Pauline Tilston left school at fifteen to become an apprentice hairdresser. At sixteen she gave birth to her first child who was later put up for adoption. Later, a chance encounter at the bus stop with a ship steward and trade union activist called John Prescott was to result in a marriage that has lasted nearly fifty years. While John served as an MP, rising through the ranks in Westminster to become Deputy Prime Minister, the perfectly coiffured Pauline remained in the background at their constituency home in Hull. In 2006, their marriage hit the headlines when John confessed to an affair with his diary secretary. In a new book about her life, she talks to Jane about her life, living with John, his phobia of her hats, being reunited with her adopted son and why she has not been able to forgive his affair.
‘Smile Though Your Heart is Breaking’ , Pauline Prescott with Wendy Holden is published by Harper Collins on 4th March 2010 ISBN 13: 978-0007337187