I think by now everyone knows the story: a group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary WI group, who persuaded one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference in 1999.
The Calendar Girls as they later became known, dedicated the calendar in memory of John Baker, who had died the previous year with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma’ John’s wife and her friend Tricia Stewart decided at one WI meeting to raise money by doing an alternative calendar in the nude.
The rest, as they say, is history and to date their calendar, film rights, play copyrights and merchandise have so far raised more than £3M.
I leapt at the chance to direct it. I did wonder whether there would be enough women who would be prepared to bare all. I needn’t have worried and here they are in all their glory and frankly, I think they are braver than the original girls. They posed for their photographs behind closed doors. My girls are posing in front of an audience every night. I salute them, wish them well and I simply love them for all they have achieved.
As ‘Chris’ says ‘If it meant we’d get that much closer to killing off this shitty, cheating, sly, conniving, silent bloody disease that is cancer, then I would run around Skipton market smeared in plum jam with a knitted tea cosy on my head singing Jerusalem’