Linda Nolan

Linda Nolan
Born (1959-02-23) 23 February 1959 (age 62)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Singer, actress, author, television personality
Years active 1974–present
Television Top Of The Pops
Celebrity Big Brother UK
Loose Women
Spouse(s) Brian Hudson
(m. 1981–2007, his death)
  • Tommy Nolan (1925–1998; deceased)
  • Maureen Nolan (1926–2007; deceased)
  • Tommy Nolan (b. 1949)
  • Anne Nolan (b. 1950)
  • Denise Nolan (b. 1952)
  • Maureen Nolan (b. 1954)
  • Brian Nolan (b. 1955)
  • Bernie Nolan (1960–2013; deceased)
  • Coleen Nolan (b. 1965)

Linda Nolan (born 23 February 1959) is an Irish singer, actress and television personality.[1] After moving with her family to Blackpool, at the age of three in 1962, she attained fame as a member of the girl group The Nolans in 1974, along with her sisters Anne, Denise, Maureen, Bernie and Coleen. As a member of the Nolans, she toured with Frank Sinatra in 1975, won the Tokyo Music Festival in 1981, and had seven UK top 20 hits between 1979 and 1982.

Soon after leaving the group, she supported Gene Pitney on his 1984 UK tour. She then went on to perform in theatre, including an eight-season residency as Maggie May on Blackpool's Central Pier (1986–93), where she clocked up over 1,000 performances, followed by two seasons as Rosie O'Grady on Blackpool's South Pier (1994–95).

She played the prison governor in two UK touring productions of Prisoner Cell Block H: The Musical in 1996 and 1997, and starred in the West End as Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers for three years from 2000, and regularly played the role in the UK tour until 2008, making her the third of four Nolan sisters to play the role. Other musical credits include Menopause the Musical (2015–16).

She reunited with the Nolans for the 2009 I'm in the Mood Again album and tour, and in 2014, she took part in the 13th series of Celebrity Big Brother. In 2018, she became a recurring guest panellist on Loose Women.

Early life

Linda Nolan was born in Holles Street Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, to Tommy and Maureen Nolan.[1] The family lived in Raheny, a northern town of Dublin. They lived there until she was three before moving to Blackpool in 1962,[1] at which point Tommy and Maureen formed the Singing Nolans of which Nolan was a member.[1] She went to school at Blackpool's St Catherine's Catholic Secondary School, and also attended The Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford, West London.[2]


Singing career

In 1981, she scored a minor hit with her sister Coleen as part of the Young & Moody Band, with "Don't Do That" (UK No. 63) which also featured Lemmy from Motörhead and Cozy Powell.[3]

She left The Nolans in December 1983 and quickly gained the label "Naughty Nolan" due to her posing in risqué publicity photos.[1][4] The Nolans reunited as a five-piece (Bernie, Anne, Coleen, Maureen and Linda) for one-off performances of "I'm in the Mood for Dancing" first for BBC One's All Time Greatest Party Songs, hosted by Tess Daly, which aired on 17 December 2005[5] and again on 9 August 2007 on Loose Women.[6]

Four of the sisters (Linda, Bernie, Coleen & Maureen) reunited in 2009 for a successful tour of the UK and Ireland. They also released an album I'm in the Mood Again, which reached No. 22 on the UK Album Chart.[7]


On leaving the group, Nolan went on to play the role of Maggie May at Blackpool's Central Pier for eight summer seasons (1986–93), clocking up more than 1,000 performances.[8] She then starred for two seasons in a similar show on Blackpool's South Pier called Rosie O' Grady's (1994–95).

From 1996 to 1997, she starred as the prison governor in two UK tours of Prisoner: Cell Block H – The Musical, alongside Paul O'Grady.[9]

From 2000, she starred as Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers for three years in the West End, and regularly played the role in the UK touring production until 2008. She was the third Nolan sister to play the role, after Bernie and Denise. Maureen Nolan has also since played the role in the West End on the UK tour for several years,[10] earning the sisters a place in the Guinness World Records, as the most siblings to play the same role in a musical.[11]


Nolan has also appeared on Blankety Blank,[12] with Anne and her daughter Alex on Celebrity Pressure Pad[13] and with Bernie on Pointless Celebrities.[14]

Celebrity Big Brother

In January 2014, Nolan participated in the thirteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother. Prior to this, her sister Coleen had participated in and achieved second place in the tenth series.[15]

Upon learning that she was to be handcuffed, she confirmed her "Naughty Nolan" nickname by saying "I like a bit of bondage".[16]

Jim Davidson, who was also a contestant in the house that year has history with Nolan; in 1995, Nolan's husband Brian Hudson was caught red-handed stealing money from comic Frank Carson's dressing room at the South Pier Theatre Blackpool. This raised the ire of Davidson, who was playing up the road at the time and promptly lost his temper, yelling "no-one steals from my mates" and threatened to punch him. Davidson was promptly thrown out of that nightclub.[17] On Day 15, Nolan was reminded by Davidson of his antics, prompting an argument.[18] She was evicted on Day 22.[19]

Personal life

Nolan met Brian Hudson in 1979 and they married in 1981. He was the Nolans' tour manager until 1983 and became his wife's manager after she left the group. They were married for 26 years until his death in 2007, from liver failure.[20]

