Shobna Gulati says she’s realised her attitude to love has been somewhat negative over the years.
The revelation came as she was chatting to pal Kate Thornton on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. The ex-Dinner Ladies star said writing the book about her late mother — Remember Me? Discovering My Mother As She Lost Her Memory — also made her look deeply at herself.
“I saw myself for the first time — because to examine somebody else, you need to examine yourself,” she said.
“I think for the first time – maybe it's just getting older – but I feel like I can look inside out and outside in. I've been a bit bitter and twisted about love, but love can conquer all.”
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Gulati’s love life has been up and down over the years. She married architect Anshu Srivastava in November 1990, but they divorced just four years later. While she was separated, she got pregnant by another man, giving birth to her son Ashkay in 1994 and raising him with her mother’s help.
The former Coronation Street star has previously spoken about the shame her choice brought upon herself, and also the steely determination of her mother to stand by her side.
“My mum overcame all of that because she wanted to understand, she wanted to be with me in that journey,” she told Thornton.
Since the birth of her child, Gulati has had various relationships. She dated fellow soap star Gary Turner, from 1999-2003, and more recently went out with Anthony Brown, 17 years her junior, who she eventually dumped, saying she was beginning to feel like his mother.
Previously, Gulati has spoken up about how working on Coronation Street wrecked her love life and prevented her from having more children.
Speaking to The Sun back in 2013, she said: "My Corrie fame affected my love life. It affects every part of your life but especially your love life.
"It's hard to meet someone who doesn't know who you are. I've had men go out with me simply because they see me as a celebrity."
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In the memoir to her mother, which was published last September, Gulati sets out to reclaim her mother's past after her death. While she doesn’t have regrets about her own past, writing it did make her realise that she hasn’t really ever liked herself.
“I have not particularly liked myself and that's manifested in all sorts of ways,” she admitted.
“It's just a question of what does that mean for me now at 54-years-old. Am I still going to act out or am I going to look at myself a little bit more carefully and understand what that is?”
Writing the story of her mother’s life also made her realise that her parents love story was “the greatest love story” and that she’s determined to now be more open to things.
“I've been so closed to it all,” she said. “I think I didn't really reach inside for ages. I've just been going around a bit.”
Gulati is currently appearing on Celebrity Best Home Cook, which airs on BBC 1 every Wednesday at 9pm.
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