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Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

Delicious Chaos Clare Bowditch Audio

by Ponderings Radio

Words by Kirsten Macdonald

On this planet, there appears to be an advanced species dexterously capable of left and right brain agility which is dangerously marvellous. David Attenborough missed the memo.

Delicious Chaos – Interview with Clare Bowditch

She comes with flaming hair, a voice teeming with talent, rich with humour and she’s a wordsmith and enjoys unusual cups of tea along with the joys of a backyard family jam. She’s an aficionado. Musician, actress, radio presenter, mamma, clever business human and an author…and there is more. But if we whisper ARIA win and Logie nomination, and add in the smattering of awards and deluge of really nice stuff people say about her- there is more than a little wow.  

We are not going to pretend to be cool here. We can’t. She’s thermal. 

Well versed in life experience, Clare Bowditch is a survivor and journeyer and now has more than enough ingredients to deliver a recipe of awakening.

Her new book Your Own Kind of Girl is the full menu of light and shade, this artist has wisdom to impart. The ‘be real’ memoir will no doubt be a refreshing insight to seekers of self-awareness, and it feels like a conversation. 

Treehouse or cubby house? Which one?

Treehouse for me. I wrote a song about it. I did have a treehouse as a kid. But I once read a book by Italo Calvino called The Baron in the Trees in my early 20’s and it was one of the books that inspired a song I wrote called “On this side”- and I also went to a school that had a classroom built into a tree. 

What is your perfect day?

It’s a very simple day. In a perfect day, all my washing is done. I collect herbs from my garden, everyone brings a plate. We get to sing together, and the kids really want to be there. On a perfect day- this is more exciting to them than tech, playing minecraft. My favourite days are always the multigenerational ones, and we might go for an ocean swim if the weather is nice. 

Where is your favourite place to shwalk?

“Shwalking” A term Bowditch coined to name an inclusive style of exercise: that combo of walking and shuffling that is not quite running but feels wonderful).

Anywhere there is a body of water nearby. St Kilda beach. You never know what you will see. 

What is your spirit animal?

The little girl sitting in her bathers on the cover of my book full of chutzpah. Master of guinea pigs…

My fave song of yours is “You look so good,” then when I read the chapter Amazing Life- I had an ‘aha second.’ It got me thinking that this workplace was THE specific cubicle and I have to ask- was it one and the same and what exactly was it that you wanted to touch? 

Hmmm, call centre, character maybe partly me? Mostly or partly fiction. I can tell you it was not the telephone I wanted to touch!

Do you think being a song-writer helped you when it came to writing the book?

For a long time, I didn’t really know how to express my emotions or how to give words to them. I had lots of feelings as a kid, and I thought that the trick was to learn not to speak them. I tried a few alternative routes, and I discovered as young adults, it’s actually a really handy skill to have.

This is one of the gifts of going to therapists and having writers like Stephanie Dowry, Caroline Jones and Dr Claire Weekes in Australia.

These are great women who taught me through their books how to speak about emotions. So this, combined with the love of making music, was a good training ground in a way for writing Your Own Kind Of Girl.

But, I think you can hide behind songs in a way that’s not possible in the writing of a memoir. So there were some really quite difficult growing pains with allowing myself to tell my story in so much detail but we did get there. I am seeing the value of it now.

Most intriguing person you have ever met?

The person I am with at the time, I genuinely believe we are all pretty bloody intriguing at our core. 

Who would you invite to your pool party?

(no hesitation-) Lizzo! I love her! Ohhhh more than one? Hmm, Ru Paul. Friends with opinions. Clem Ford, Zoe Foster Blake, and Jamila Rizvi- there are lots of people I would love to have; my family! Comedy side, someone like Will Anderson, writer; John Marsden. Actually, you know what? I’m more likely to invite anyone who wanted to come! Circa 1999! 

Piece of advice for people trying to make it as an artist and earn a quid?

Work out who you admire or who you are jealous of. Then really look at how cleverly they have worked. Forget the guilt about making money- give yourself permission to succeed and make money as well as do the project.

Learn from those that have been successful. Keep a lean ship- it will work out. When I started, I was teaching music lessons, working in a community house- you just have to start and get out there.

What lead you to write the book?