In 2006, Nolan was diagnosed with breast cancer. As part of her treatment, she underwent a single mastectomy.[21] She was given the all-clear from cancer in 2011. In 2007, she was diagnosed with cellulitis and lymphedema in her arm.[20]

In 2017, Nolan fell on her hip and was taken to hospital, where doctors discovered a form of incurable secondary breast cancer on her pelvis.[22] She began undergoing regular radiotherapy treatment to make sure that the cancer would not spread, but has said that she would reject chemotherapy if the cancer was found to be terminal, after seeing how Bernie was in pain from her chemotherapy in 2013.[23][24]

On 7 July 2014, she claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Rolf Harris in 1975 while The Nolans were supporting Harris in a tour of South Africa.[25]


Year Title Role Notes
1974 It's Cliff Richard! Performer Series regular
1979 Mike Yarwood In Persons Performer Series regular
1979–82 Top of the Pops Performer 15 episodes
1984–89 Blankety Blank Panellist 7 episodes
1999 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Mystery guest 1 episode
2003 We Are Family Contributor Documentary
2004 Saturday Night Takeaway Herself 1 episode
2005 All Time Greatest Party Songs Performer 1 episode
2009 The Paul O'Grady Show Performer 1 episode
2009 The Nolans: In the Mood For Dancing Herself Documentary
2009 The Late Late Show Performer 1 episode
2011 Come Dine With Me Participant 5 episodes
2010-12 The One Show Reporter 3 episodes
2012–14 Big Brother's Bit on the Side Panellist 13 episodes
2014 Celebrity Big Brother Participant 24 episodes
Most Shocking Celebrity Moments Contributor Documentary
2016 The Seven O'Clock Show Guest 1 episodes
2018 The Wright Stuff Panellist 2 episodes
2006–18 Lorraine Guest 7 episodes
2007, 2018– Loose Women Guest/Performer/Panellist 20 episodes
2018 - 2019 Jeremy Vine Panellist 3 episodes

Selected theatre

Year Title Role Notes
1986–93 Maggie May's Title role Central Pier, Blackpool
1994–95 Rosie O'Grady's Title role South Pier, Blackpool
1996–97 Prisoner Cell Block H: The Musical Prison Governor UK tour
2000–08 Blood Brothers Mrs. Johnstone West End (2000–03) / UK tour (2003–08)
2015–16 Menopause The Musical The Soap Star Irish & UK tours
2016 Rumpy Pumpy! Madame Holly Spencer Union Theatre, London


  1. ^ a b c d e Larkin, Colin (1998). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3rd Edition Volume V: Louvin, Charlie-Paul, Clarence. London: Macmillan. p. 3969. ISBN 0-333-74134-X.
  2. ^ Bassam Mahfouz (10 November 1997). "Steve Pound MP for Ealing North... Maiden Speech". Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  3. ^ Guinness World Records British Hit Singles 14th Edition. London: Guinness World Records. 2001. p. 482. ISBN 0-85156-156-X.
  4. ^ Cummins, Fiona (9 February 2006). "Exclusive: Linda: I'll Beat Breast Cancer". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  5. ^ Daly, Tess (presenter) (17 December 2005). All Time Greatest Party Songs (Television program). England: BBC One.
  6. ^ "Loose Women". 11. Episode 149. 2007.
  7. ^ "NOLANS | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Nolan sister Linda still gets scared on stage". This Is Worcestershire. 15 September 2000. Archived from the original on 12 January 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  9. ^ Dealey, Justin (11 May 2005). "Linda's in the mood for Blood Brothers!". BBC News. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  10. ^ "Willy Russell - Blood Brothers - The Actors". 31 March 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Most siblings to play same role in a musical". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. ^ Blankety Blank. Season 7. Episode 11. 30 November 1984. BBC.
  13. ^ Celebrity Pressure Pad. BBC1. 1 September 2014.
  14. ^ Pointless Celebrities. 20 December 2012. BBC One.
  15. ^ "Coleen Nolan housemate profile – Celebrity Big Brother 2012". Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Meet the House Mates". International Business Times. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  17. ^ Emily Hewett (18 January 2014). "Celebrity Big Brother 2014: Jim Davidson threatened Linda Nolan's husband – the 'night from hell' in Frank Carson's dressing room finally explained | Metro News". Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  18. ^ McNally, Kelby. "Linda Nolan in tears after row with Jim Davidson over 'Frank Carson's dressing room' | Showbiz". Daily Express. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Day 22". Celebrity Big Brother 13. Channel 5. 24 January 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Linda Nolan: nightmare struggle since my husband died". The Belfast Telegraph. 23 June 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  21. ^ "LINDA HAS BREAST OP". Daily Mirror. 28 February 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2008.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Linda Nolan breaks down as she opens up about 'incurable' cancer diagnosis
  23. ^ Linda Nolan opens up about painful radiotherapy cancer treatment | HELLO!
  24. ^ HuffPost is now a part of Verizon Media
  25. ^ Chris Johnston. "Vanessa Feltz and Linda Nolan reveal assaults by Rolf Harris | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2014.

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