Wendy Richard, John Burns, Miss Brahms, ofMiss Brahms, The Queen
In her first interview since leaving EastEnders last October after 22 years in the soap, Wendy Richard tells the Mirror about her new role in which she will play an older and wiser version ofMiss Brahms in the new series, called Here Comes The Queen". "My character won't be glamorous because she is a lady of a certain age but she will be smart. She is Miss Brahms a few years down the line." Here Comes The Queen - about a long lost royal family - will reunite Wendy with writer David Croft and her old Dad's Army and EastEnders colleague Ian Lavender, plus Les Dennis. And Wendy reveals it was her idea to do a comedy after 22 years as Albert Square misery Pauline Fowler. Wendy, who has been with her partner John Burns for 11 years, is very happy with her new shape and outlook on life. But she is indignant at reports that she planned to undergo plastic surgery as part of a reality TV show. "Why would a woman of my age want a boob job? I have had breast cancer twice, in 1996 and 2002, and you don't mess when things are all right. It's an insult to people with breast cancer and to me. "I never got my boobs out at the start of my career and I ain't getting them out now." For a woman who has become a larger-than-life national icon, Wendy admits she has lacked confidence. But all that's in the past "I am the happiest I've been and so full of confidence now," she says. "I've been in the business 47 years and don't know why I wasn't confident before. I see people at parties who can network a room and I'm not like that. I am just very quiet. John and I very rarely go out. We go to our favourite Indian restaurant, we go for a drink with friends and we have the occasional game of cards." One thing that isn't on the cards for the foreseeable future is marriage. She met John, 20 years her junior, through friends 11 years ago and they became engaged in 2002. But after three failed marriages, Wendy - who also shares her home with her pooch Lily, named after pal Paul O'Grady's acerbic character - is reluctant to go up the aisle again. "John and I haven't set a date," she says cagily. "We'll just wait and see what happens. There are other things to do. But John is a brilliant bloke." 7th April 2007"
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