THE wife of actor Timothy Spall has spoken out about how a dream of sailing round the British Isles – a trip which brought them to Scarborough last year – kept them going through the darkest days of his fight against leukaemia.
Shane Spall has shared heart-wrenching diary extracts in her book The Voyages of the Princess Matilda, out on March 1.
She describes the moment the couple found out about Timothy’s illness in 1996 and how he was given just days to live.
But, defying all medical expectations, the star fought back against the cancer, undergoing chemotherapy in a London hospital, where he was kept in isolation.
During a recovery most would regard as miraculous, he was allowed home from hospital in August 1996 to begin the long hard battle back to health — and back to work.
In 2004, Timothy commissioned a new boat — The Princess Matilda — which is the vessel that brought them to Scarborough last July.
The Dutch Barge was moored in Scarborough Harbour for just over a week due to bad weather.
The couple told the Evening News how much they had enjoyed their visit to the town, spending time at the Golden Ball pub and playing on slot machines in the arcades.