Coleen Nolan: ‘I hate men sending me pics of their you-know-what’

Loose Women star Coleen Nolan opens up about embracing life in her mid-fifties, her excitement over being single, and the saucy offers she's had since her divroce

Coleen Nolan

by Claire Higney |
Updated on

When she celebrates her 55th birthday next month, Coleen Nolan will be raising a glass to new beginnings. It’s been a challenging few years after divorcing her husband, musician Ray Fensome, in December 2018, but she insists she’s never been more ready to start a new chapter.

After nearly five decades in showbiz, she’s busier than ever, hitting the road in September with a UK theatre tour of the smash-hit play The Thunder Girls – the story of a fictional ’80s pop band torn apart by envy, ego and greed. It’s the perfect role for Coleen, who knows all about the ups and downs of being in a girl group from her early days performing with her sisters as The Nolans.

And the star is giving her home life a spring clean, too, selling the family house in Cheshire that she shared with Ray, their daughter Ciara, 18, and her sons Jake, 27, and Shane Jr, 31, from her marriage to actor Shane Richie.

But Coleen admits that finding herself single again in her fifties after growing apart from Ray has been slightly daunting, as she was with him for 17 years.

“I’m making a fresh start, but it’s scary,” she says. “When I married Ray, I thought it would be forever and we had plans for what we’d do when the kids grew up. All of a sudden, the rug was pulled from under my feet and now I’m doing it all on my own.

“But you can either get wrapped up in it and become depressed or you can get excited and think, ‘Now I have time to concentrate on myself and do things I wouldn’t have done in the past because of my marriage or the kids’.”

Finding a new relationship is not at the top of her to-do list, though. The Loose Women panellist has been happily single and celibate for the past two years. In fact, Coleen reveals the only offers she’s had have been inappropriate ones from strangers who’ve sent her explicit pictures via Instagram.

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Loose Women1 of 19
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Swipe through to find out all about your favourite Loose Women...

Ruth Langsford2 of 19
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Loose Women: Ruth Langsford

Ruth Langsford has been on Loose Women on and off since its inception in 1999. Featuring as a guest panellist in 1999, she became a regular in 2000 for a year. She returned in 2009 until 2010, before being made a presenter in 2012 and now anchors the show when she's on - sitting in the all important first seat.Ruth also guest hosts This Morning on Fridays with her husband Eamonn Holmes, and stands in for regular presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield during holidays.

Andrea McLean3 of 19
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Loose Women: Andrea McLean

Andrea McLean has been a presenter since 2007. Of all the current Loose Women, she's the most prolific - having appeared in a whopping 1,139 episodes as of 25 April 2018. She serves as the main presenter when on the show.Aside from Loose Women, Andrea was formerly a weather presenter on GMTV for 10 years, and was also a contestant on Dancing On Ice in its first year back in 2006.

Christine Lampard4 of 19
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Loose Women: Christine Lampard

Christine Lampard (formerly Bleakley) is the third regular anchor of the show and also enjoys first-seat responsibilities. Having joined the show as a presenter in 2016, Christine has appeared in a respectable 59 episodes of the show as of 25 April 2018 - but she's got a bit of catching up to Andrea to do!She first became well known after presenting BBC's The One Show alongside Adrian Chiles in 2007, leaving the show in 2010. She presented Dancing On Ice from 2012 to 2014 with Phillip Schofield after Holly Willoughby left, and she occasionally stands in for Lorraine Kelly on her show.

Kaye Adams5 of 19
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Loose Women: Kaye Adams

Kaye Adams is one of the longest-serving members of Loose Women who still appears on the show, having originally joined in 1999. Having started out her Loose Life on the show as a main presenter, she left in 2006, but returned as a panellist in 2013. The Scottish journalist presents The Kaye Adams Show on BBC Radio Scotland every weekday from 9am to 12pm, and also took part in Celebrity Masterchef in 2008.

Jane Moore6 of 19
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Loose Women: Jane Moore

Jane Moore is also a long-standing member of the Loose Women panel, having joined the show in 1999 too. After leaving in 2002, she also returned in 2013 along with Kaye Adams, Nadia Sawalha and Coleen Nolan.Alongside her Loose duties, Jane is a columnist for The Sun newspaper, and also appears on The Andrew Marr Show as a newspaper reviewer.

