Page last updated at 11:02 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 12:02 UK

Calendar Girl's tears 10 years on

Tricia Stewart
Tricia Stewart on the March page of the new Calendar Girls calendar

The widow of the man who inspired The Calendar Girls broke down in tears as she unveiled a nude calendar to mark the 10th anniversary of the original.

Angela Baker wept as she spoke of her husband, John, whose death led to the decision of 11 Women's Institute (WI) members to strip for charity.

Since then almost £2m has been raised for leukaemia research.

Six of the original women from Rylstone WI, North Yorkshire, posed for the 10th anniversary calendar unveiled in Leeds.

The original calendar featured all 11 women posing nude behind baked goods and flower arrangements with 800,000 copies being sold worldwide.

Their efforts took the world by storm in 2000 and inspired a hit movie, starring Julie Walters and Helen Mirren.

The first calendar was inspired by the death of Mrs Baker's husband from non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1998.

Speaking at the launch of the new calendar at Harvey Nichols in Leeds, Mrs Baker said: "I'm sure John Baker will be smiling, the sun is shining and he'll be so pleased with what we've achieved.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember that's my story. I feel so many emotions, it's hard to explain.

"John did know about the calendar and he said we were all talk, but I know he would have been so proud to know nearly £2m has been raised for Leukaemia Research in his name."

Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukaemia Research, said: "Never underestimate the value of a small personal idea.

"The Calendar Girls could never have foreseen that 10 years on they would have raised so much money to help save lives and spare other families the pain of losing a loved one."


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