Despite well-publicised dates late last year with a man she met on Channel 4’s Flirty Dancing, Coleen Nolan has officially been single since 2018.
Two years after she divorced Ray Fensome – her husband of 11 years and father to her youngest daughter, Ciara, 19 – she insists she’s happier than ever.
As she prepares to go on a major UK tour this autumn with the smash-hit play The Thunder Girls – something she says she never thought she’d do – Coleen, who turns 55 this week, tells us why online dating and dating in general aren’t for her, why she won’t go under the knife, and how her incurably ill sister Linda is doing.
Coleen has since announced she is dating again, with boyfriend Michael Jones.
Are you still seeing Kevin from Flirty Dancing or are you single?
No, we clicked as friends but nothing more. I absolutely love being single, but I don’t think anyone believes me! Don’t get me wrong – if I met someone organically and it just happened, that’d be lovely. I’m not against it, but I’m definitely not actively looking.
Would you ever try online dating?
Oh God, no, it fills me with horror – and yet I’ve known so many people who’ve done it and ended up married. Because of the industry I’m in, I’ve got this thing of, ‘Are you dating me because you like me or because I’m on the telly?’ Plus, my daughter always tells me I’m rubbish at dating. I turn into a 12-year-old at the thought of it! I’m so full of the chat, I’ll flirt for Britain, but then as soon as anyone comes up to me and is serious, I can’t even remember my name!
Are you confident with yourself and your body?
I’m probably more confident now than I’ve ever been because I’ve stopped caring about whether I’m aesthetically pleasing to other people. As long as I’m happy and I feel good, then that’s all I’m bothered about. I think being single again helped with that.
Do you feel pressured to look a certain way as you’re on TV so often?
Yeah, I do. I think social media gives a massive pressure, especially nowadays, because everyone’s getting work done and you sit there and think, ‘They’re older than me and look 20 years younger.’ It’s a constant pressure that I’m very much fighting against because
I don’t want to feel that I should get surgery because everyone else is – and my kids really don’t want me to do anything like that. I love people’s faces – I don’t want them to change – and I saw the pain my sisters Maureen and Linda were in after they had their facelifts.
You’re going on tour with The Thunder Girls. What brought you back to it?
We did it for a week last September in Manchester and got a phenomenal reception. It was packed and completely sold out – we got standing ovations every night, which was amazing for a new show.
Touring is something I’ve always said no to as I hate to be away from home, but when this came along I thought, ‘You know what? I have to do it.’ I loved being in the show so much and I didn’t want anyone else to play my part! Plus my kids are grown up, I’m not with anyone, so I just feel that now’s the time for me and I can do it. I’m so looking forward to spending time with Beverley Callard again – she is hilarious! Make sure you come and see us. It’s a brilliant night out.
Will you have to take a break from Loose Women?
When the show is in the north, I won’t have time to go back to Loose Women, but I’ll be back when it’s in London. I’ll do it whenever I can – it’s a 13-week tour but I think I’ll probably only be missing from Loose Women for about eight weeks.
Has The Thunder Girls made you want to perform with your sisters again?
Well, I just love performing. I think since we lost my sister Bernie, it would feel a bit weird without her – but I’ll never say never. It’s just weird to do things that you know that they loved passionately, and I think it makes you miss them more.
And how is Linda doing?
Linda is doing b****y amazing. She’s a champion, that woman. She goes every three months for her scans and her check-ups, but she’s doing really well.
Coleen stars in a UK national tour of The Thunder Girls from 1 September. All tickets £29.50. Visit thundergirls.co.uk for dates and venues and to book tickets