I had a nervous breakdown at the age of 21, which is the story I tell in the book. It gave me great hope that if I did recover from my nervous breakdown, I would one day write a story about it. I said I wasn’t going to write it until I was really old, but I would write it one day.

So it was with the hope and a promise but not the pressure that I would write it when I was in a better place. Thankfully I did learn how to recover and learn how to maintain my mental health. That was a great skill to learn, particularly in the industry that I am in. That’s one of the stories that I tell in my book as well as the love story.

(PS- We love the love the story- sigh) 

What’s been your favourite bit so far with the release of this book and going on the book tour?

By far, the best part- I was working on a hunch. I suspected that there were other people out there who needed this story the same way that I once did. It’s a story about living with and learning to work with self-doubt.

There’s nothing that triggers self-doubt louder than saying you’re going to write a book about it. It’s been quite a difficult few years getting to this point. So that’s really satisfying.

“I was on a flight, and when the pilot was preparing us for landing he announced that if anyone was looking for a bit of summer reading the author Clare Bowditch had written a book which he just bought in the bookshop and that I was onboard and I would sign books if they asked really nicely.

I just thought that was so funny. I pinched myself. What’s in this wine? You know he was this lovely Brittish guy.

That was bizarre and lovely. He bought the book for his wife- he had no idea who I was and I had no idea who he was- it was a lovely exchange.”

Have you found the book tour part of the process, fun but rigorous? 

It’s just always a surprise and an honour to connect with people. But I am effectively strongest when I am on domestic duties. That’s how I restore so I think it’s probably time for a bit of restorative pottering. It’s really the art of pottering that makes me come back to my centre.

What is your favourite tea?

I have a very special favourite tea. It is a tea that I inherited from my Godmother Rita. It is a fresh pot of tea. It is looseleaf. It is half earl grey, half English breakfast. I know, right?

You realise we’ll be trying this tomorrow?

It’s a strong tea with a good dollop of milk, and when I’m feeling a little crazy I add in another little trick my friend Kim taught me once- I add a knob of ginger. I know it sounds weird, but I’m tellin’ ya, it’s top quality.

What’s next?

Well next I’m actually going to do some pretty serious summer self-care I think. Lots of swimming. In terms of projects, I am finishing an album. I’m also doing a couple of special projects for Audible that will be released next year. But for now, I’m going to spend the summer decompressing.

In the film clip for ‘You make me happy’- you are messing everything up.

From a creative perspective do you sometimes think when things become stagnant or aren’t moving or not- in-flow, there is a restlessness that can happen where you create a little bit of subconscious havoc? Is that where creative juices flow from when things are too still? 

I think that life, as it has presented itself to me, has always offered this chance for chaos. I did ask a set of questions actually in that album: The Winter I Chose Happiness: can we be peaceful, creative moon units and still be productive in our work? So I tried to slow down my life and find this equilibrium that I heard existed and you know it’s beyond me, I couldn’t. 

So I embrace now that delicious chaos of this full dance card of parenthood, animals, creativity and making our living that has some meaning in the world. So I think I understand that restlessness very much. I do think it’s actually just a pretty normal part of the process of living as a human being. We get to choose as creatives what we do with that restlessness which is a great gift- the feeling, the calling to be creative.

Oh my goodness that is the best answer I have ever heard.

(Kate: I think we just wrote a song!)

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

Just that I really appreciate what you are doing and I think this conversation is worth having, and I wish them all, and you, great courage. Don’t forget to tell your inner critic to eff off if it gets in the way- get on with what you are called to do.

Clare’s book is a best seller and can be found at all great bookstores (including airport lounges).

Advocate’s Webinar to Lead Prevention in Elder Abuse

Advocate’s Webinar to Lead Prevention in Elder Abuse

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

With the pandemic creating rising financial stress and more adult children likely to move back in with their elderly parents, there are growing reports about an increase in elder abuse, says Australia peak body Elder Abuse Action Australia. 

According to HumansRights.gov; “In basic terms, elder financial abuse occurs in Australia where family members or trusted friends, or strangers, cheat an older person out of their assets, that is their home or their savings or any valuable items they may possess. They may do this by forgery, lies, misrepresentation or manipulation.”

