from ACast, iTunes and other podcast platforms.

PA Media

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