For months Coleen Nolan suspected her husband Shane Richie was cheating on her – but she couldn’t prove it.
The year was 1996 and I’m a Celebrity star Shane – who later admitted being unfaithful – had moved to Manchester, away from Coleen and their two children, to play Danny Zuko in Grease.
A suspicious Coleen, 55, had tried riffling through his pockets to find evidence of her husband’s wrongdoing, but her search proved fruitless.
But one day the proof she needed landed in her lap when she allegedly realised Shane’s phone calls were being recorded on a computer he had bought for her.
“Unbeknown to me, the computer Shane had bought me for Christmas was picking up all the calls to the house,” she claimed in her autobiography, Upfront and Personal, that she shared with The Mirror in 2009.
“When I investigated further, while Shane was abroad, I worked out that there were 33 calls all recorded on the computer’s hard drive. Curious, I scanned through them.”
One alleged call apparently began with Shane saying, “Hello princess.”
“For a second I relaxed,” Coleen continued. “Shane always called me that, so I just assumed he was talking to me. But his next sentence confused me.”
According to Coleen, he asked: “‘Are you in between shows? What time do you finish? I’ll try and come round.'”
She continued: “What show? I hadn’t been in a show for ages. I could only hear what Shane was saying but there was no way he was talking to me.
“‘I really miss you,’ he continued, in that affectionate tone I knew so well.
Shane admitted cheating with actress Claire Tyler, and told The Guardian there was ‘no excuse’ for his behaviour, especially as he was the host of wedding show, Love Me Do, which promoted monogramy.
“What I did to Coleen was unforgivable and I could never apologise enough,” he said.
“And I was pulling the wool over the public’s eyes, so what do you think was going to happen?”
However, the betrayal wasn’t the first within the marriage, with Coleen admitting that she, too, had played away.
After the birth of their second son, Jake Roche, Coleen said she felt ‘unattractive and non-existant’ and when Shane started on Grease in 1993, she went to Weymouth with the Nolan Sisters for the summer season.
There, she met a keyboard player who made no secret of his attraction to her. Coleen said she was used to feeling like the ‘fat, dowdy one’, so when he started showering her with compliments, she was flattered.
Then one day back at the townhouse some of the musicians were renting, the mystery man leaned over and kissed Coleen over a cup of tea.
“As I kissed my musician, it was like a sexual awakening,” she wrote in her autobiography.
“Adrenalin was pumping through my body. I knew what I was doing was terribly wrong, but I was literally shaking with exhileration. ‘I am still attractive’, I thought to myself.
“After that we ended up kissing most nights after the show. I was completely infatuated with him, craving him every time I saw him and just living for the moment, burying thoughts of my husband to the back of my mind.”
But the guilt was all-consuming, with Coleen describing it as “one of the most horrendous times of my life.”
The affair lasted five weeks and ended when the show did. Driving back home, she realised she was still in love with Shane and wanted to make a go of their marriage.
Coleen also opened up about her affair on Channel 5 show In Therapy in 2017, admitting: “I met someone – it just happened that this lovely lovely guy just made me feel like an attractive woman again and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.”
*Coleen Nolan’s Upfront and Personal: The Autobiography is available from online book stores.
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*I’m A Celebrity continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.