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NZ TRUTH TV GUIDE,  15 February 1986

Men And Me

EastEnders tough image scares them says lovely star Wendy

Wendy, 41 [sic], now lives alone after two broken marriages.  And she said:  "Men get the wrong idea about me.  I guess that's because of the cocky characters I've played.  They think I'm like that in real life."  But she admits that any Jack-the-lad who gets too pushy is in for a shock.

For Wendy likes to be courted the old-fashioned way -- with flowers.

"If there's one thing I can't stand, it's bad manners," she said.  "Any form of rudeness gets right up my nose, especially in a man.  Still, it's such a long time since I've been chatted up I couldn't really say what I'd find rude if a fella started giving me the eye.  But I know what I like in a man and that's politeness.

"I love being treated like a lady, having doors opened for me and receiving flowers.  Every woman likes a bouquet now and again, even if it isn't a special occasion."

Wendy first shot to TV fame in the sixties soap series The Newcomers and then became funny girl Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served?  But her private world was shattered when her second marriage to advertising executive Will Thorpe fell apart three years ago.  She now lives in a flat in Marylebone, London.  And even though she's jumping for joy over her EastEnders success, some of her male fans make her really mad.

"They think you're their property," said Wendy.  "When you're in a restaurant they assume they have the right to come up and talk to you.  I don't mind signing autographs before or after a meal but I do like to eat in peace."

Wendy spoke about her love life in the magazine Woman's World.  And Wendy, a publican's daughter, also revealed why she refuses to strip for stardom.  "I've never accepted parts when I've had to remove my clothes," she said.  "That used to be considered rude and it's always been one of my principles.  It's not that that I feel it debases women but it's rarely necessary unless you're playing a stripper.

"I had what you might call an old-fashioned upbringing.  Because my parents were so busy I had a nanny and was sent away to a strict boarding school.

"My mother used to tell me off if my miniskirts were too short or if I stayed out too late.  And I respected her opinions because I lived in her house."

Wendy added:  "I'm grateful to my mother for teaching me good manners and to respect other people.  One of the greatest lessons she installed in me to was to apologize when I was wrong.  Saying sorry can be the hardest thing in the world, but she made me say that whenever I was rude.  I just wish other people would do the same.

"After all, as the saying goes, manners maketh the man -- and the woman."

Ivan Waterman

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