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Poison Ivy clings to wreckage; TV REVIEW.

You had to feel sorry for lonely Lynne Perrie as she tried to flee from the ghost of Ivy Tilsley in the documentary Fame Factor (C4).

The former Coronation Street star looked like a ghost herself as she packed her showbusiness past into cardboard boxes and prepared to move house.

Stripped of make-up, she appeared a tragic figure as she went through newspaper cuttings of her career as a nightclub singer and actress.

"I didn't really want the fame to start off with. But gradually as you get it, it's like taking drugs. The more you get, the more you want," she said.

The price she paid for hers was a son, Stephen, who refused to let her visit him in hospital when he was diagnosed HIV positive. He never let on that she was his mother because he did not want Ivy Tilsley to turn up.

"I was ever so upset when I found out. It really shook me," Lynne confessed. We learnt that she first got a taste of fame as a singer called Miss Dynamite. She turned to acting and reckoned she could have gone to the States and made it big in the movies.

Prone to exaggerate, is our Lynne.

The only film clips they could find was her as the Northern mum in Kes and a face in the crowd in Yanks. In the GI blockbuster, she had just one line.

When a girl pushed forward shouting that she was pregnant, Lynne was called on to retort: "So's half the bloody town, love." She remembered it well.

"Those five words stopped the cinema in America," she said. The truth is, she probably had about as much chance of a career in films as she did in maths.

Success as Poison Ivy led to loneliness, booze and more one-night stands than she cared to remember. "They were not affairs, just happenings. I went from one man to another because I was lonely."

They went with her because of who she was.

Lynne is closer to son Stephen now and was filmed taking a meal to his house like a good mum should. She told everyone she was happy out of the Street and realised fame was not important.

But I was not convinced. Not after her struggle to stay young for the cameras. Lynne did not mention the cosmetic surgery that made her look like a female Mick Jagger and landed her in hot water with her TV bosses.

But she admitted buying exercise machines and paying pounds 325 for a jar of face cream. It didn't work.

Her bedroom mirror was edged with lights just like in the star dressing room in a theatre - but the face that stared back at her belonged to a 65-year-old who'd seen better days.

With Ivy dead and buried, she was reduced to a guest spot calling numbers in a bingo hall and went down like a lost ticket in the Lottery. "Get on with it," shouted the players as she rambled on about toy boys. The days when she could get an orgasm from the applause of an audience were just a distant memory.

Small wonder she was selling up to go back and live with Derrick, her husband of 45 years.

"I don't want to be Ivy Tilsley or Lynne Perrie any more. I want to be Mrs Barksby," she said.

Sad, I call it.

I HOPE Tony Blair and Co have a sense of humour. New Labour came in for some merciless mickey-taking in Crossing The Floor (BBC2).

Any similarities to persons living or dead was absolutely blatant. It may not have been politically correct but it was bloody funny.
COPYRIGHT 1996 MGN LTD
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Purnell, Tony
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 7, 1996
Words:614
Previous Article:My family say I'm a big turn-off.
Next Article:Matthew Wright's Column.


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