Female Icon: Julie Goodyear
This grey Sunday morning I was padding around in my kitchen cooking and drinking coffee. Radio 4 Desert Island began – and for the next 45 minutes, I was hooked.
Why? Because it’s Julie Goodyear talking about her life. And what a life. (I can’t help but slip into tabloid type writing when writing about Julie.)
Four marriages (one was a shotgun wedding), one child, cervical cancer, being told she had a year to live, a husband leaving her for his best man, at their wedding reception, the ensuing nervous breakdown – and through it all, she worked like a trooper – and earned an MBE for services to drama.
What I loved about this show was her composure and her strength, as well as her sense of humour.
“I seem to have led a leopard-print life,” she tells Kirsty Young, fairly early on in the show. Her anecdotes are amazing- hit by a meat-pie while out singing in a pub, she picked it up and ate it – “Well, I was hungry.” She bought her young son a bicycle with her first pay cheque from Coronation Street. Laurence Olivier gave her acting tips (and what’s evident in this show is how much she loved her job.) She takes her late mum’s bus-pass everywhere with her.
What a woman.
And the music she chooses! Over 45 minutes you’ve got Nancy Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Barry Manilow, and Tina Turner. What’s not to love?
Goodyear is 71 now. She lives on a a 30-acre farm, with her fourth husband. I like to think of her, padding out to tend to her sheep, before going home to a big fried breakfast. I hope she’s happy. You can listen to the show here if you like.