You've Got to be Joking!
Telling people you're related to someone who is famous can be really frustrating.
I must admit, when I first met my husband and he told me that his Aunt was famous, I had problems letting it sink in, especially when he told me who she was. My husbands Aunt is famous for her sitcoms, comedy films, radio, stage and many other things, and she is also a Dame. In fact, I myself have always been a big fan of my Aunt-in-law, long before I met my husband. However, have you ever tried telling people that you are related to someone famous? Trying to explain that this is true, is very frustating indeed, because as I found out, nobody believes us, even though it is true!
My famous Aunt-in-law is Dame Penelope Keith, DBE, DL. I have never had the opportunity to meet her, but I do hope the chance arises one day, because I have always loved her sitcoms, especially The Good Life and To The Manor Born. I also really love Hidden Villages.
My Aunt-in-laws sitcoms have been my number one 'go to therapy' aids when it comes to my mental health. Sometimes, I can have some very dark days when memories play around my head and make me feel sad. I suffer from PTSD, which can be exhausting and these sitcoms always make me smile. I have always thought Dame Penelope Keith to be a very talented person, and her talent has driven me to reach out for my own and stretch beyond my limits. She is the reason I am writing my book, and I am proud of her, which is why I don't want me and my husband to have to hide behind a wall for talking about her.
I often talk about my Aunt-in-laws television shows with friends and family, as there are also many who are fans. Sometimes, it comes up in general conversation when I have seen her on television, and I find it interesting to talk about. I also talk about her alot with my husband, as I myself have a big interest in the humanities, especially television, literature, theatre, books, music and many other things.
Sometimes, these conversations can be really frustrating, because people think we can't be related. Me and my husband do not have the rich lifestyle some famous people do, and there are also famous people out there who don't have flashy cars and big houses themselves. We live on a council estate, we don't have a big income, and we are not famous ourselves, which is often the reason people don't believe us. On the other hand, famous people are also normal people with normal families, working hard to earn a living. My husband was also someone who worked hard, until Covid-19 hit him, worsening his disabilities, including the Chronic Pain he suffers, brought on by a car crash in 2017. Neverless, like everyone, we continue to rebuild our lives through writing.
It can be embarrassing when we tell people that we are related to Dame Penelope Keith, only to find noone believes us or looks at us as if we have gone mad! We have even had professionals accuse us of being delusional for it. However Dame Penelope Keith is married to my husband's uncle, Rodney Timpson who is my husband's mum's brother, which confirms this to be very true. It is very be-littling when people don't believe us, because it reduces our self-esteem, and makes us feel like we are not allowed to acknowledge Dame Penelope Keith's achievements, and hide the fact that she is family.
We have met many other famous people in our life-time, many of who are down to earth, friendly and just like me and you. Many of these people also have children, family and friends, however it isn't something they always talk about. Denying these people have family who are not famous, is like denying them the right to have a personal and private life. For example, you could meet the most ordinary person in the street with their parents or children, but they could still have a famous person in their family. We need to recognise that while there are famous people in the world, who are really good at what they do, they are still real people, like me and you, with everyday lives. We also need to understand that family members are also individuals, who do not live the same life as each other. While one member may reach famous goals, others may have other jobs instead.
I have alot of deep respect for my Auntie-in-law's achievements and I am proud of her, as is my husband. We love seeing her on television in particular, and we love talking about her shows. We enjoy talking about this with other people, and one day we could be talking to you about your own famous relatives, and we would like you to feel believed as much as we want to be believed too. The very reason for writing this article, is because we take pride in Dame Penelope Keith's achievements.