Celia Imrie was shut down after ‘lighten up’ wolf-whistle comment: ‘It’s excruciating!’

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Celia Imrie was shut down after ‘lighten up’ wolf-whistle comment: ‘It’s excruciating!’

Celia Imrie says acting with her friends is a 'helpful extra'Celia Imrie is back on our screens this weekend as she joins Alan Titchmarsh for the l

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Celia Imrie says acting with her friends is a ‘helpful extra’

Celia Imrie is back on our screens this weekend as she joins Alan Titchmarsh for the latest episode of ‘Love Your Weekend’. Described in 2003 as “one of the most successful British actresses in recent decades”, she starred in the Bridget Jones series, Calendar Girls, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and a host of other big hitters. She will be discussing her latest book, Orphans of the Storm, which is based on the true story of Michel and Edmond Navratil, and their parents Marcella Cartteo and her husband Michael.

As Michael and Marcella faced a bitter split in their marriage, he ‘kidnapped’ his children and took them aboard the Titanic to begin a new life in New York.

When the boat sank, he threw his children onto the last lifeboat, and their mother was tracked down weeks later.

The latest episode of ‘Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh’ airs on Sunday at 10am on ITV, it will also be available on ITV Player.

Celia, now 69, revealed her delight at being whistled at, and said she quite likes being called “darling”.

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Celia Imrie

Celia Imrie appears on ‘Love Your Weekend’ with Alan Titchmarsh on Sunday. (Image: GETTY)

Celia Imrie

Celia will discuss the release of her new book. (Image: GETTY)

She has never married and hates the idea of it, describing it as a “world of cover-up and compromise”.

In an unearthed interview with Glamour Magazine in 2015, she said: “I’m thrilled if I’m whistled at. Of course I am.

“People have become so moany. I mean, I’m not mad about being called ‘love’ or ‘dear’, but I quite like ‘darling’.

“And really, lighten up everyone. There’s enough horribleness in the world.”

Celia Imrie filming for the BBC

Celia Imrie filming BBC special ‘Victoria Wood’s All Day Breakfast’ in 1992. (Image: GETTY)

Yet, one social media user took offence and responded: “She may drive, perhaps if she walked everywhere like many who don’t have cars and suffered relentless harassment she’d understand not only that any women are shy/introvert and it’s excruciating to be openly harassed for just walking around. 

“It really is horrible.”

Ms Imrie asked her friend Benjamin Whitrow for a child in her early 40s, but did not want to marry or live with him.

She told him at the time that she did not expect him to contribute towards the baby’s upbringing. 

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Celia Imrie with her son Angus.

Celia Imrie with her son Angus. (Image: GETTY)

However, she told The Telegraph in 2018 that he proved an excellent father to Angus.

She said: “Angus was devoted to his father and, though I’ve never really said it properly, Ben and I did have a romance.

“I wanted to have his baby before it was too late and he [Whitrow] was very, very honest with him [Angus] and he accepted that and he was a wonderful father.”

She gave birth to Angus in 1994. He is also an actor, best known for playing the character Josh Archer in BBC Radio 4’s long-running drama serial The Archers.

Celia Imrie

Celia was labelled “one of the most successful British actresses of recent decades” in 2003. (Image: GETTY)

Ms Imrie, born in 1952 as the fourth of five children, dreamed of becoming a ballerina when growing up, but was told she was “too big to ever be a dancer”.

She developed anorexia not long after, and was hospitalised at the age of 14 when her weight dropped to 4st (25kg) and was not expected to recover.

She was put through electroconvulsive therapy. Ms Imrie previously said the doctor, now “thankfully dead”, was a “total maniac” who had injected her with insulin to put her in a coma for weeks while playing subliminal messages to her.

Speaking on the Andy Jaye podcast, she said anorexia sufferers are the only people able to cure themselves. 

She learned this through the sick comments of a nurse. 

She explained: “I was very young actually, I was in Great Ormond Street and a staff nurse said to me, ‘You do realise you are taking up the bed of a really sick child, don’t you?’

“Now for me you see that was the best thing she could possibly have said because it was a real wake-up call.

“I’m not trying to dismiss it because it’s a very grim thing to go through but you have to understand, anybody that’s suffering from anorexia, that you got yourself there and you truly are the only person that you can get yourself out of it.”

‘Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh’ airs on Sunday at 10am on ITV, it will also be available on ITV Player.



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