Leading Experts Dr Kay Patterson AO (Age Discrimination Commissioner) Brian Herd; Partner at CRH Law and Christine Cupitt – Executive Director of Policy at the Australian Banking Association and moderator Caroline Baum are hosting the important event this Friday 21st August, 2020

The free webinar will focus on discussion on how to understand, prevent and respond to the financial abuse of older people. The webinar will also cover the misuse of the power of attorney and the importance of enduring documents.

When: Friday, 21 August, 12.30PM (EST)

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jxo-tnNETh6jZwzzIN6UGA

 

ABOUT EAAA

The Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) is the national voice for eliminating elder abuse. Committed to social justice and the rights of older people calling for respect for difference and inclusion. Funded by the Attorney General’s office, EAAA aims to address elder abuse and protect the rights of older Australians at both the grassroots and macro level. 

https://eaaa.org.au/

 

ABOUT Compass

Compass is a national website to empower the community to navigate elder abuse in Australia. It raises awareness on this growing national issue and simplifies the process of connecting people to services and information tackling elder abuse. Compass has been created by Elder Abuse Action Australia (EAAA) with funding from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department as part of the National Plan to Respond to the Abuse of Older Australians 2019-2023.

 

https://compass.info/

 

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Top Ten Go Fund Me Pages In Australia

Top Ten Go Fund Me Pages In Australia

Written by Renae Failla

While we are sitting at home during COVID, particularly for those of us in Victoria, it’s easy to feel a little powerless and out of touch with the happenings of the world.

Everyone’s situation is different at the moment with some of us being completely stood down from our jobs, partial days or working full time in the new normal climate that COVID 19 dropped down on us in a whirlwind. 

For those of us who have noticed some extra savings due to staying at home more often, dining in, or cutting back on those material purchases, you may be looking for something to focus your energy on and impact a real difference. 

We have foraged through the countless listings of those currently in need looking for some extra support around Australia and comprised our round-up of The Top Ten Go Fund Me fundraisers who need additional support at this time.

Meals for Hospo – A COVID-19 E.A.D Initiative

This team led fundraiser by E.A.D, hopes to provide some much-needed support following the rise of COVID-19. The team produces chef cooked, pre packed meals that are delivered via contactless delivery within 20km from Melbourne CBD.

The initiative was brought to life by two bar owners that wished to feed their stood down employees and later grew to extend their efforts to all of Melbourne. Hospitality workers made up a large percentage of those who found themselves unemployed when the pandemic hit. For many families, this has meant struggling to make ends meet. An added bonus about this initiative is that even $1 donations can make a difference as the unit cost of producing and delivering a meal can range between $1 – $3. So for the price of a daily coffee, you can pay it forward to someone less fortunate with a meal. 

The Bennet Family – QLD

 

A family of three, The Bennet Family didn’t realise how their life would change forever on the fateful night of the 6th of August. Glen, the father of the family, was involved in a truck accident while working.

With Glen now in an induced coma and burns to over 70% of his body, the family have been inundated with emotional support from those close to them, but have taken a huge financial hit.

Stefani, the organiser of the fundraiser, decided to create the page as Glen’s wife , would never be one to ask for financial support.

Monetary donations are the best way to contribute to Glen’s recovery and will not only cover the hospital bills for months to come but also assist in supporting his wife who has taken time off work, cover the cost of food, pay for daycare for their child, cover the cost of fuel, accommodation and parking fees.

 

 

 

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Help for Noodles – VIC

 

For the dog lovers out there, this one’s for you. Noodles was unfortunately diagnosed with a condition called Hydrocephalus at just 6 months old.

It is a condition where fluid can build up in the cavities of the brain and apply pressure resulting in brain damage.

Noodles has suffered brain damage in his case and over the last two years, his family has invested $45,000 to help pay for his surgeries.

With Noodles being so young, his family will do anything to keep him going and the latest update is that he has only had 2 seizures in the last month but has been doing well, gaining some weight.

All funds received will go to Noodles procedures and in the event that he passes away, will be donated to neurological research in animals.

 

 

 

Save The Blues Train – VIC

Local The Blues Train business, has taken a big hit during COVID-19 which has been worsened by the second wave of lockdown in Victoria. Now struggling to keep the train chugging, The Blues Train is looking for some extra assistance aside from JobKeeper and State Government Support.

