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Pulling Myself Together - Denise Welch

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Genre: Biography / Author: Denise Welch / Hardcover / 325 Pages / Book is published 2010-05-07 by Sidgwick & Jackson

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    4 Reviews
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      14.05.2012 19:26
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      Really interesting read and enjoyable too.

      I really like Denise Welch, hence me buying her autobiography. I know when she was on Celebrity Big Brother recently she did behave in a somewhat undignified manner but I still warm to her whenever I see her.

      This book came out in 2010 and I thought it was a great read. I found the book to be very honest, amusing and definitely emotional at times. I learnt so much about her life prior to the last ten years that I didn't know about. These days people tend to just think of her as a middle aged woman who appears on Loose Women acting a little bit saucily and being quite controversial but she has done a lot more in her life than people might know about. For example, I didn't know she'd been married before Tim Healy to an actor who was in Brookside many years ago. I did actually know her father was a drag queen but I learnt all about how she grew up with that. She's done a lot of theatre work which I didn't realise and has had many scares healthwise through her family in the past.

      She did discuss her ongoing battle against depression and it was very emotional to read about how she suffers from it. It was very touching and especially interesting to read if you have any insight into mental health issues.

      The book was such an honest account of her life and she didn't shy away from talking about obvious low points in her life i.e. taking cocaine on the set of Coronation St and having an affair behind Tim's back. She was very clear about how she knew she was wrong in having the affair and does not make excuses for her behaviour. I admire her for being so open about everything that's happened in her life, even if they're things she's not proud of.

      I found this a really enjoyable autobiography to read but if you do not like Denise to begin with, I doubt you would like the book.

      This is available to buy from Amazon for £4.31 which is cheaper than what I paid for it a number of months back.

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      18.05.2011 15:32
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      Straight talking, honest, emotional, with humour throughout

      As well as reading fiction, I enjoy the occasional non-fiction, normally in the form of an autobiography. A short while ago I had a voucher for Waterstones and decided to use it when they had a 'buy two, get one free' offer on certain books. As well as purchasing two fiction books I decided to pick up Denise Welch's autobiography.

      Why Denise Welch? Well, I've never really been a Corrie fan I have to say, but I am a big Waterloo Road fan (which I loved her in) and also love watching her on Loose Women (I am watching Loose Women as we speak! :-P). Now, in Waterloo Road, Denise was obviously playing a character - in the form of Steph Haydock. However, in Loose Women the viewer is able to get a bit more of an insight into who this woman really is, and I decided to read her autobiography to learn a little more about her.

      Without giving away too much of the book, (you'll have to give it a read!) Denise gives an honest account of the things that have happened to her at different stages in her life. Recalling a different number of events from her childhood right up until the present day she describes how they affected her. For anyone that reads womens magazines or watches Loose Women, you are probably aware of how Denise has suffered with things throughout her life including depression (including post-natal depression), alcoholism, and drug use. She does not shy away from discussing these issues in her biography, giving a full honest account of her life even when describing her darkest moments.

      That isn't to say she has this 'feeling sorry for herself' attitude - this is not the case, and the book doesn't come across this way. It isn't all doom and gloom either. There are many happier events that are also discussed throughout, and Denise's humour means there are several laugh out loud moments.

      This isn't a particularly difficult read, but a very emotional and insightful one. From a personal point of view it appealed to me as I have suffered periods of depression myself, and books like Denise's allows sufferers to realise that they are not alone, and allow those that haven't suffered to have a bit of an insight to what coping with it is really like.

      The version of the book that I read was a newer paperback edition with an extra chapter at the end in which Denise discusses the effects that her biography has had on people since it's first release. This version is currently on Amazon for £4.23 and qualifies for free delivery. It is also possible to buy a used copy from a penny! The original hardback copy (the one in the picture) is on Amazon for £8.50 (with free delivery), with the cheapest used copies starting at £1.33.

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        27.01.2011 01:29
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        All in all a good chick book with high times and low times curl up with a bit of chocolate and read

