The widower of Loose Women star Lynda Bellingham has revealed he is to remarry – with his beloved late wife’s blessing.
Michael Pattemore says the actress is looking down on him and would approve of his wedding to Pam Shotton.
Pam also lost her partner to cancer and will marry Michael at the same church where TV star Lynda’s funeral was held in November 2014.
Speaking from the mansion he bought after Lynda’s death, Michael, 64, says: “I had a blissfully happy marriage to Lynda and now I’ve found the woman with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.
“I got down on bended knee and asked Pam to marry me during a church service and she said, ‘Yes’.
“Lynda told me when she was sick in hospital, ‘I want to think you’ll find another love one day.’
“I know she is looking down on us both and wishing us well. I feel her presence all the time. Not many people get a second chance like this.”
Michael is a former timeshare salesman and was famously called “Mr Spain” by Lynda when she appeared on ITV’s Loose Women.
His wedding news comes in the week of the fifth anniversary of Lynda’s death from bowel cancer on October 19, 2014. She was 66.
New love Pam, 57, reveals she visits Lynda’s grave with Michael – and sometimes goes alone.
Pam, who lost partner Victor in 2011, says: “I like to tend the grave and I also like to have a chat with her. ‘Hi, Lynda,’ I’ll say, ‘Are you OK? I’ve cleaned the headstone and Michael’s doing well. I’m looking after him.’
“But she knows that anyway. I think she’d be pleased he’s found love again. I don’t think she’d want him to be unhappy. I believe she’s smiling down on us in the same way Victor is smiling down on me.”
The wedding will be at St Bartholomew’s Church in Crewkerne, Somerset, where Michael’s parents are also buried.
He and Lynda were married for six years and Michael kept a bedside vigil at a London hospital during her final days.
But a family rift blew up after she died as Michael bought an eight-bedroom Grade II listed mansion amid accusations he was blowing the star’s money.
Her sons Michael, 36, and Robbie, 31, are embroiled in a bitter inheritance row with Michael and will not be at next year’s nuptials.
Pam became aware of ill-feeling towards Michael just months after they started seeing each other.
She explains: “I didn’t know who Michael or ‘Mr Spain’ was at first. I knew about Lynda of course. As I was growing up, I’d watch her in All Creatures Great And Small or in the Oxo ads.
But quite quickly people started saying bad things about him to me. But they’d never met him.
“Three months after I met him, I read Michael’s book, My Lynda, in a single evening. It was deeply moving.
It reduced me to tears but it told me all I needed to know. It also crossed my mind, if he’d been as bad as some people claimed, Lynda would never have been with him in the first place. It upset me.
“I cried. But I knew the truth. I like to think now that, because my loss had occurred three years earlier, I was able to help Michael in the grieving process. But, in a way, we were helping each other.”
Pam, from Staffordshire, explains how she fell for Michael at a Christmas party in December 2016. She goes on: “He had lovely grey hair and a matching smile.
“I’d no idea who he was. When we were introduced, I never made any connection between him and Lynda. We got chatting and I liked him straight away.
“We had our first kiss at that Christmas party, under the mistletoe. Corny, I know. But it was no more than that, although it was obvious there was a strong physical attraction.
We started meeting at weekends and then, in December 2017, Michael asked if I’d consider moving in with him. I said yes immediately because it felt the right thing to do.
“It was exciting but also scary. Suddenly, I was one half of a couple again. I’d wake up in the morning and there was another body lying next to me. It was wonderful. I was no longer waking up alone in an empty, cold house.”
Michael popped the question in December last year while they were at church and chose Valentine’s Day to put a ring on her finger.
Michael says: “I lost Lynda in October 2014 and, although I knew she was dying, I thought I’d never find love again. When Lynda was diagnosed in 2012, we never made love again for the rest of her days.
“It would have been disrespectful. Pam and I didn’t have sex for a long time. But when it finally happened, it was more special because of the wait.
“We were ready at that point to make that commitment. It felt right.”
Michael’s devotion to Lynda is still evident in the mansion he now shares with Pam. And his new partner, a former accounts manager with a medical company, is unfazed by tributes to Lynda.
Pictures fill the walls, a life-size canvas of Lynda is at the foot of the stairs and a cushion bearing the words “Lynda Bellingham OBE 2014” is on the sofa.
Michael, who runs an elite taxi business with a £1million turnover, gave the star’s clothes to charity and her impressive shoe collection to his daughter Stacey, who will be maid of honour when he weds Pam. But Michael has no contact with Lynda’s sons and was not invited to Robbie’s 2017 wedding.
Robbie and Michael have accused Michael of “splurging” the inheritance and claimed they had only seen £750 of Lynda’s reported £10million fortune.
They claimed Michael told them she had written a will leaving everything to him and that he had only given them a tiny cash handout.
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They also accused him of disrespecting their mother in an interview in which he claimed to have sex with her ghost spirit.
Michael says TV star Lynda was “not as rich as people thought” and even left a £50,000 debt.
He adds: “I gave the boys a luxury flat in North London. I regarded them as my boys. So, it’s a matter of real sadness to me that we’re no longer speaking.
I wish them nothing but the best. I hate to think what Lynda would say if she knew it had come to this.”
Michael also slated some of Lynda’s showbiz pals for turning their backs on him.
Pam also reveals that anonymous poison pen letters were sent to Michael – wishing him dead and accusing him of “robbing’” Lynda’s sons of their inheritance. She says the notes were handed to police.
Moving forward, Michael and Pam want to put the bitterness behind them and focus on their July 5 wedding.
Pam adds: “Michael and I are so lucky to have found each other. We’re very happy.”