Requiring $70,000 to keep the business afloat, The Blues Train are searching for a monetary injection that will support not only their staff but their Blues Musicians and the volunteer-run Bellarine Heritage Railway.

They are requiring support to cover rent, phone bills, IT Support, Marketing and much more. If you can cover one of the following with complimentary services – feel free to reach out directly.

 

 

 

End the Itch for Australian Wombats – NSW

 

The Wombats need our help! Unfortunately, a skin mite that was introduced around 200 years ago by European Settlers is still making its way around the wombat population.

When a wombat is infected with the skin mite, it can suffer endless itching and subsequent infections which often lead to death.

Considered the ‘death sentence’ for many wombats, Dr Chris Brown is hoping to raise money that will create a ‘fighting fund’ to develop better research and understanding into the disease and possible treatments as wombats in some parts of Australia continue to become endangered.

 

 

 

 

Dental Work for Baylie

 

Baylie was diagnosed with both Phelan Mcdermid Syndrome (PMS) and Ring chromosome 22 at just a week old. This has resulted in Baylie being non-verbal and delayed in her development.

The only way for Baylie to keep her smile is to get porcelain veneers placed over her stable teeth. Her developmental delay has meant that she does not understand the importance of brushing her teeth twice a day and they are as fragile as butter.

Baylie’s mum Keri hopes to raise this money as soon as possible to give Baylie the perfect smile before her 21st birthday.

 

 

 

 

A Cause For Good – NSW

 

A brand invented to feature in a family gym to make it ‘a clean place’ now has the mission to develop products that can change the world.

Hoping to bring this vision to life and provide innovative, healthy ways to clean – A Cause For Good is hoping to raise money that will assist in meeting manufacturing requirements so it can be introduced into the market. Plus any donations of $50 or more are eligible for a complimentary hygiene starter pack.

 

 

Good Love – VIC

 

Like many other restaurants and cafes in Victoria, Good Love have been forced to close their doors during COVID 19 and as a result, are unable to pay their rent.

With hopes to stay open once lockdown is over, they are looking at taking a different approach – they are offering merchandise and permanent discounts upon reopening to keep themselves afloat.

With a $30,000 goal to reach, they are offering options such as a beanie for $20 or 2 beanies, $150 for 2 meals, a bottle of wine and a membership with a 12.5% discount for life.

 

 

The Claxton Family – SA

 

This family was put through the wringer late last year and early this year. Just before Christmas, their family home burnt to the ground and they had no insurance to cover the rebuild based on hidden technicalities.

Following this, in February this year, they lost father and husband Michael due to a sudden heart attack at just 37 years old. Now left with no home or father, this family has commenced the rebuild of their new home.

With labour donated from friends, Luke Woolman hopes to raise $100,000 to assist with the rebuild.

 

 

Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund – NSW

Cobargo is seeking funds to Recover and Rebuild after the Australian Bushfires that hit earlier this year.

Their rural village was impacted greatly and now The Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund Inc has been set up by four of Cobargo’s leading not-for-profit community groups which include the Yuin Folk Club Inc, the Bowerbird Opportunity Shop, the Cobargo Cooperative Society Ltd and the Cobargo Show Society Inc.

As of July 28, 2020, the fund has provided grants to 15 projects but they still have a long way to go, seeking $1,000,000 as their final goal and anticipating a 10-year rebuild.

 

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Pondering  Quirky Collections From Around the World

Pondering Quirky Collections From Around the World

Written by Cassidy Krygger

From back scratchers to hotel key cards, humans like to collect weird and quirky stuff. 

And some of us are so good at it that it can garner you a mention in the Guinness World Records. According to the Neurologist and collector of Chinese Porcelain, Dr Shirley M. Mueller, humans collect objects for one simple reason; it makes us happy. 

But let’s not confuse the habit of collecting with hoarding – The Great Toilet Paper Hoard of 2020 ringing a traumatic bell? 

Collectors generally feel a sense of pride in their possessions and keep them well looked after and organised. A hoarder commonly suffers the difficulty of parting with any item, regardless of its value with serious side effects for the health both physically and mentally for the Hoarder in question. 

