Patsy Kensit tells reporter Julie-Ann Spence '˜I wish I hadn't cared so much about what people said about me'
Despite arriving in Northern Ireland on one of the hottest days of summer, Patsy Kensit was the epitome of cool elegance when she breezed into Marks and Spencer's at Sprucefield recently to promote a new pro age make up range.
Renowned as an actress, singer, and the queen of Brit pop, Patsy has left her rock n roll days behind her and having recently reached the age of 50, she now leads a much more tranquil existence.
Since she was just a child, Patsy has worked tirelessly as an actor, making her on screen debut at the tender age of just four when she appeared in a television advert for Birds Eye peas. She made the leap to the big screen in For the Love of Ada the same year, before going on to star alongside Hollywood stars such as Mia Farrow and the glamorous movie icon Elizabeth Taylor when she was just seven,
Born in London in 1968, Patsy came from very humble beginnings, and from a young age she had a determined work ethic that has made her the woman she is today.
“I lived in a house with two rooms and an outside toilet until I was seven,” she told me.
“My mother was diagnosed with cancer in her early 30s and I wanted to work to get enough money to make her better.
“I was driven because I loved acting but I wanted to give her her health back.
“I said goodbye to her 10 or 11 times but she pulled through. She was terminally ill and died when she was 52.
“She was the most positive person I every met. She never complained or cried. She was my inspiration and I am glad I could look after her for those years.
“My mother was an incredible parent and it makes me sad that my sons missed out on having her around.”
In more recent years Patsy became renowned for her television roles, firstly as Sadie King in Emmerdale and then as Faye Morton in Holby City.
Patsy made the decision to leave Holby City in 2010. Since then she has played Betty Dean in a Bobby and Tina, a three part series for ITV based on the relationship between footballer Bobby Moore and Tina Moore, who was played by Michelle Keegan.
“I love playing a character part,” admitted Patsy. “And I loved working with Michelle. She was a dream.”
However, for now, Patsy has stepped away from the world of acting and is firmly focused on developing her business acumen, as well as encouraging women to embrace their inner confidence as they get older.
“I am a grafter and I continue to work every year of my life and have done since I was four. I have no regrets in my life but all I would say is that I wish I hadn’t cared so much about what people said or wrote about me.
“They had this image of me, they created this person that wasn’t at all the reality.
“I loved acting but now I am a businesswoman. It could be really scary, but I am somebody who loves to learn so right now I need to learn the business stuff and grow with it.”
Explaining how she began to develop her business skills and get involved with Studio 10, Patsy said: “I was working with a make up artist who used the products on me. I found I looked better two hours after I had it on.
“I was looking to invest in something and I believed in the products so much that when I met up with Grace Fodor who owns Studio 10. I decided this was the business for me.
“It is a real career change for me at 50. My 40s were great for me. I used to care way too much about what people thought of me, but now I think, ‘if you don’t like it, don’t look’.
“I feel 50, but I want to look the best I can for my age,” she continued. “I am never going to look 25 and neither do I want to.”
Patsy is determined to encourage women to feel positive about themselves. “We are a generation who had careers, had children, we had it all so why should we just stop when we reach a certain age? There are all these phenomenal women who are just being forgotten. The generation gap has changed and we need to change with it.”
As well as finding a new business venture later in life, Patsy has also developed a passion for meditation, which she says has made a huge difference to her sense of wellbeing.
“I found meditation eight years ago and that completely changed my life,” she revealed.
“I say ‘thank you’ about 200 times before I even brush my teeth in the morning. I say ‘thank you’ all the time, even when things don’t quite work out.
“I have seen miracles happen through positivity and gratitude.”
Life has not always been easy for Patsy, but she has maintained her work ethic and positive outlook, which have seen her through the more difficult times.
“I am a happy person,” she said. “Everything that happens in anyone’s life happens for a reason.
“There is no shame in falling down. The shame is in not picking yourself up again.
“There are times I could have hidden under the duvet but then what sort of example would I set for my children? I am a happy, calm individual. I truly am so positive and thankful.
“I would say to a younger me - don’t worry about other people, be positive, because gratitude changes your life.”