Mills-McCartney opens her heart to Parkinson in her first British
television interview since marrying Paul McCartney
Saturday 22 February, BBC ONE, 10.20pm
a frank and honest interview Heather Mills-McCartney talks exclusively
to Michael Parkinson and reveals how she feels about the negative
press she receives and how it has affected her charity work, how
she has battled against disability prejudices and stereotypes, and
the difficulties she's encountered since marrying a Beatle.
opens the interview by asking Heather if she's wearing one of Stella
answers: "It's not tonight, but it is a lot of the time, but
it's not tonight."
continues this line of questioning when he asks what the truth is
about her alleged falling-out with Paul's children?
Heather responds: "That's why I'm always wearing her clothes
Michael, because we don't get on of course... That's why she was
at the wedding and we do charity together."
then asks why she thinks the press lie about her relationship with
says: "I think because it's easy. If I was an editor and I
had somebody who wouldn't talk to the press, it's easy to make up:
well there's a 30-year marriage there, how's she going to live up
to the legend of Linda, there's kids.
always problems between stepmothers - think of Cinderella, there's
the wicked stepmother
it's just very easy to make up.
you just can't take the bait. I don't think the public are that
stupid to believe everything they read."
continues: "To get it straight, for eight years the media were
fantastic with me because I was the model that overcame adversity
and supposedly inspired other disabled people and amputees - poor
girl's had a rough life, loses her leg and now she's got to crawl
to the loo at night.
then I went quiet. So understandably after being very open - I wrote
a book which the money went to charity nine years ago and then I
updated it recently and there wasn't any support this time even
though the money goes to charity because I wouldn't do any interviews."
asks Heather if she didn't do interviews because of her relationship
responds: "I want to protect Paul and his children and their
privacy, because they're very private.
agreed because someone was going to do an unauthorised biography
that I would update the book and call it A Single Step and put the
money to charity, but only in America so I didn't have to promote
it here because it's only in Britain where it's pretty hard."
then asks her about the stories that she has been pregnant.
replies: "They said I'd been pregnant, which is really hurtful
knowing that I've had cancer of the uterus and two ectopic pregnancies.
chances of me getting pregnant are about that much [indicates small
with thumb and finger], and I'm sure for any woman out there it's
hard enough when your family keeps saying 'when are you going to
have a baby then?' Never mind the whole world keeps saying 'oh she's
pregnant this week'."
Michael asked whether Paul's former wife, Linda, has cast a long
shadow for her.
says: "No not at all. For me, what people don't realise, is
that I have a huge amount of respect for that marriage. She did
a great job on him - she trained him up well.
I believe when you've loved, like he's loved, it's much easier to
fall in love because you haven't got so many barriers. So no, absolute
respect for that."
then says that Linda went through a tough time with the press when
she first started her relationship with Paul.
agrees: "[She went through] much worse. I didn't realise that
because I was never a Beatles fan.
I fell in love with him after he had chased me for a while and he
was very charming and wooing.
is a fantastic, fantastic man, but the stuff that comes with it
is very hard to deal with.
would have sympathy with it because everyone's dream person to be
with is either Paul or George Clooney."
then jokes: "I mean George is cute, but nothing on Paul."
also describes how the bad publicity has directly affected her charity
work for amputees with companies refusing to sponsor her.
says: "I'd been trying to make these limbs that I'm always
flashing off available to all amputees with the cosmetic covers.
the manufacturers actually said to the prosthesist 'we can't manufacture
them with Heather Mills because she gets such bad press'.
it's not just attacking me, it's literally depriving millions of
people because they don't want that association as they'd rather
go with someone else. And
there's many charities to choose from so they don't want that association.
then I sue and I win, but I get that much of an apology because
they make up things about the charity.
made up things, saying I'm doing a vegetarian cookery book. As if
I'm going to do that? I like cooking but I'm not doing a vegetarian
then asks Heather if she's ever felt that she's been dealt a bad
says: "I never [felt] it until recently, I have to be honest.
I think the reason I get so affected now, if anyone throws anything
physical on me, like if you paralysed me from the neck down, I would
just get a pen and tap it on the computer and get on with it.
I suppose losing my leg and all those kind of things, I just dealt
with. Got to do this now, got to do that now.
when you feel powerless - everything I've worked for in my life,
tried to do and overcome, it's just all been forgotten.
all just, 'she's the bird of Paul McCartney' and it's just knock,
knock, knock. And that's affected me really badly."
Michael asks her what her lowest point has been, Heather answers:
"The lowest point of my life has been since the press turned
on me really badly which sounds crazy.
I think what it is that you start off as a whole being and then
things chip away.
my mother left and my father abused me, then my father went to prison
and I think you just slowly get chip, chipped away and you've got
so much strength and in the end when you're put down for constantly
overcoming that and they come for you more and more and more.
I'm at that stage where I feel [sighs] absolutely wiped out."
then goes on to tell Michael that her anti-landmine work and helping
fellow amputees and disabled people has kept her strong.
says: "That's what keeps me going. When I get to go and see
them, or when I go to Vietnam or Cambodia or somewhere like that,
that's really rewarding.
