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Dame Sheila Hancock says she’s ‘sick’ of being called ‘extremely vulnerable’

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Dame Sheila Hancock has said she’s ‘sick’ of being called ‘extremely vulnerable’ after being forced to spend weeks shielding due to the Covid pandemic.

The actress, 87, admitted on Friday’s Loose Women that the crisis has aged her ‘hugely’ in the past six months.

Sheila, who is set to star in ITV’s Unforgotten, also told the panel that despite being classed as vulnerable she’s still ‘surviving’ during the pandemic and anyone who is feeling vulnerable needs to ‘get over it’ and move on.

‘It’s aged me hugely’ Dame Sheila Hancock has said she’s ‘sick’ of being called ‘extremely vulnerable’ after being forced to spend weeks shielding due to the Covid pandemic

Due to her age Sheila falls into the category of Brits who are classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ meaning they should shield at home to avoid contracting coronavirus.

The star admitted that she’s fed up of being viewed as at risk and she’s determined to maintain a positive outlook while being holed up at home.

She said: ‘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. I’m surviving. I’m vile most of the time!’ 

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

Difficult: The actress spoke about the affect the pandemic was having on her mental health, after being classed as ‘extremely vulnerable’ due to her age

Coming soon: The screen veteran is set to star in Unforgotten's upcoming fourth series as the acid-tongued Eileen, and Sheila said she enjoyed getting to play a more villainous character

Coming soon: The screen veteran is set to star in Unforgotten’s upcoming fourth series as the acid-tongued Eileen, and Sheila said she enjoyed getting to play a more villainous character

Sheila admitted that being at home has taken it toll, saying: ‘I’ve certainly aged hugely the last six months. I can that feel physically and mentally. 

‘I’ve had no one to bounce off. This is nice. but It’s not the same as having an argument face-to-face.

‘There’s a lot to be done for the world. 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. 

‘We’ve realised there’s horrible injustices and I hope we do something about it. Maybe we will.’

Since the first Covid lockdown, anyone over the age of 70 has been advised to shield due to the increased risk of contracting Covid, though most of the elderly population in England have now been vaccinated.  

No more! The star admitted that she's fed up of being viewed as at risk and she's determined to maintain a positive outlook while being holed up at home

No more! The star admitted that she’s fed up of being viewed as at risk and she’s determined to maintain a positive outlook while being holed up at home

Outspoken: She told the panel: 'I think everyone is extremely vulnerable at some stage - it's a part of life - you just get over it and move on'

Outspoken: She told the panel: ‘I think everyone is extremely vulnerable at some stage – it’s a part of life – you just get over it and move on’

Sheila also spoke about the recent news that she’d been made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

She told the panel: ‘The letter that came said you had to be a role model and that does worry me because I’m really not a role model. 

‘I’m really flattered I got it but I was given it by the country by the way, with the Queen’s approval – I’m surprised she didn’t turn it down. I’ve always been very passionate and campaigning and involved in stuff – too much so. 

‘I’m sick of people saying ”they haven’t done enough for us” and we have a danger of relying on too many people and the government and that boring BJ to get us out of this. 

‘It’s got a bit ugly now, because people are cross at being locked down. We need to raise our spirits, which I’m singularly not.

Holed up at home: Sheila admitted that being at home has taken it toll, saying: 'I've certainly aged hugely the last six months. I can that feel physically and mentally'

Holed up at home: Sheila admitted that being at home has taken it toll, saying: ‘I’ve certainly aged hugely the last six months. I can that feel physically and mentally’

‘We should we on honeymoon kissing in bed [like Pamela Anderson]… How lovely was it?… I was sitting here old thing thinking hmmm I wonder if it’d last.’

The screen veteran is set to star in Unforgotten’s upcoming fourth series as the acid-tongued Eileen, and Sheila said she enjoyed getting to play a more villainous character for a change.

She said: ‘I have to say, after people in bed in honeymoon and an adorable dog, it’s downhill.

‘Old people on television are usually depicted as pathetic or they die or they’re gentile, so it was nice to play someone vile.

‘I didn’t have any problem at all because I have a lot of vileness with in.

‘Most of us is nasty. You’re all adorable. I’m quite sure behind the scenes you’re at each other’s throats.’ 

Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV. 

Back soon: Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV

Back soon: Loose Women airs weekdays from 12:30pm on ITV

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