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Sunday, 23 June, 2002, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Hancock 'to write 1m Thaw book'
John Thaw and Sheila Hancock
John Thaw died from cancer of the oesophagus
John Thaw's widow Sheila Hancock could be offered an advance of up to 1m for a biography of the late Inspector Morse star, it has been reported.

The Sunday Times said Hancock's main motivation was to correct the tone set by an unofficial biography published three years before the actor's death from cancer in February.

A bidding war between HarperCollins, Transworld and Random House is said to have pushed the fee up to 900,000 and it could break the 1m barrier, a record for a British actor's biography.

John Thaw as Inspector Morse
Thaw was best known as Inspector Morse
Hancock will meet publishers this week for further negotiations, the newspaper said.

"What I don't want to be seen doing is using my husband to push my own life forward," the Sunday Times quoted Hancock as saying.

"I also don't want a luvvie biography."

Thaw was reported to have been upset by a 1998 biography which focussed on the actor's supposedly troubled relationship with his mother.

Hancock added: "John found it so offensive. It was so hurtful to him and many of his family."

Last episode

A biography is likely to be popular, with Thaw still held in affectionate regard for his performances in Inspector Morse as the opera-loving Oxford sleuth.

Repeats of the show still get good viewing figures, while the last episode in November 2000 was watched by 13 million.

There has been a trend among publishers for wives writing intimate biographies about their husbands such as Pamela Stephenson's hard-hitting account of Billy Connolly's wife, the newspaper said.

Hancock was Thaw's second wife, and they stayed together for 28 years despite a brief separation in the 1980s.

See also:

22 Feb 02 | Entertainment
21 Feb 02 | Entertainment
22 Nov 01 | England
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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