We had a riot researching some of the weirdest and wackiest collections from around the world and here are our top 10 quirky finds. 

Celebrity Hair Collection

 Guinness World Record holder John Reznikoff has a collection of celebrity hair from the likes of Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. He doesn’t sell his collection nor collect the hair of living people. 

photo credit @JohnReznikoff

Napkin Collection

Antonia Kozakova has collected over 80,000 napkins since beginning the collection over 20 years ago. The oldest dating back to 1940, Kozakova has napkins from all over the world. And she has no intent on stopping with her next goal to get to 100,000 napkins.

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Traffic Cones

Not only does David Morgan hold the World Record for the collection of the most traffic cones, but he also claims (disputed) to have invented them. He must really love traffic cones. 

Toothpaste Tubes

Dr Val Kolapov is a dentist who takes his love of teeth to the next level. He has collected over 3,000 tubes of toothpaste from all over the world, a habit he calls “much, much more exciting” than the pulled teeth he used to collect which is lucky because he displays his collected tubes in his office. 

Back Scratchers

Manfred S. Rothstein will never have an itchy back again with the 675 back scratchers he has collected from over 70 countries. Beginning his collection in the 1970s, dermatologist Rothstein keeps his back scratchers displayed in his clinic. 

Joker Cards

After inheriting over 2,000 Joker Cards in 1999, Italian man Tony De Santis has since amassed over 8,000 Joker Cards. According to the Guinness World Records, De Santis likes  to memorise each and every one of his Joker Cards and spends time looking at them individually every week. 

Hotel Key Card Collection

Another card collection but this time something a bit different, it belongs to a 10-year-old boy. Elias Brooks from South Carolina is now a Guinness World Record holder with a collection of 540 Hotel Key Cards.  Brooks began his collection at just 5 years old when he kept his hotel key card from a family holiday. And he plans on continuing to grow his impressive collection. 

Erasers

Petra Engels from Germany need never make a mistake on paper again. With an impressive 19,571 non-duplicate erasers. Beginning her collection in 1981 at the age of 9, she has amassed her erasers from over 100 countries. 

Sugar Packets

With the oldest sugar packet in his collection dating back to 1950, Ralf Schroder has collected over 14,500 sugar packets since starting his collection in 1987. That’s one heck of a sweet tooth. 

Garden Gnomes

Have you heard of a magical garden in England that is home to over 2,000 Garden Gnomes? Belonging to Ann Atkins, the garden, now called ‘The Gnome Reserve’ is now a tourist attraction that is visited by over 25,000 people per year. Atkins asks all humans to don a pointy hat before entering the garden so as ‘not to embarrass the gnomes.’ I know where I am going as soon as the International travel ban is lifted!

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Quirky Tidbits For Dinner Table Fact Dropping

Quirky Tidbits For Dinner Table Fact Dropping

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Sparking interesting topics for the dinner table conversation isn’t always easy.

Perhaps you want to drop a complete random on someone; always a fun choice. Well, we delivered! Get your think gear around these. 

Jupiter Rains Diamonds

The gassy giant some 637.41 million km away from Earth very possibly rains diamonds according to Planetary scientists Mona L. Delitsky of California Specialty Engineering and Kevin H. Baines of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Diamonds require carbon and pressure along with high temperatures to form. Both of which exist in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Atmospheric methane gas coverts directly into diamonds which rain down into their interiors. 

Drops of Jupiter has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Yoda’s face was based on Albert Einstein.

Yoda was based on Albert Einstein’s face! Stuart Freeborn, an english makeup artist, based Yoda’s face partly on his own and partly on Einstein’s. Freeborn, had a long and wonderful career in the Star Wars franchise design and fabrication. Highly regarded, he also created the look for Ewoks and Jabba. 

A Woodpeckers tongue reaches right around its skull

 

The tongue of a woodpecker can be extended over its entire head! The crafty forest dweller has this very long tongue in order to access ants and lava from deep crevices. With a lingua to put Gene Simmons to shame for storage, the tongue is curled around the back of the head between the skull and skin.

Elephants are the only land mammals that can’t jump.

When you weigh over 3 tonne, i wouldn’t want to jump either. Can you imagine? Thank goodness elephants don’t have wings. 

