The Nolans star Anne speaks out on ‘frowned upon’ job before singing took off

Lorraine: Linda and Anne Nolan discuss battling cancer together

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Anne Nolan’s role was to leave insurance leaflets in hospital waiting rooms. “I thought it was all above board,” the 70-year-old cringed during an interview. However many believed that it was distasteful to advertise life and health insurance policies directly to the sick – and as she later discovered, “although it wasn’t illegal, it was frowned upon”.

My worst job was leaving insurance leaflets in hospital waiting rooms

Anne Nolan

She now defines “[placing] insurance leaflets in [hospitals] for advertising” as the “worst job” she has ever had – and perhaps regards it as preying on the insecurities of those with health concerns.

Anne Nolan added to the Irish Independent that the only insurance claim of any sort she ever needed to make was when she “scratched the side door of a brand new BMW while parking”. 

However, sadly, she is no stranger to health issues. 

The Nolans have been plagued by cancer during their lifetimes, with Anne – a two-times survivor – once even branding them “the chemo sisters”. 

Last year, days after she and Anne had been filming on a cruise ship reality TV series together, the pair were chillingly diagnosed with the return of their cancers within days of each other.

For Anne, it would be the second breast cancer diagnosis after successfully beating it 20 years ago, while Linda’s doctors had newly discovered her cancer had entered her liver. 

Terrifyingly, the pair were plunged into social isolation due to the COVID outbreak and found themselves separated from their social networks during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Connor Phillips Show, a devastated Anne recalled “We had just come off a fantastic cruise and were full of the joys of spring.

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“When we returned we had to isolate and I found a lump on my breast, I went to the doctor the next day and I could tell from the reaction it was going to be cancer.” 

Within minutes of learning of Anne’s diagnosis, Linda had been called into the hospital to complete an MRI scan. 

The pair were able to both undertake chemotherapy at the same time to give each other moral support and encouragement.

“When they dropped us off at the hospital [our sisters] cried,” Linda recalled. 

Encouraged by their agent, they have now begun to pen a book of memoirs about their cancer experiences, called Stronger Together. 

In spite of the traumas, The Nolans have enjoyed an international career in music, once touring with Frank Sinatra at the height of their fame, and gaining hits such as the 1979 track ‘I’m In The Mood For Dancing‘.

Anne is thankful that her days of crudely advertising insurance to hospital patients are over – and her friendly advice to those who fear cancer is not to fear seeing the doctor as “it’s the best thing you can do”.

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