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REMEMBER WHEN: Poignant day for our Diana
HISTORIC film of Diana Dors at a Swindon book signing has surfaced on YouTube.
The star was in her home town on Friday, February 24 1978, at Brunel News in The Parade, as part of a whistlestop tour to promote For Adults Only, her collection of showbiz anecdotes.
In the short film clip the actress speaks fondly of her parents, shares a few memories and meets a schoolmate who remembers that the two didn’t get on as children.
The clip was uploaded by a YouTube user called farshores1, whose 295 videos include many featuring the Swindon woman famously billed as Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe. It can be viewed by searching for: “Diana Dors 1978 book signing interview.”
It then was picked up by a Twitter user and retweeted by Swindon Library.
There’s no indication of where the interview originally came from, but it might be the work of the town’s pioneering cable TV network.
The video runs for two minutes and 42 seconds and begins with a woman called Peggy – her surname is difficult to hear clearly – who says: “From my own point of view we weren’t very friendly at school. We just didn’t like each other. We’d usually end up fighting every time we met.”
Later the two do meet and exchange greetings. Diana recalls: “Oh, I remember when you first arrived at school you wouldn’t speak for six months – you’ve started speaking now, though!”
Another member of the public, a man, is heard briefly and can’t keep a smile from his face. “To me,” he says, “this morning even, she’s just the same as she was years ago.”
An elderly woman compliments Diana on her hair, and the self-effacing actress replies: “My hair’s still quite good actually – it’s about the only thing that’s left.”
Asked by the interviewer about leaving Swindon to seek her fortune, she says: “It was inevitable.
“I’m a Scorpio, you see, and when Scorpio people decide they want to do something they go straight at it.
“I was sent by my parents to London to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and it was while I was there, taking my gold medal for acting, that I was discovered – for want of a better word – by this casting director who was adjudicating this exam.”
She recalls of her early career: “In those years people weren’t interested in whether you could act or not. They were just interested in the pin-up pictures and the publicity and all the flamboyant lifestyle.”
Diana’s most poignant comment comes at the end of the video, when she’s asked how it feels to return to the place where she grew up. Her parents were both long dead by 1978.
“It brings back happy memories and it also brings back many sad memories. To come back and... to come back and to just sort of stare at the house you lived in – it makes me think of my parents and that makes me sad, and so I don’t... I don’t very often come here.”