EXCLUSIVE: ‘I can’t go anywhere these days because of all the fame’
TOWIE’s favourite Nanny Pat on vajazzles, sausage plaits, Mark’s love
life and why other cast members are jealous of her family
08:58 GMT, 16 August 2012
She is the most famous grandmother on television and as the matriarch of the Wright clan known for her delectable sausage plait, we all wish we had our very own Nanny Pat.
From boob job quandaries to relationship advice, the 76-year-old is always on hand to impart her wise words of wisdom to grandchildren Mark and Jessica Wright on hit show The Only Way Is Essex.
And now, the astute and caring Nanny Pat is releasing her own memoirs to share tales of her childhood, which is a far cry from the glamorous life she now leads in Essex.
Nanny Pat has become the heart of the show imparting wisdom and sausage plaits to her fellow castmates
‘I am so pleased to be releasing my own book. I’ve got fourteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren and in car journeys they would always ask about my childhood so I thought what better way to tell them,’ she said.
Pat’s childhood experiences could not be more adverse to the trips to Sugahut and holidays in Marbella that the young stars experience today.
Born in 1935 in the poverty stricken area of Bow, Pat lived through the hardships of the Second World War and after she tragically lost her mother at the tender age of eleven, she was left to run the household.
After working in various East End factories she became landlady of a pub before moving to Essex and gaining a job at a newsagent and the as a dinner lady.
But she left the saucepans and apron behind her after grandson Mark introduced her to the bright lights of fame and fortune.
‘Mark started filming for the show and he kept talking about me to the producers and before I knew what was happening I was starring.
Nanny Pat would class herself as a typical Essex girl but she doesn't wear fake tan or favour vajazzles like the other girls
‘I told him it would just be a one off thing but I can’t get out of it now. I can’t go anywhere without getting recognised these days because of the fame.
‘It really isn’t the same without my Mark though but I am very proud of what he has achieved. I don’t see him as much anymore and I am not sure what’s going on with his love life, I wouldn’t know about him and Lauren but I always say hi if I see her.
‘When I do see Mark he is always on the phone and I know Arg really misses him too.’
As for Jessica, Pat and her granddaughter could not be more close and spend nearly every day together with Pat often spending weeks at a time at their house.
Nanny Pat is extremely protective of her family and says that the other girls are just jealous of her daughter Carol, who she often stays with for weeks at a time
‘I like Jessica and Ricky’s relationship. He is funny and always plays tricks on me but I just slap him!’
Notorious for their penchant for plastic surgery, fake tan and false eyelashes, Jessica and her fellow cast mates have become a stereotypical brand and Nanny Pat is no different.
‘I am a typical Essex girl, well I hope so! I am nice, but I am just plain unlike all the young girls with their fake tans and big heels. I do love handbags though.
‘Nothing has changed from the olden days though, my auntie would dress me in all furs just to pop out to buy a pork chop, it is dressing up but in a different way to modern girls.’
It was grandson Mark who introduced Nanny Pat to bright lights of fame and fortune
And although Nanny Pat prides herself as an Essex girl, there is one typical Essex trait she would stop at.
‘I would never do anything like get a vajazzle! Some of the boys and girls do. A boys one is called a pajazzle you know! But it’s not for me.’
Nanny Pat's new novel is a collection of memoirs of her childhood, a far cry from her glamorous Essex life
And while Nanny Pat is surrounded by handsome young men on a daily basis and agrees that they are all good looking, her one true love is her late husband Charlie.
‘He is my one and only, my first love. My father didn’t want us to get married because I was the only daughter and fathers were so protective in those days.’
And Nanny Pat has certainly inherited that level of protectiveness over her own family members.
Avid fans will remember when Cara and Billie caused a stir in the show when they described Pat’s daughter Carol as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ but Pat puts it down to jealousy.
‘It is just silly what was said and can only be put down to jealousy. If you think something just come out with it and say it.
‘We didn’t criticise them when they were swanning around.’
On-set drama aside, the future is looking bright for Nanny Pat and for young girls hoping to follow in her footsteps, her best is to just ‘be yourself, behave and don’t swear.’
Although she says she is ‘getting on a bit now’ , there is no stopping Essex’s favourite grandmother.
And whilst she has no plans to uncover the recipe for her famous sausage plait by writing a cook book, she is already penning a sequel to her latest novel.
Nanny Pat's 'Penny Sweets and Cobbled Streets' is out today, 7.99, panmacmillan.com