Sarah Lancashire, 58, says she is having ‘the most terrible menopause’ and found herself in Sainsbury’s with no idea what she was meant to be buying
She is known to millions of fans as quick-witted Sergeant Catherine Cawood in hit TV drama Happy Valley.
But Sarah Lancashire has revealed in real-life she is struggling with menopause-induced brain fog – even forgetting on a recent trip to Sainsbury’s that she was there to buy groceries.
The actress, speaking to The Mail on Sunday after picking up Best Drama Performance for her role in Happy Valley at last week’s National Television Awards, also admitted she used two fans to keep cool at the ceremony due to hot flushes.
‘I’m having the most terrible menopause,’ the 58-year old said.
‘I’ve got brain fog. I was in Sainsbury’s the other day, and I found myself just stood there in the aisle and could not remember what I was there for. It just comes over you all of a sudden.
Sarah Lancashire picked up Best Drama Performance for her role in Happy Valley at last week’s National Television Awards
Ms Lancashire has revealed in real-life she is struggling with menopause-induced brain fog
‘I can’t remember things that happened 30 years ago either.’ Ms Lancashire, who beat off competition from her Happy Valley co-star James Norton to also lift a Special Recognition Award, said she needed to use the two fans ‘pretty much on my face the whole time’ as it was so hot inside London’s O2 where the awards ceremony took place.
The actress added: ‘I brought one of my closest friends with me and his job was to keep an eye out for the cameras and if it looked like they were going to pan across to us, then he’d let me know so I could hide them.’
Ms Lancashire – who has two grown-up sons from her marriage to music teacher Gary Hargreaves, and a teenage boy with current husband, former BBC chief Peter Salmon – said she has turned to HRT to help with the menopause symptoms. ‘I am on the gel but it’s not great for me so I might give the patches a go next,’ she said.
The star, who found fame in the early 1990s playing Rovers Return barmaid Raquel Watts in Coronation Street, is currently producing a television programme and has called for a ‘catch-up’ in the numbers of older women appearing on television.
She said: ‘I think things are changing and they have needed to change for a very long time. Evolution is slow and we need to catch up.’
Ms Lancashire, winner of the Special Recognition award and the Drama Performance award for her work in ‘Happy Valley’ at the National Television Awards at the O2 Arena
She also said there needs to be a push to bring in talent from more diverse backgrounds.
Happy Valley broke records when 7.5 million watched its dramatic finale in February. But Ms Lancashire confirmed it will not be back and said she was glad it had ended after three series. She said: ‘The story was complete… there is a danger you carry on and on and it loses its potency. This way we go out on top.’
Having previously been open about her mental health battles, the actress revealed that she was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 18. She said: ‘I have my good and my bad patches…In my early days, depression did inhibit me because I was too debilitated and terrified to tell anyone why I couldn’t get on a train from Manchester for auditions in London. I fully believed I’d lose work if I admitted to it.
‘Tranquillisers were the worst thing for it and I ended up in a terrible mess. My 20s were a write-off.’
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