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Loose Women: Nadia Sawalha

Yet another returnee, Nadia was also an original panellist - joining the show in 1999 when it first started. After leaving in 2002, she returned in 2013 along with Kaye Adams and Jane Moore.Aside from Loose Women, Nadia is best known for her two-year stint in EastEnders as Annie Palmer, and forging a new culinary career following her Celebrity MasterChef win in 2009. She's also competed on Dancing On Ice and Celebrity Big Brother.

Coleen Nolan8 of 19
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Loose Women: Coleen Nolan

Coleen Nolan first appeared on Loose Women in 2000, before returning in 2004 until 2011. She rejoined the cast in 2013, along with Kaye Adams, Jane Moore and Nadia Sawalha. After Andrea McLean, she is the most prolific Loose Women, having appeared in 1,111 episodes as of 25 April 2018.Coleen rose to fame as part of her family's singing group, The Nolans, along with her sister Linda Nolan who also frequently appears on the show. She took part in Dancing On Ice in 2009, and was also previously a presenter on This Morning. Coleen has also been in the Celebrity Big Brother twice, first coming runner-up in 2012, and winning in 2017.

Janet Street-Porter9 of 19
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Loose Women: Janet Street-Porter

Janet Street-Porter has been a regular face on the Loose Women panel since 2011. Known for her sharp tongue, Janet has appeared in 554 episodes of the show as of 25 April 2018. Janet, who was awarded a CBE in 2016 for services to journalism and broadcasting, has previously worked in fashion magazines. She took part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2004 and came third in Celebrity MasterChef in 2013.

Linda Robson10 of 19
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Loose Women: Linda Robson

Linda Robson first appeared as a guest panellist on Loose Women in 2003, having brief stints in 2010 and 2011 before joining full-time in 2012. Best known as Tracey Stubbs in Birds of a Feather between 1989 and 1998 as well as taking part in the reboot in 2014, Linda also had a stint in the I'm A Celeb! jungle in 2012.

Gloria Hunniford11 of 19
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Loose Women: Gloria Hunniford

Gloria Hunniford has appeared as a regular panellist on Loose Women since 2014, having previously appeared as a guest panellist in 2003 too. At 78, Gloria is the oldest current panellist on the show.No stranger to the TV circuit, Gloria took part in Strictly Come Dancing 2005, making it to Week 3 before being voted out.

Penny Lancaster12 of 19
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Loose Women: Penny Lancaster

Penny has been a Loose Woman since 2014, having previously never been on the show before. Penny had a big moment on the show in 2017 in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal when she bravely revealed that she'd been drugged and raped as a teenager - and a virgin.Best known as a model, Penny is also well-known for being the wife of Rod Stewart, with whom she shares two children. She also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, leaving in the sixth week.

Saira Khan13 of 19
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Loose Women: Saira Khan

Saira Khan first joined the Loose Women cast in 2015 alongside Katie Price. She too revealed on Loose Women that she'd been sexually assaulted as a young girl, and helped to raise awareness for the issue.Saira first rose to fame after competing on the first ever series of The Apprentice in 2005, coming second. She also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in July 2016, and was the second to be voted out.

Katie Price14 of 19
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Loose Women: Katie Price

Katie Price joined the cast of Loose Women in 2015 alongside Saira Khan, having previously been a guest panellist in 2011 and 2014. However, her status as a Loose Woman is under scrutiny at the moment as she hasn't appeared on the show since January.Pricey is of course, well known outside of Loose Women. She first became known as a glamour model under the alias Jordan in 1996, first appearing on Page 3 of The Sun at the age of 18. Since then, she's become a reality star in her own right, and her relationships are often the subject of tabloid speculation.

Stacey Solomon15 of 19
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Loose Women: Stacey Solomon

Stacey Solomon first joined the Loose Women in 2016 after appearing as a guest panellist between 2011 and 2012. The mum-of-two joined the show alongside Lisa Riley and Anne Diamond.Stacey won her celebrity status after competing in The X Factor in 2009 at the age of 20. She came third in the competition. Stacey became Queen of the Jungle in the 2010 series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, and is currently in a relationship with former King of the Jungle, Joe Swash.

Lisa Riley16 of 19
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Loose Women: Lisa Riley

Lisa Riley became a Loose Woman in 2016 alongside Stacey Solomon and Anne Diamond. The former Emmerdale actress was absent from the show for a number of months after undergoing surgery to remove excess skin following a 12-stone weight loss.Lisa was well-loved as Emmerdale's Mandy Dingle, playing the role for over seven years. She also took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, and is known for being the standout star of the competition that series.

