“I never thought of myself as beautiful”: Sue Johnston opens up about bulimia battle

Sue Johnston, star of The Royle Family, has opened up about struggling with bulimia.

Appearing on Loose Women, Sue, 74, joined Christine Lampard, Nadia Sawalha, Anne Diamond and Jane Moore, and revealed that she had suffered the disease in her 30s.

“I often wonder why, I think it was pressure I never had enough confidence and I started being on telly and being recognised and I wanted to be thin and I don’t know why.

“I thought that to be thin was to be beautiful and I never thought of myself as beautiful so I thought if I was thin I’d be accepted and beautiful.”

She continued, “I didn’t know I was ill and I didn’t know [it was] bulimia.”

Explaining why she feels the disease had such a grip on her, she said, “I can remember the logic of thinking if I eat all that and throw it up – it sounds awful and I’m so full of shame about it – I thought I could eat and be thin and I was answering all my problems.”

Sue also spoke about the devastating loss of her Royle Family co-star Caroline Aherne to lung cancer in 2016.

“She was taken too young and she was just one of the most generous and kind and you all know funny.”

Caroline, who wrote the series as well as starring in it, always had Sue and Ricky Tomlinson in mind to play her on-screen parents.

“The script landed and she had us in her head when she wrote it.”

Sue revealed that the cast of the show would soon be getting together to celebrate the 20th anniversary, and it would be very difficult without Caroline.

Because of Caroline’s death, Sue said she struggles to watch the show, and still hasn’t deleted her friend’s number from her phone.

“I’ve got a few friends on there who have died, so to go delete, how can you do that?”

Of Caroline, she added, “She was ground-breaking and also so generous with the crew and the cast.”

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