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Dawn Collinson: Time to forget man of your dreams, Nancy.

Byline: Dawn Collinson

IT seems a bit strange now, but when I was little I had an imaginary husband-to-be whom I was destined to wed.

He was handsome, famous and I was utterly convinced would make a loyal and eminently suitable life partner.

The only small but significant fly in the ointment, the hitch to our getting hitched -- apart from my being a decade short of the legal age -- was his existing wife. Deirdre Langton.

Yes, I confess, I was besotted with Ray Langton, one-time Coronation Street heartthrob long since departed for the lost world of post-soap obscurity.

In fact so unreasonably enamoured was I that I would keep a diary noting his best episodes and outfits he wore, ranking them in order of favour and overall attractiveness. If only Mattel had thought to make a dress-up Ray Langton instead of Barbie they'd have had one deliriously happy customer.

I also passed idle moments imagining what it would be like when dreary Deirdre was out of the way and me and Ray could live happily ever after, scoffing his and hers hot pots until the credits rolled. Even at the tender age of eight I obviously realised that Deirdre would be far better off trapped in a platonic relationship with a man old enough to be her father, or with a one-kidneyed Moroccan waiter young enough to know better.

Anyway, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I was 100% sure that the union was inevitable. So much so that I had only one contingency plan, involving a stable boy from Follyfoot, and my heart was never really in that.

My point -- and obscurely there is one -- is that no matter how much you want to make a man the ideal husband you fantasise about, if he ain't then he ain't.

Ray and me were never meant to be because the man I thought he was just didn't exist and, of course, everyone knew it but me. He was actually a bloke called Neville.

But some dreams die hard, so firmly are they held, and if the headlines are to be believed then Nancy Dell'Olio is a woman not about to give hers up lightly.

Serial cheater Sven is the man who features in the future she's mapped out and has been since we can all remember. It's just there's been a couple of very public mistresses and countless lurid tales along the way.

Despite counter claims of a separation settlement, friends of Nancy have been quoted as saying she can't wait to walk down the aisle to show her rivals that she's the one her straying man comes home to. At least when he's been shamed for the umpteenth time and forced back, tail between legs, to thrash out yet another embarrassing reconciliation.

A word to the wise, Nancy. Sven isn't the man you want him to be and no matter how desperate you wish for it, he probably never will be. Some fantasies are just better left that way.

I moved on. Deirdre's moved on. It's time you did too.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2004
Previous Article:You Say: Just the ticket.
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