        Where do i start this woman has had one hell of a life,i first started my admiration of this woman in soldier soldier she played a soldiers wife in this brilliant series.she then went on to play Natalie horrocks in coronatoin street which is another great british institution.This woman is funny witty and sometimes rude in a funny kind of way.Anybody that is a regular loose woman watcher will know what im talking about. Right this book is not a book that takes alot of brain power but is an easy read its sometimes sad in places when Denise refers to certain points in her life but as in Denise"s own words she is manageing to pull herself together.Denise is married to Tim healy of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and Benidorm they have a close but sometimes fiery marriage but stayed together for over twenty years .Denise is honest about every part of her life no stone is left unturned.As i have suffered with depression i was hooked to the inserts of the book that she spoke about this terrible illness and still suffers low points to this day although she has medication that suits her now.I felt a tiny bit short changed because i am i truely loose women fan and i wanted a bit more loose women content and gossip but i couldnt put it down two nights it took me to read to my husbands dismay because i was saying out loud oooh well i never ha ha this book has not changed my oppinion on our Denzy it has just made me more in awe of this fine Geordie lass if you are a Waterloo road fan and a loose women fan then this book is right up your street ,there is nothing this woman has not been through and she is very open honest and probably regrets writing certain points in this book but thats what people want.some parts of the book made me cry but then few pages on you were laughing again.my husband bought me this book off amazon very handy few clicks and its on its way very easy and price gets the thumbs up from me happy reading.

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          01.07.2010 11:44
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          Denise Welch's autobiography

          I have been a fan of Denise Welch for many years. I enjoyed her playing Natalie in Coronation Street a few years ago (1997-2000) and also love watching her current role as teacher Steph Haydock in Waterloo Road. She is my favourite Loose Women presenter too. I think she is beautiful, witty, honest and always entertaining. I can also relate to her battle with depression, so I was interested to read her autobiography Pulling Myself Together.

          The cover has a lovely shot of the glamorous Denise, now in her early fifties and a wonderful example to us women in our forties that the future can be great and we can still look our best! The hardback is 323 pages and makes for a fascinating read.

          Chapter One begins with Denise's birth and childhood. She was born in 1958 in Tyne and Wear and lived with her parents and her younger sister, Debbie. We follow her growing up and entering into acting, after she was offered a place at Mountview Theatre School when she was eighteen.

          As you would expect from an autobiography, Denise tells her readers about her relationships over the years, culminating in her marriage to Auf Wiedersehen Pet star Tim Healy, who she is still with today. She is very candid about the problems they have faced in their marriage over the years, including affairs by both of them, but what comes through strongly is their devotion to each other and to their sons, Matthew and Louis.

          One of my most memorable episodes of Loose Women was where Tim Healy came onto the programme and sang to Denise. I remember she was crying on the TV, as I was crying at home watching her! They do seem genuinely well suited and I think that is great to see.

          Reading her autobiography reinforced the image I have of their relationship and I appreciate her view that people make mistakes or bad decisions, but you can work through them and it can make a marriage stronger in the long run, as you have worked through your issues and chosen to stay together and put the work in.

          Being a mother myself, I am always interested in read how other women deal with pregnancy, labour and the huge change that babies bring. Denise had a rough time with both her sons, as she had clinical depression following Matthew's birth then Louis had a serious medical condition which almost led to them losing him early on. I felt so sorry for her and can understand how hard it must have been for both Denise and Tim.

          Having suffered depression myself over the years, the part of her story I can most relate to is this and how her illness affected her husband and family. I was amazed how much she managed to achieve while fighting depression. I recall there were times I couldn't even get off the chair to make a cup of tea, so I am completely in awe of how Denise struggled through many acting parts, epitomising the ethos of 'the show must go on' until she literally collapsed during pantomime and had to stop for a while.

          Denise has mentioned her battle with alcohol several times in Loose Women, so it was interesting to find out more about this. I was shocked to hear she had used cocaine though, but thankfully this never seemed to become a big problem for her.

          As you would expect with an actor's autobiography, there are behind-the-scenes tales and anecdotes from the television programmes and plays she has been in. I always enjoy these and Denise Welch's were no exception, but it was good to find this was done very tactfully. There is no real criticism of fellow actors or pointless name-dropping here (both of which can be intensely annoying).

          There are a good amount of photos here - another plus point for me, as I love seeing new photos of my favourite stars. Denise's book has three sections of photographs from early school portraits, family photos and bad 1980s haircuts through to Coronation Street photos, Loose Women and a lovely recent family portrait of her with Tim, Matthew, Louis and their dog.

          Overall, there is very little wrong with this book and I have found it easy to get into and a pleasure to read. What comes across most strongly is Denise's love for her family and her personal courage at fighting her depression. She is a wife, a mother, a friend, an actress and fulfils each role to the best of her ability. She is not perfect, like some slick Hollywood cardboard cut-out, but she is real and down-to-earth. She shows us the bad times alongside the good times and should be admired for that. I know for me, she is a huge inspiration and I love her for it.



          Pulling Myself Together by Denise Welch is available for £8.08 for the hardback edition at Amazon UK and has been Number One in the bestsellers chart this year.

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