I had a cancer scare in the early '90s, and for a few months, I wondered if I would make it.
We had idyllic summer holidays, building sandcastles with my father on the beach at Bridlington. It might sound strange, but I think that secure cocoon of familial love was so nourishing, it gave me the strength to live life on my own.
I was never particularly academic, so it was no great surprise when I failed my 11-plus and consequently went to Wibsey Secondary Modern. I did all right in English, history and music, which were the subjects that most interested me.
I was born Pauline Matthews and grew up in Bradford as one of three children - I had an older brother, David, and an older sister, Betty. My father Fred worked in the mills as a textile weaving supervisor, and my mother, Mary, was a housewife.
I always enjoyed sport. I was a bit of a wild child, to be honest, and just loved running around.
I found acting tough; it takes a lot out of you if you have no technique.
I have to keep healthy; otherwise, I jeopardise my career.
I was the youngest of three kids, and from the age of four, singing was my way of getting attention.
I'm a childless woman, yet I felt no maternal urges whatsoever. The prospect of years of broken nights and nappy changes holds no appeal for me.
I'm just a sensitive little soul who's put so much into her career that I haven't had enough energy or time left over to sustain a relationship.
I've got my mother's acceptance of things and my dad's drive - not such a bad combination.
It's not so much that I ever declared: 'I will never have children.' I just never found the right man to settle down with, so it didn't happen.
My older brother had a lot of Elvis on vinyl, and really, that was my first introduction to music during the Fifties.
This is where I break one last taboo: I'm incredibly glad I'm not a granny.
Being the youngest, I was a bit of a daddy's girl and sought attention from an early age by singing. I don't know where I got my voice, but ours was always a musical house.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.