Ann Widdecombe on hating the coalition, doing Big Brother and her rude autobiography
Would you pay £1m to see Ann Widdecombe in the Big Brother House? Well even that wouldn’t be enough to tempt her – too voyeuristic, apparently.
I interviewed her for today’s Independent on Sunday, as she prepared to join the cast of La Fille du regiment at the Royal Opera House on Thursday. She talks about being known as Doris Karloff, shackling pregnant prisoners, zero tolerance on drugs and why she “hates” the coalition.
There are only eight performances of the opera, and I asked her what comes next:
“I really haven’t a clue. I don’t know if I am going to get recommissioned for Cleverdicks [quiz show]. This is not the first role I was offered. I was offered that of the headmistress in the stage version of Grease, comedy again, and they even sought my availability for Doctor In The House but I felt that these days that would probably be portrayed more vulgarly than in its innocent heyday, so I said I wouldn’t do that.
“I don’t know what offers I’ll get, there could be none. I could go back to Dartmoor and carry on writing. People say ‘oooh you have got a career in showbiz’, and I say ‘oh no I haven’t’.
“I always said I was open to whatever came along, the only thing I didn’t want was a lot of non-executive directorships. I didn’t want any more in trays, out-trays or brief cases, I thought I was going down to Dartmoor, I was going to do a lot more writing, I was established as a writer, I had four books published. But Strictly came along. I couldn’t have predicted it. I am in Devon far too little. I am doing a lot more than just writing. It all stemmed from Strictly, because of Strictly I did the tour, because I did the tour I did panto, because I did pantomime I am doing the opera.”
She had been mentioned as standing as a Tory candidate for police commissioner.
“I’m not doing that either. It would depend what the role was, but I said no to the police commissioner both in Kent and in Devon and Cornwall for the very simple reason that the police commissioners don’t have the powers of Giuliani in New York.”
She also revealed she is writing her autobiography:
“At the moment, my autobiography, everything else has had to be shelved for that. So there are a couple of projects which are actually 50 per cent completed each which will come back into play later.
“It’s about yourself and you look back and think oh gosh, so it was. The problem is always how honest to be about other people, I don’t want it to be the sort of autobiography which is rude about all and sundry, but an amount of truth is always necessary.
“So I will be rude about some people… I will be judicious about some people. That’s inevitable; you cannot write an autobiography which is all sweetness and light.”
But interestingly, while showbiz seems to be her calling now, she reveals there is one political role that still eludes her:
“If they had offered me the Lords, which they did not, I would have taken it.”
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