WEEKEND, 7 April 1990
(Translated from the original Dutch)
Only after four years of living together did Wendy Richard from EastEnders and Are You Being Served? finally say "yes" to Paul Glorney, six years her junior. After two failed marriages and a long relationship without promise that finally foundered, Wendy lost faith in love. Husband number two, Will Thorpe, in particular, had made her lose faith in men. He got into the habit of beating up Wendy. Whenever he didn't like something, he mistreated her and Wendy doesn't like to think back on the time when she was almost constantly covered in bruises. Yet the actress, who can now be seen weekly with Veronique in Are You Being Served? stayed for a long time with her heavy-handed husband. That was because Will burst into tears every time he hit her and promised he would never do it again. Wendy tried to hide from her colleagues on the set and the children of her second husband that she had no life with her husband.
Enough with love
But the last time Will laid a finger on her, it turned into such a brawl that a constable had to be called. And that was the beginning of the end. The judge ordered Will to stay far away from his wife, and Wendy filed for divorce.
After that, Wendy had had enough of love, and she was definitely not looking for a man when she walked into a London pub one night for a drink. When a man with an Irish accent struck up a conversation with her, she had no idea that she was talking with the man who would become her third husband -- that only happened four years later . . . Carpetlayer Paul brought peace and happiness back into Wendy's life, which makes the age difference between them no problem. Wendy is also convinced that the fact that Pauline's role in EastEnders made her a star, while Paul goes to work every monring in complete anonymity, is no obstacle to their happiness. "We have the same ideas, we like the same things. We are addicted to tea, old movies, and watching TV. We like to have a drink after work and we like to spend an evening at home with good friends. Paul and I work equally hard in our own way."
"That fact that I have had some success as an actress is also a matter of luck, since for the same money I might have been in a much less successful series. And don't think I'm overloading Paul with luxury and opulence, expensive suits and priceless cars. And if my success ever ebbs away, then it is really Paul who will have to support me. Then the household bills go to him," says Wendy, who, despite her enormous popularity, has kept her feet firmly on the ground.
Success is therefore not everything for the plump TV star, who, like EastEnders' Pauline, is devoid of every speck of glamour. Although Pauline brought her enomous success, Wendy developed a great dislike for the worn-out biddy she had to portray year after year. She even asked EastEnders' producers to write her out of the hit series. But then appeared producer Michael Ferguson. He breathed new life into the series and Pauline became a lot more assertive and interesting under his influence. That's why Wendy decided to stay with the character for a while.
Wendy, who wore a blue borrowed butterfly on a chain around her neck and an antique white lace garter on her wedding day, was "given away" by her TV twin brother Pete, who is played by Peter Dean.
Wendy, who was orphaned when she was eleven [webmaster's note: well, not really -- her mother was still living many years after Wendy's father died when Wendy was age eleven], and has no other brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces, knew herself to be surrounded by real family warmth when she said "yes" to Paul in London's Marylebone district town hall, since the entire Eastenders family had come to the town hall in their best and later formed the bridal procession which led Wendy and Paul to Marylebone Church for the ecclesiastical ceremony of the wedding. Also among the wedding guests were the three children from Paul's first marriage: his 10-year-old son and his two cheerful teenage daughters with whom Wendy gets on very well.
The only discord on Wendy's fine day was the absence of Paul's brother. Until the last moment, the groom wanted to believe that his only brother, with whom he had been at odds for years, would use his wedding day to make amends. Even during the reception at the pub where Paul and Wendy met four years ago, Paul continued to look longingly, but in vain, for his brother -- but Wendy didn't let that spoil her wedding day. "Paul wanted to marry me before. But I wasn't ready yet. But now that I've said yes, I'm terribly happy. Because if you look into my heart, I'm terribly old-fashioned. I would rather be married, because living together is just not entirely proper. It is still somewhat a matter of living in sin."