KYM MARSH is one of our most-loved stars, but her life has been a rollercoaster ride through love, laughter and tears.
Now Kym's ready to tell her full story for the first time, describing her difficult childhood growing up on a council estate in Wigan, and struggling at school with bullying and an eating disorder. She describes falling in love at 17 and finding herself pregnant while still a teenager. By the time she was 21, she was a single mum with two very young children, David and Emily, and it was a real struggle to make ends meet.
But Kym had always dreamt of performing and even though the odds were stacked against her, she was determined to make her dream a reality. One day she auditioned for a new TV show called Popstars and her life changed forever. Kym now stars in the nation's favourite soap, Coronation Street. But her life off-screen hasn't been easy. She reflects on her marriage to Jack Ryder and how hard she tried to make it work. Kym found new love with Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas and after tragically losing their first baby Archie in 2009, the couple were over the moon to welcome little Polly Lomas into the world earlier this year.
Entertaining, funny and incredibly honest, From the Heart is a fantastic read all about how sometimes the best things happen in life when you refuse to give up hope.
This was another biography that I picked up cheap based on being interested in reading about the Coronation Street cast and it was one of the better ones I've read.
Kym starts by talking about the terrible bullying that she suffered at school while trying to start a showbiz career by singing in pubs and clubs in her spare time. I think she should have set her punk sister on the bullies at the time as that would have sorted them out! The one bully who did meet her sister was put in her place. Kym is obviously a better person than I am because I would have used the book for the ultimate revenge and named every one of the bitches who had caused her such pain and misery. Kym is also very open about the eating disorder that she developed and how she felt that she never measured up to the other girls at her stage school.
I found it interesting to see how well Kym was doing in her career before she fell pregnant. She never seemed to be short of bookings and had recorded several songs which she performed on This Morning. It would've been interesting to see how her singing developed had she continued with her career path at that time. Instead of course, she fell pregnant at eighteen and just after splitting with her boyfriend, discovered she was pregnant again. It didn't take long for her to realise the prejudice she would now face as soon as she mentioned being a mother of two, and work became more difficult to come by. Where she was lucky was that the father of her children turned out to be a great father and friend during everything that was to come. It must have been tough for her, knowing that she could be a mother and a singer but having few people give her a chance. I fully understand why she felt the need to keep quiet about her kids when Popstars came along.
Nasty Nigel treated Kym in a horrible manner when she was with the group, humiliating her like a naughty schoolgirl when she admitted to being a single mother, and calling her fat all the time. She was never fat! The man is a bully and a hypocrite! If it was so important to know whether contestants had kids perhaps that should have been a question on the application form. They didn't ask so Kym never mentioned it and yet she was treated as if she was in the wrong. It was terrible! She talks a lot about being kept apart from her children while in the band which started a rift with the others who wanted to be clubbing and enjoying their fame while Kym tried to snatch moments with her kids, leaving her isolated from them. Then came all the petty fights and comments and people being jealous of this or upset about stupid things.
Kym mentions all these fights and misunderstandings in the book but doesn't blame everything on the other members. She admits that if they had all discussed these issues as a band or had a strong management to sort things out between them, they might have sorted their problems out but instead all the bitching and fighting festered until Kym decided to quit. Based on what was written, it was inevitable really. At the time I found it unfair when she was fully blamed for the demise of Hear'Say. They could have continued on with a new member if they had hired someone through the public auditions instead of rigging it so that the winner was a dancer who had performed with the group and was a fiance' to a Steps singer, won instead! Is it any wonder that the public turned on them?
The other thing I have to comment on was her relationship with Jack Ryder. Why they married is beyond me as he was a complete idiot. If you are going to quit a high profile job like Eastenders at the height of your popularity, you need to establish yourself quickly by accepting different types of roles and showing off your talents to get bigger and better jobs. Actors can't afford to be that choosy when they need to work, as they must keep themselves in the public eye to keep getting offers. By refusing to take anything but the perfect role, he sank into obscurity and left Kym having to take on everything offered to her to keep a roof over their heads. That selfishness, his whining and jealousy were so childish and I feel that Kym was too kind in the book, making constant excuses for him. She had to take on things she wasn't interested in while he sat about in a mood getting jealous as the offers kept coming in for her. The fact that she had to lie about adultery to get a quicker divorce and his lack of contact with her kids afterwards shows how childish he was.
I would have liked to have read more about her Corrie time but perhaps that will be covered in another biography. I have a lot of respect for how hard Kym had to work as a single mother in real poverty prior to her big break and the way her children always came first. She has had to work hard for her success and the heartbreak of losing baby Archie was so sad to read. I really enjoyed this biography and hope to see her in Corrie for many more years to come.