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Inside Loose Women star Coleen Nolan's sad family history

The TV star is appearing on this week's Piers Morgan's Life Stories

coleen nolan
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
18 March 2021
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Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan is the latest celebrity face appearing on Piers Morgan's Life Stories where she will delve into her upbringing, career, and the tragedies she has faced in her life. 

MORE: Coleen Nolan shares controversial photo from inside new home

While Coleen found fame as part of girl group The Nolans, these days she's best known for her TV work and has appeared on everything from Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Juice to The Real Monty and Big Brother over the years. Ahead of the personal interview, find out about Coleen's life here…

WATCH: Loose Women's Coleen Nolan talks Linda and Anne's cancer diagnosis

Coleen Nolan's early life

Coleen was born in Blackpool in 1965, and is the youngest of eight children of Irish-born performers Tommy and Maureen Nolan. While the family - six daughters and two boys - appeared picture-perfect to the cameras, behind the scenes they were hiding a dark secret as Coleen's sister Anne later revealed that their father Tommy had sexually abused her while growing up.

nolan sisters

Coleen found fame as part of the girl group The Nolans

Coleen herself described her father's violent behaviour in her 2009 autobiography. "If he'd been sinking the pints he had the shortest fuse in the world and could become aggressive or violent in the blink of an eye," she wrote.

Despite the troubles at home, Coleen and her older sisters - Maureen, Anne, Bernie, Linda, and Denise - found fame early on in the girl group The Nolans. In 1974 at the tender age of nine Coleen made her television debut performing alongside her sisters on the show It's Cliff Richard.

coleen nolan piers

Coleen opened up about her family to Piers Morgan

However, Coleen was considered too young to join the band and didn't become a full member until she was 15 years old. The TV star revealed to Piers Morgan during the interview that a year before when she was just 14, she was approached by Jimmy Saville following a performance on Top of the Pops. 

"You know when it came out about Jimmy Saville I wasn't in any way shocked, thinking about it," she said as she recalled how the disgraced TV presenter invited her to join him in his hotel room. "At the time I just thought 'You dirty old man. As if I'm going to go up there', I wouldn't do it anyway. I've got four sisters on the stage that would have beaten the crap out of him."

Coleen's sisters' cancer battles

Coleen lost her older sister Bernie to cancer in 2013 which she described as "catastrophic" to the tight-knit family.

"She was the life and soul of our family. We all pulled each other through it. And then me and my sisters had this fantastic opportunity to do the cruising show. And literally within two or three weeks of it finishing, first Anne was diagnosed again and then literally four days later Linda. And it was just bam. It was really shocking."

linda anne nolan

Anne and Linda were both diagnosed with cancer last year

Anne, 69, and Linda, 61, found out they had stage three breast cancer and liver cancer, respectively, last year. Anne underwent chemotherapy, a lumpectomy and radiotherapy and happily announced in December that she is now cancer-free. 

MORE: Loose Women's Coleen Nolan talks 'unfair' cancer diagnosis of sisters Anne and Linda

Speaking about the devastating diagnoses, Coleen said: "You almost feel like it's a curse that's been on you but it's not. So many families go through this." 

Coleen Nolan husband and children

Coleen shares two sons, Shane Jnr, 31, and Jake, 28, with her ex-husband Shane Richie, who she married in 1990. The pair split nine years later amid cheating rumours on Shane's part.

MORE: Why did I'm a Celebrity star Shane Richie and Coleen Nolan split?

In 2001 Coleen became a mother for the third time when she welcomed a daughter, Ciara, 20, with musician Ray Fensome. The pair wed in 2007 but sadly went their separate ways in 2018 after experiencing marital difficulties.

coleen nolan sons

Coleen shares two sons with Shane Richie

While Coleen was rumoured to be dating someone at the end of 2020, she told Piers during her interview that she is now happily single. "I feel like I've been in relationships since I was 15. You know, I've had two marriages. I've never had time on my own really. I am genuinely loving it," she said. 

"However, I do realise that all my kids have got lives of their own and they are eventually [looks at kids in the audience] going to move out [laughs]. I guess its company really. If I'm going to meet someone, I'm hoping it's going to be a friend of a friend."

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