One Show viewers were shocked when Dame Sheila Hancock revealed her real age on Thursday evening (June 9). The award-winning actress was on the show to promote her new book Old Rage.
She was joined in the BBC studio by Dudley comedian Lenny Henry, who was stunned to discover she was 89. About the book, Sheila said: “I was asked by the publisher to write an inspiring book about old age and about the fact that death does not exist is scary and then Brexit happened and I was anger, despair, despair, beside myself.
“Then my daughter got desperately ill, so I was terrified. Then I got really sick and got something called rheumatoid arthritis that changes your whole life a lot. Then I got locked up because I was very vulnerable with the virus thing.
read moreDame Sheila Hancock shares hidden illness that ‘changed her life’
“So it suddenly became a book that is more honest about old age than the one I was going to do. What I’ve been trying to do is write about life as it really is.”
She added: “Death is imminent for me. Not because I’m sick, but because I’m almost 90.”
A stunned Lenny Henry said, “No way! Really?” Sheila replied, “I am, of course I am!”
Viewers were also surprised by the unveiling. @jan321321321 wrote on Twitter: “#TheOneShow #lady #90 wow i thought she was younger than that.”
@DdubEternalLove said: “Wow she looks incredible #TheOneShow.”
Sheila won a Laurence Oliver Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her performance in Cabaret in 2007. She was also nominated for Laurence Oliver Awards five other times in her career for her work in Annie, Sweeney Todd, The Winter’s Tale, Prince and Sister Act.