Sheila Hancock says she’s ‘not extremely vulnerable’

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Dame Sheila Hancock, 87, has addressed being labelled as “extremely vulnerable” in letters from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. The actress has rejected the categorisation and has instead said being vulnerable is a normal part of life and that she’s “surviving”. Due to her age, the Sister Act Broadway actress would be classified as being clinically vulnerable by the government, who have been urging people in that category to shield to avoid contracting Covid.

I am absolutely not extremely vulnerable

Sheila Hancock

The Edie star revealed that she is fed up of receiving letters from a man who is mistaken as her son, due to their matching surnames, classing her as “vulnerable”.

She quipped: “I keep getting letters from someone – who people think is my son, Matt Hancock – saying I’m extremely vulnerable and I’m sick of it.

“I am absolutely not extremely vulnerable.”

She continued: “I’m surviving. I’m vile most of the time!”

The star went on to explain that vulnerability is a normal part of life at one stage, before saying that people need to “move on”.

Sheila said: “I think everyone is extremely vulnerable at some stage – it’s a part of life – you just get over it and move on”.

However, the actress did admit that the last half a year has taken its toll on her, causing her to age “hugely”.

“I’ve certainly aged hugely the last six months. I can feel that physically and mentally.”

The Sweeney Todd actress, who lost husband John Thaw to esophageal cancer in 2002, revealed that she felt isolated after having no one to turn to in lockdown.

She said: “I’ve had no one to bounce off. This is nice, but it’s not the same as having an argument face-to-face.”

Despite feeling fed up with the pandemic, Sheila expressed hope on Friday’s Loose Women that the situation will change the world for the better”.

She opened up: “There’s a lot to be done for the world.

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“I’m hoping out of this hideousness something good can come, and I want to be involved in that before I die. I want a better world.”

Last month, the star of Sky 1 fantasy drama series A Discovery of Witches spoke about going through a “terrifying” dementia scare after she had “a day-long brain freeze” during filming.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Sheila revealed she has trouble remembering people’s names and has developed a habit of calling everyone “darling” as a result of her confusion.

She explained: “People in my business do call people ‘darling’ a lot, I’m afraid.”

“Not being able to remember anything and your brain panicking and trying to find the words. It was terrifying.”

Fortunately for the Carry On Cleo star, she found she was back to her normal self the next morning.

However, her struggles to remember her lines did raise her concerns about dementia.

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