Jennifer Saunders and Judy Craymer at Viva Forever launchJennifer Saunders has revealed that working on the upcoming Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, helped her get through gruelling chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer.

‘I was worried that I might not be able to work during my treatment and that maybe Jude (producer Judy Craymer, with Jennifer, left) might change her mind,’ she says. ‘But she stuck by me.

You can work when you’re having chemo and I decided it was good for me to keep my mind occupied so, once a week during my chemo, Jude came over to my house for a meeting. It didn’t require me to be on television or even leave home, so it was perfect. It was a reason to keep going.’

Now, Jennifer is certain that the situation helped her bond with Judy. ‘We really got to know each other well. Some days, Judy would come round and I would be wearing this old black kaftan. I used to say, ‘Yes, I might look like rubbish, but my brain is fine – really.’ In reality, it wasn’t, but she never said anything.’


The show opens in London in November – you can book tickets here. Woman’s Own supports Breast Cancer Awareness month.