Widowed singer Sheila Ferguson is shocked to be asked out on a date in the third episode of The Real Marigold Hotel…
The only singleton among The Real Marigold Hotel celebrities is Sheila Ferguson, and she’s already talked about how she’s coped living alone in Majorca since her partner Jon Curry died eight years ago and hasn't dated since.
"I haven’t dated in eight years," admitted Sheila. "Being on your own is strange and I know it’s time to make a change, however I’m going to be very picky, because I’m a picky person!"
Things start to look promising in the final episode of The Real Marigold Hotel in two weeks' time (BBC1, Wednesday March 8, 9pm) when Sheila unexpectedly finds herself asked on a date by a rich Indian widower.
It happens when the Real Marigold celebrities go out for an evening at an exclusive yacht club and Sheila is approached by widowed Mohan, who owns a construction firm that builds boutique hotels.
After the pair bond over being single in their respective countries, Mohan asks Sheila: "Would you consider someone who builds boutique hotels to be your companion?"
Admiring his directness, Sheila agrees.
"He’s got a lovely warm face," said Shelia. "Let’s see if he calls and we’ll take it from there."
Mohan, 58, added: "I thought Sheila was very friendly, nice and easy to talk to, which is so important."
Well, Mohan did call and things went so well between them that Sheila is continuing to see him six months after she finished filming the show last September!
"I’m not giving away too much on how it’s going or how much he’s visiting. He’s in the US now as his daughter lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. My daughter Alex interrogated him before he properly took me out, though!"
Also, in the next Real Marigold episode, Sheila's more open than ever about her bereavement.
"I was starring in the West End musical Fame when the manager came into my dressing room and said: 'Jon’s dead!' I couldn’t take it in, and just sat down on the sofa and blew out tears. I felt so alone."
On returning from India, the singer admitted her life had changed somewhat.
"India has made me chill out," said Sheila, who had huge hits including When Will I See You Again and Woman in Love with her soul group The Three Degrees. "My daughter Alex said to me, 'Mum, you’ve changed. You’re not hyper, crazy and all over the place!' For her to notice it too was interesting."
Sheila appeared on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2004, but despite a life in the public eye – including a high-profile friendship with Prince Charles in the 1970s – Sheila says she’s lived a ‘lonely life’ in Majorca since Jon passed away. After her Real Marigold experience, though, she’s making big changes.
"The show has made me address growing older. I’ve been living alone for so long, but it’s not healthy. I need to be around people and to integrate more, so I’ve decided I’m moving back to England."
Sheila revealed she’s house-hunting at the moment, but what about a nice holiday home in India, nearer the lovely Mohan?
"Alex and I looked at some properties, but we’re dealing with “Divadom” here and I’m only prepared to live one level down from the Taj Mahal!" she laughed. "I’m not sure I would consider living there, though, not unless I get married again anyway and companionship is what I’m looking for. We’ll see…"
The Real Marigold Hotel continues on BBC1 on Wednesdays at 9pm
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I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.