PLATELL'S PEOPLE: How my big brother who died of cancer came back from the dead to comfort me
How brave of no-nonsense former City superwoman Nicola Horlick to reveal that her daughter Georgie, who died from leukaemia aged 12, returned as ‘a palpable presence’ to help her grieving sister.
And that Georgie told her little sister it was time to stop thinking of her as a sickly, bald child in a hospital bed and remember her as the wild red-haired big sister she had frolicked with. Nicola’s story struck a chord with huge numbers of Mail readers — as well as with me.
My big brother Michael died of cancer nearly three decades ago.
Towards the end, he was a shadow of the boisterous, sporty, fun-loving bloke I’d grown up with, and confined to a hospital chair with an oxygen tank by his side.
When I was very ill and feeling down a few years ago, Michael came to see me long after he died. He sat on my bed and held out his hand and told me it would all be OK and that he was watching over me
The day before he died, he mustered the strength to visit me at our parents’ house, his legs swathed in bandages, wearing the blue shirt I’d bought him for Christmas knowing he would not wear it for long.
Asking him why he’d come when he was so poorly, he said he wanted me to have happy memories of the family all together. ‘Please don’t remember me like this,’ he said.
For years all my memories were blinded by grief. I was haunted by images of him so desperately frail.
And yet, when I was very ill and feeling down a few years ago, Michael came to see me long after he died. He sat on my bed and held out his hand and told me it would all be OK and that he was watching over me.
Just like he had been in life — whether it was chasing off an unwanted suitor or driving miles to collect me from a party, he was always there for me before he died.
And when Michael comes to me now, as he still does, he isn’t the sick brother dying of cancer, but the Michael I grew up with — strong and healthy with a wicked smile, teasing me by saying: ‘Get a grip Mandy, it’s not the end of the world.’
It isn’t a dream. I’m wide awake. Michael sits there, as large and real as life, taking my hand and reassuring me. It is a feeling of comfort beyond imagining.
That’s why I believe those who love us visit us from beyond the grave.
As does Paul McCartney, who wrote Let It Be after his mother Mary came to him years on from her death when he was a teenager, I take solace in those words. When I find myself in times of trouble, in my hours of darkness, my brother Michael comes to me, whispering words of wisdom, let it be.
Ahead of crippling price hikes, energy giant Eon has sent customers pairs of socks to encourage them to turn their heating down and save money. Talk about putting your foot in it!
No-vax beaten by Oz
Excellent news that the Aussies have cancelled No-vax Djokovic’s visa after he repeatedly broke Covid rules.
And a lesson for the UK where abysmal border controls allowed in 28,000 Channel migrants last year in comparison with the Oz government, which lets no illegal migrants settle at all — not even if they are multi-millionaire tennis stars.
Adele tastes the forbidden fruit
In the video of her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites into an apple and cries: ‘I know that it’s wrong, but I want to have fun.’
Given the singer has lost something like half her body weight just by exercising and eating sensibly, it’s probably the most fun she’s had in a long, long time.
In the video of her new single Oh My God, an angelic Adele bites into an apple and cries: ‘I know that it’s wrong, but I want to have fun'
Extolling the virtues of dating much younger men, Ulrika Jonsson, 54, says it was lovely hooking up with a 26-year-old as he was too young to know who she was. Indeed, and he probably thinks 1970s rockers Hall & Oates are a breakfast cereal.
As he is stripped of all his military roles and royal patronages, we learn that of Prince Andrew’s 106 good causes, nearly a quarter (24) were as patron of golf clubs. Can the nation possibly survive now he’s permanently in the rough?
Lily James says spending four hours putting on a pneumatic body suit to replicate Pamela Anderson’s magnificent bosoms in her forthcoming movie about the Baywatch star made her feel liberated
Lily is pumped up to play Brawatch Pam
Lily James says spending four hours putting on a pneumatic body suit to replicate Pamela Anderson’s magnificent bosoms in her forthcoming movie about the Baywatch star made her feel liberated.
Oh, do get over yourself girl. Most of us achieve that in one minute with a Wonderbra.
Actor Sean Penn says he’s frustrated living in a world where, with gender roles now so challenged, there is a conspicuous ‘absence of male behaviour’. ‘I’m in the club that believes men have become wildly feminised. I don’t think that, to be fair to women, we should become them.’ No wonder Sean is every thinking woman’s crush.
Digital fashion victims
Selfridges is the first store in the world to sell a range of digital dresses for up to £100,000. You don’t get the frock, but for a starting price of £2,000 can buy a digital certificate of ownership and use it on the 3D ‘Metaverse’ to dress an avatar of yourself. So a not-really-there dress. Sorry, Selfridges, but flesh-flashing Heidi Klum got to that one first.
What disappointment to see that Chinese ‘spy’ Christine Lee, 58, is a plain middle-aged mum from the West Midlands who MI5 say ‘hid in plain sight’ while infiltrating the highest echelons of the British government. Silly me, I was expecting a Chinese version of the exotic dancer spy Mata Hari.
‘Sir’ Tony and ‘Lady’ Blair emerged to dine at a posh members’ club in Mayfair despite a million people demanding his knighthood be removed over the Iraq War. Pictures showed Cherie’s head was bowed, hopefully in shame for the part she played — personally phoning female Labour MPs to get them to support the war.
Absent for Boris’s mea culpa before PMQs, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was 225 miles away plotting to move next door from No 11. He doesn’t stand a chance. At just 5ft 6in, diminutive Rishi may be dishy, but we haven’t had a PM that short since 5ft 4in Spencer Perceval in 1812. And he was assassinated!
Sitting one row behind Boris as he apologised was former PM Theresa May, whom he booted out of office, wearing a Thatcher-style royal blue suit and matching face mask — no doubt to hide her smirk.
Sending out email invitations to a rule-breaking booze party? The ineptitude of the PM’s advisers is staggering. As my journalist dad warned me starting out as a junior reporter, never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to appear on the front page!
Jamie's £1,75m sour taste
Even those of us who adore Naked Chef Jamie Oliver blanched on learning that, after the collapse of his restaurant empire, his holding company recouped £1.75 million while his suppliers were still owed millions.
Given your personal fortune of £240 million, Jamie, it looks like Naked Greed.
Our beloved Jonathan Van-Tam, famous for his football analogies explaining Covid, is leaving his job as England’s deputy chief medical officer and returning to Nottingham University.
May I humbly speculate JVT’s career will be a game of two halves. First as a national hero, next as the star turn on Strictly.
He’d never do I’m A Celeb as he’s already had to swallow too many unspeakable things supporting this Government.
Channel 5’s All Creatures Great And Small has captivated American audiences, with Rolling Stone magazine calling it ‘incredible balm’. Samuel West, who plays vet Siegfried Farnon, says ‘it’s strangely revolutionary to be making a series about people being kind to each other’. Certainly would be to Alan Sugar and his viper’s nest on The Apprentice.