Sarah Lancashire details health struggle and how hidden item helped her at NTAs

NTAs: Sarah Lancashire speaks after receiving award

Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire was the star of the National Television Awards this year bagging two awards at the ceremony, including the Special Recognition Award, but getting through the ceremony at London’s 02 arena took some planning.

The 58-year-old revealed she’s been experiencing common menopause symptoms such as brain fog and hot flushes and therefore relied on two fans to keep her cool throughout the evening.

Sarah told how her brain fog “just comes over you all of a sudden” as she reflected on forgetting what she needed while in a supermarket recently.

For the NTAs on Tuesday night, the actress brought along a friend to help her with the heat inside the venue.

Speaking to the Mail Online, Sarah said the fans were “pretty much on my face the whole time”.

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“I brought one of my closest friends with me and his job was to keep an eye out for the cameras and if it looked like they were going to pan across to us, then he’d let me know so I could hide them,” she continued.

Sarah’s plan was certainly ideal as she had the most camera time on the night, winning Best Drama Performance for her role in Happy Valley and later, the Special Recognition Award.

Taking to the stage, she was overcome with emotion as she collected the trophy from Sir Ian Mckellen.

Speaking to the audience, she reflected on her lengthy career, which has also included her role in Coronation Street for four years.

She said: “You have no idea what it’s like to have so many lovely things said about you by so many people that you love and admire.

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“I have been so very fortunate to spend my working life doing a job that I love, made possible by brilliantly talented people, producers, directors, writers, actors and I am exceptionally lucky to have enjoyed every moment of it.”

“But there are also enablers, who stand quietly in the wings without expectation for credit, they are my family, my husband, my children, my friends, my agent… and of course, a very vital component in all this is you, the audience, because without you all this would grind to a crashing halt.”

Happy Valley were also the winners of the Best Returning Drama award, beating off competition from Call the Midwife, Stranger Things and Vera.

In the BBC drama, Sarah takes on the leading actress role playing police sergeant Catherine Cawood.

The actress got her big break playing Raquel Watts in Coronation Street back in 1991.

She stayed on the soap for four years and returned for a one-off episode in 2000.

Speaking to The Sun at the ceremony, she revealed why she wouldn’t make a comeback on the show.

She spilled: “It’s very clear why I would never go back because the show evolves, decade by decade. When people say ‘I was in Coronation Street’, you think, ‘Well, which one?’ Was it the 60s, the 70s, the 80s? They all have a defining quality.

“I know when I was there in the 90s it was very specific to that time and that place, with a voice for writers who were just absolutely brilliant. Heavens, my character would be so old now – too old for short skirts!”

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