I get out of England, that's when I go [sigh] 'why did I even let
that affect me? It so doesn't matter'."
then asks Heather how she dealt with the negative counselling and
artificial limb she received, and if she was ever worried that people
wouldn't 'fancy' her again.
replies: "No I'm afraid I never thought that. It's one of the
things I talk to young girls about all the time.
was lucky in a way that I lost my leg at 25 because I was a very
sexually confident woman and now I'm 35.
if I'd not had the relationships I'd had before I lost my leg then
I may have been a bit more 'oh they might not fancy me'."
continues: "A woman did come into the hospital once, a counsellor,
and said to me 'Heather you're being far too positive about this
you know. You're disabled' and I went 'Yes, I'm disabled but I'll
get a leg one day' and every day she'd come in and try to beat me
down because that's the way that they did it.
in the end she said 'but men won't find you as attractive as they
did before' and I looked at this woman who was not very attractive,
very unsightly actually.
I said 'look darling, both arms and both legs missing, I'd still
be more attractive than you'. So she slammed her book down and just
that's when I realised that I needed to start helping people because
if that's the kind of counselling they're getting, you'd lose all
confidence if you didn't start off with much."
tells Michael about her collection of legs.
says: "I've got four legs now, one for rollerblading, one for
skiing, one high heel and one flat for the gym.
funny, even today, I said to my husband 'can you get me my leg out
of the cupboard' and he goes [shocked face] 'oh yeah'.
went swimming in the ocean once and I didn't realise my leg would
fill up with water, because I was doing some surfing and there were
it filled up with water and popped off. And I said 'get my leg,
it's flying behind you' and he's like 'eh, what?!' so we have some
then asks Heather about her love for Paul and, specifically, if
he's very romantic.
smiles and says: "He's very romantic that's why I fell in love
said to me, 'how do I keep somebody like you?' And I said 'romance,
it doesn't have to be anything else - just romance and lots of love'."
continues: "Romance to me is not just writing a cheque out,
romance is like picking up a feather, collecting some chestnuts."
asks: "A feather?"
Heather replies: "Yeah, a feather for Heather, that's what
he does all the time. Or planting a Christmas tree in the garden
without you knowing and you wake up on Christmas morning and he's
planted a tree that he's driven three hours, chopped down and brought
back and put lights all over it.
that kind of thoughtfulness, bringing me breakfast in bed every
morning, no matter how he feels.
I do the dinner, so we've got that agreement. It's thoughtfulness."
then says he thinks Heather is a very strong person.
responds: "I think you have to be, to go out with someone like
Paul. Definitely. Because you've got to keep his feet on the ground
I just think he's so adored.
I was somebody like a fan, he would never have been attracted to
me. If I was somebody that was like 'oh my god, you're so gorgeous',
that's a complete turn off.
anyone who fancies George Clooney just stay cool and calm don't
start screaming because it really isn't a turn on at all."
the future, Michael asks what Heather has planned.
answers: "[I will] carry on with the minefields, and try to
encourage the nice side of the press to lay off me a little bit
because it's creating a lot of damage in other areas which they
are probably not aware of."
Clooney and Dawn French are Michael's other guests.
asks Dawn about kissing some of the world's most attractive men,
including Tom Jones when she last appeared on Parkinson.
laughs and says: "You frightened poor Tom to death."
says: "Did I? Well I think he enjoyed it personally."
then jokes: "He came home with me so I don't think there was
any problem there!"
then asks her about Hugh Grant.
replies: "Ahh Hugh Grant, lovely. I didn't catch anything at
all, that was good. I thought there was danger of that.
very nice mouth, very nice indeed. He's not the only one
Depp when he did Comic Relief with us. He did Vicar Of Dibley so
there was a quick bit of lip action going on there.
been writing to me ever since. You know, but I can't, I can't, I'm
continues: "Once Jennifer [Saunders] and I were in a play and
went out for lunch [to The Ivy] with the writer
we were having
our lunch and Terry Gilliam came in and he came over and gave us
he told us he was working on something called Twelve Monkeys which
I thought was a porn film!
went and sat down and then Brad Pitt walked in [audience gasps].
Oh yes! A sort of angel really.
walked past our table - fool - and he sat down with Terry Gilliam.
I went to the loo soon after and I wrote a note to Terry Gilliam
saying 'you will make Brad Pitt kiss me or I will kill your family'.
saw the note being delivered to Terry and he just sort of winked
at me and I thought he was just enjoying the joke."
then says: "I got involved with my food as you do, somewhere
near the chocolate pudding so I wasn't really thinking and suddenly,
suddenly, Brad Pitt kissing me, kissing me, here! [points to cheek]
will never forgive myself for this, I didn't fully turn. It was
half on, half off that side there which has never been washed since."
George Clooney joins Michael, Dawn and Heather in the studio, he
says to Michael: "You know what, I have to do this."
turns to Dawn, grabs her and kisses her for several moments.
then says, "thank you Dawn" to which she replies, "yeah
dream on." [Laughs]
comes from Simply Red, who perform Sunrise and Everytime We Say
guests on next Saturday's Parkinson (Saturday 1 March, BBC ONE)
are Jamie Oliver, Damian Lewis, Jack Dee and music from Lisa Stansfield,
Jools Holland and The Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, and Beverley
Ballard is the Executive Producer of Parkinson.
Clooney is the castaway on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs on Sunday
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