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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Hancock reveals 'chasm' of grief
Hancock and Thaw
Hancock has described the "chasm" left by the death of Thaw
Actress Sheila Hancock has said it will be difficult to see images of her late husband John Thaw at this Sunday's Bafta TV awards.

They are both nominated for awards - Hancock is up for best actress for her role in ITV1's The Russian Bride, while Thaw is up for the Lew Grade Audience award for ITV1's drama Buried Treasure.

She told ITV News on Thursday that Thaw, who starred in ITV's Inspector Morse, is still with her "every minute of the day".

"The most difficult thing for me is that I haven't been able to watch John since he died," she said.

John Thaw: A fan of EastEnders
John Thaw: A fan of EastEnders
"I know they are going to do clips and I can't quite face seeing the image of him."

She described her grief as "a chasm" but added: "I'm very lucky, I have a family.

"A lot of people in my position, and at my age, are left with much less than I am and I'm very conscious of that and extremely blessed."

"At the moment he's with me every minute of the day, because there is nowhere I go that I haven't been with John.

"There's nothing I do, there's no programme that I watch on television that I haven't had him at my side being rude about it.

John Thaw and Kevin Whately
He starred with Kevin Whately in Inspector Morse
"EastEnders was our great joy and he won't know the plot lines so I sit there thinking 'Oh, what a pity he didn't see what happened to Janine in that episode'.

"It's a very, very difficult thing to come to terms with, but it's life sadly, and life is not easy."

She said that Thaw, who died on 21 February from cancer of the oesophagus, never accepted he was going to lose his battle with the disease.

"Even the night before he died he just was absolutely convinced that he was all right and in fact he thought he was feeling a lot better," said Hancock.

"He ate a Lancashire hotpot. But then the very end was quite quick and quite sudden.


"The next day I found a contract for another year that he signed with ITV. So he obviously thought he was going to be working fairly soon.

"He was feeling very positive about it."

She said that Thaw was rather different from the character TV viewers saw on screen.

"He was a giggling man, he was fun, he was a moody man, he was difficult, he was immensely loving, incredibly gentle, and just an ordinary man really," she said.

"We've always led, both of us, very ordinary lives, we haven't been very theatrical. But then most theatricals aren't."


Picture gallery John Thaw's career
See also:

19 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Thaw undergoes cancer treatment
10 May 01 | TV and Radio
Bafta honour for John Thaw
14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Morse's last grumble
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