EastEnder Wendy Richards 'dying of cancer'
Former EastEnders star Wendy Richards has revealed she is dying of cancer.
The actress, who played Pauline Fowler on the soap for 22 years, has revealed that she has planned her funeral and written her will, but that she wants to marry her partner, John Burns, before she starts chemotherapy.
Richards has fought off breast cancer twice before, but in January was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the illness, which has spread to a kidney and her bones.
The soap star, who first made her name playing Miss Brahms in BBC sitcom Are You Being Served?, told The Sunday Express that she discovered the disease had returned when her annual check-up revealed cancerous cells in her left armpit, and says that the drugs she was given failed to help.
She told the paper: ‘If anything, they did more damage than good so my health has really deteriorated.
‘Now I have a cancerous growth on my right kidney and the cancer has spread to my bones.
‘It’s more aggressive this time, unfortunately, and has spread to the top of my spine and left ribs.’
The Ex-EastEnder revealed she’s spent the last five years in agonising pain, after contracting lymphoedema the second time she had breast cancer, telling how it had worsened this year.
She said: ‘Some nights I’ve just wanted to scream the place down.
‘It didn’t matter whether you lay down, stood up, sat down – the pain was just there all the time.’
Richards battled breast cancer before to make a return to EastEnders, but quit in 2006 after 22 years on the soap, where she was something of an institution, being one of the original cast members.
The actress was awarded an MBE for services to television in 2006.
Wendy will marry partner John Burns before starting chemotherapy treatment on 13 October.