Anne Diamond17 of 19
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Loose Women: Anne Diamond

Anne Diamond joined the Loose Women panel in 2016 with Lisa Riley and Stacey Solomon. She's a lesser-spotted Loose Woman, having only appeared in 58 shows as of 25 April 2018. Anne carved her career in journalism, hosting Good Morning Britain and is a regular columnist for the Daily Mail. Having tragically lost her third child, Anne successfully campaigned for research into cot death, and reportedly cut cot deaths in the UK from 2,000 to 300. She also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2002, and was the second to be evicted.

Denise Van Outen18 of 19
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Loose Women: Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen joined the cast of Loose Women full time in 2017, having been a guest panellist in 2014 and 2017 previously. Although she is relatively new to the show, she's already won a place in the hearts of Loose Women viewers.Denise has been on various TV shows in her time, but most notably took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 with fellow Loose Woman Lisa Riley. She made it to the final of the show with her partner James Jordan, and they finished as runners-up to Louis Smith.

Kelly Brook19 of 19
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Loose Women: Kelly Brook

Kelly Brook is the most recent addition to the Loose Women panel, having joined the show in 2018. She has previously appeared on the show as a guest.Kelly is best known for her modelling career which began when she was age 16. She is also a regular panellist on Celebrity Juice, and also took a turn on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007.

Coleen Nolan Bernie Nolan
Coleen and her sister Bernie ©Getty

“I wish they’d stop – they make me feel sick!” she cringes. “I’d rather see their face than their you-know-what! When you’re a recently divorced woman, people expect you to be desperate to meet someone else, but I’m enjoying being single. I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m too busy to date.”

However, Coleen admits she misses the intimacy of being in a couple. “I’m a romantic at heart and I do miss that side of things,” she says. “I don’t cry myself to sleep, but it would be nice to know I was going to hold someone’s hand again or have a kiss.

“My house is so full with grown-up kids, their friends, partners and band-mates that I guess I don’t feel loneliness so much. However, when I’m by myself, I sometimes think, ‘Ah, this is what it’ll be like in the future’, and that’s when the possibility of a relationship seems nice.”

So what would she look for in a new partner? “I’m at that stage in my life where one can’t be too fussy,” she laughs. “It’s all about personality for me. I’ve never gone for the same type of guy –it’s usually been the fact they’ve made me laugh or we’ve just got on really well. I’m quite independent now, so it would have to be someone who was self-sufficient and had his own life.”

WATCH Andrea, Nadia and Saira reveal Loose Women secrets you need to know

Coleen reveals she hit a mid-life crisis around her 50th birthday and began to question whether she was truly happy. Losing her sister Bernie to breast cancer at the age of just 52 in 2013 made her determined not to just “make do” but to get the most out of life.

Movingly, she says, “I realised I wasn’t happy to go on the way I was, certainly not in my marriage. I didn’t want to just settle for what I had because I was too afraid to change things. Divorce is horrendous, but in my low moments I often thought of Bernie and how she’d love to be here, feeling the way I did, even if it meant feeling miserable. She never got the chance.”

Although Coleen’s divorce was painful, she’s come through the other side. Ray even stays overnight if he’s got a gig nearby, and the family spend lots of time together.

“We’re both so much happier now and are really good friends,” says Coleen. “When you’re in the throes of divorce you can’t imagine ever getting to that place, but I love the fact we’ve shown it’s possible. I don’t want to sound like Mother Teresa, but you have to try to focus on the great times you had and not the bad ones. It’s so much easier for the kids that we get on and he can pop over whenever he wants.”

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It’s hard to imagine what’s left for Coleen to accomplish in her career – from performing with The Nolans, she’s gone on to present ITV’s This Morning, been part of Loose Women for 20 years, come fourth in Dancing On Ice, won Celebrity Big Brother and appeared in panto. However, she does have another challenge in mind.

“The only thing I’d love to do, but I’m not sure I’ll get the chance, isStrictly,” she says. “I wouldn’t win it, but I’d love to learn some serious dance routines. When I was performing with my sisters, my favourite part was the choreography. However, I’ve heard it’s knackering, so I’d have to get my joints in shape!”

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