Gloria Hunniford reveals lasting trauma of fall: 'I've had nightmares about the impact'

Gloria Hunniford. (Nicky Johnston/Prima UK/PA)
Gloria Hunniford says she'll never forget the slap of her face on the ground from the fall. (Nicky Johnston/Prima UK/PA)

Gloria Hunniford has opened up about her traumatic experience of falling over and cracking the bone under her eye, which has left her with nightmares.

The Loose Women star, 82, said she didn't feel able to leave the house for as long as three weeks after tripping over a rug straight on to a wooden floor.

"My eye was full of blood and I was black, blue and yellow," she told Prima magazine.

"I've had nightmares about the impact, I'll never forget the slap of my face on the ground. I didn't want to see anyone for a while, I thought I'd terrify the neighbours."

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Gloria Hunniford on the front cover of Prima. (Nicky Johnston/Prima UK/PA)
Gloria Hunniford has also opened up on the loss of her daughter, Caron. (Nicky Johnston/Prima UK/PA)

But Hunniford has credited what she calls 'magic make-up' with getting her out of hiding and allowing her to return to work after the shock injury.

"Then," she explained, "one of my make-up artist friends brought me this magic make-up, which they use to cover tattoos on film sets.

"It's allowed me to get back to work, which is lucky because I'm not good at taking time off. I'm fortunate that I have a job I truly love, which stimulates me."

Posting about the accident on Instagram in June, she described herself as looking like she'd done 'three rounds with Mike Tyson!'.

Accompanied with a snap of her at home, smiling with her dog, Hunniford wrote at the time, "This was taken the day before my terrible fall… and I just want to thank everyone for all the get well messages! My face is still bruised and I’m not ready to post a photo… as I look like I’ve done three rounds with Mike Tyson!

"But I am on the mend and look forward to getting back to work and some sense of normality soon! Thanks for all the love and support - it means the world to me. See you soon, much love Glo x"

Her work ethic is reflected in the success of her career, starting in Northern Ireland, where she's from, and then in London where she worked on We Love TV and Open House With Gloria Hunniford.

In more recent years she has continued to thrive as a household name, gracing our screens on Loose Women, This Morning, Rip Off Britain, Home Away From Home and Food: Truth Or Scare.

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After more than 70 years in the industry, she said she has no plans to retire and wants to do what she does best for as long as possible.

"I'd love to have my. own chat show again," Hunniford mused. "I hope to God I can continue working. I don't want to just sit around reading.

"As long as I have the energy and will to work, I'll continue doing so, because I love it so much and it feeds my system. I just love a challenge.

"Some people will say, 'I can't do that'. I say, 'What do I have to lose? I might as well give it a shot'."

Stephen Way and Gloria Hunniford attend the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 09, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Gloria Hunniford and husband Stephen Way attend the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, July 2022. (Getty Images)

Her resilience is also shown in what she has been through in her personal life. Her daughter, Caron Keating, also a TV presenter, died of breast cancer in 2004.

Hunniford set out to help others as much as possible, and was made an OBE in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours for her contribution to cancer charities through breast screening services and cancer support.

"When you heat that your child had cancer, it's one of the worst days of your life – the other being the day she died.

"Caron was so determined and positive. She fought her seven-year battle in secrecy – she never wanted anyone to know."

Keeping a breast cancer diagnosis private seems to be all-too-common, especially for women in the public eye, with celebrities like Carol McGiffin, Cynthia Nixon and Dame Maggie Smith keeping it to themselves before going public.

Read more: Olivia Newton-John, Samantha Womack and celebs who have shared their breast cancer story

Hunniford added, "There's a phrase that's really important to me: 'People never die if they live on the lips of the living'. Therefore, I always talk about Caron, especially to her two boys, Charlie and Gabriel, who are now 28 and 25.

“As a family, we celebrate everything, whether it’s her passing, her birthday, Mother’s Day or Christmas, we raise a glass to her all the time.

“We try not to get too morbid, but we celebrate her and talk about her openly. I think about her a million times a day.”

TV presenters and mother and daughter Gloria Hunniford (L) and Caron Keating sit on the Diana, Princess of Wales garden bench at the Chelsea Flower Show. The Memorial Fund has agreed to licence the seat in her memory, to help provide jobs in Bosnia.  * Gradacac, a town on the front line during the war in Bosnia. 14/04/2004: Former TV presenter Caron Keating died last night after losing her battle with cancer, family friend Peter Powell said, Wednesday April 14, 2004.
Gloria Hunniford and Caron Keating sit on the Diana, Princess of Wales garden bench at the Chelsea Flower Show. (PA Images)

Her daughter was from her first marriage with the late Don Keating, whom she also has sons Michael and Paul Keating from. She married her current husband hairdresser Stephen Way in 1998.

The September issue of Prime is on sale from August 11.

Additional reporting PA.

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