Smurfs are 3 apples tall 

Created by Belgian comic Pierre Culliford in 1958, the beloved Blue Smurf was exactly 3 x apple tall. Which type of apple? Not too sure. But, originally known as Les Schtroumpfs, the tribe of cute has gone the distance. I imagined them smaller did you?

The Hula Hoop was invented in Australia

 

A wooden hoop that Australian children twirled around their waists during gym class was patented by a toy company in the USA and given the name because of its Hawaiin dance motion aka- Hula.

Hatters really were mad! 

 

Mad as a Hatter came from hat makers using mercury to create felt. Mercury vapours were unknowingly very toxic. The toxicity caused Dementia and Erethism, aka Mad Hatter’s Disease common amongst 19th Century hatmakers.

Thus “Mad as a hatter” phrase was born. Extra fact; Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, didn’t use this term; his character was referred to as simply The Hatter. Mad Hatter’s Disease came later. The Cheshire Cat called the March Hare and the Hatter “quite mad.” However, Carroll’s uncle was on the board of an asylum where many hatters and textile makers resided. Here they staged theatre plays along with tea parties. Curioser and Curioser… 

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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The Nanny Named Fran

The Nanny Named Fran

Written by Cassidy Krygger

Fran Drescher has lived an incredible life. 

Best known to us all as the hilarious and carefree Fran Fine in the hit 90’s sitcom ‘The Nanny’ that she co-created and produced. But Drescher has overcome many traumatic life situations that forced her to, in her own words, “change the negatives into positives.”  From a rape in her 20s to a cancer diagnosis in her 40s,  how did Fran Drescher overcome the odds to become the funny and vivacious woman that we all know and love?

Francine Drescher was born in 1957 in Flushing, Queens, New York. 

She had her first break out role in the iconic Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta in 1977 and continued to play small and bit parts throughout the 1980s.  In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into her and her husband, Peter Marc Jacobson’ house, and raped Drescher while Jacobson was held at gunpoint.  In an essay Drescher later wrote for InStyle Magazine in 2019, she recalled that “Afterward, I didn’t really get into my feelings or my vulnerabilities. I never wanted to come off as “weak,” so I just kind of buried it and got on with life.” It took Drescher many years to recover and even longer to tell the story publicly. Her rapist, who was on parole at the time, was returned to prison and received two life sentences. 

But life was about to change for the better.

A chance meeting on an international flight in the early 1990s with the President of the American television network CBS. In the usual Fran way, Drescher was able to persuade the President to let her and Jacobson pitch a show to CBS. He agreed and a few weeks later Drescher and Jacobson found themselves in sunny Los Angeles, pitching their idea of their own unique spin on The Sound of Music. In Drescher’s own words; “Instead of Julie Andrews, I come to the door.” 

The series was picked up and The Nanny was born. Premiering in 1993.

The Nanny was about a young woman who turns up on the doorstep of a handsome widowed Broadway Producer who hires her as the new nanny to his three children.

Playing to her talents, Drescher created a character much like herself and the chemistry between Fran and Mr Sheffield, played by Charles Shaughnessy, would be the true magic of the 6 seasons of the iconic series.

While her career was going from strength to strength, it was during the last season of The Nanny in 1998, that Drescher’s life began to crumble. 

After nearly two years of symptoms and misdiagnosis, Fran was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer.

She immediately underwent an emergency hysterectomy which successfully treated the disease. In her essay for InStyle, she wrote that

“It was strange — and kind of poetic — that my reproductive organs, of all things, had cancer,” she continued. “But it was also an amazing affirmation that pain finds its way to exactly the right place in the body if you don’t deal with it. Since I hadn’t been paying attention to my own vulnerabilities, my pain from the rape lodged itself in my uterus.”

But as she is known to do, Fran found a way to turn one of the worst hands life could deal her into a positive and in 2007 the ‘Cancer Schmancer Movement’ was created. 

Cancer Schmancer is a non-profit organisation that ensures all women’s cancers are diagnosed in Stage 1, the earliest and most treatable stage. In 2008 she was appointed the Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health issues by President George W. Bush and has since spent time in Washington rallying politicians on behalf of awareness and funding for healthcare. 

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