Cathy and Michael quotes
Things Cathy and Michael said about each other
Selected extracts from the Daily Mail Interview
Weekend Edition – 30/10/1999
All I wanted was to be able to love like any other man
"I’ve been right down there and done the things one shouldn’t,’ he says. ‘For nine months I decended into the lowest, lowest pit. I’d given up a decent life and saw the black side of myself. I stopped caring about anything, including myself. I was drinking heavily, self-destructing,’ he says.
‘Normal’ is the word that keeps cropping up when Michael speaks about their life together (Michael and Cathy), and he is determined that is should be so.
At 37, he is a warm tactile man and wonderfully funny. He says he didn’t really shine at anything much at school, so he concentrated upon making people laugh. ‘I was very, very funny’, he says. It is Cathy, 14 years his senior, who has shown him a life beyond entertainment.
‘I love my home. I love the normality of my life with Cathy. It is the one, significant, all-consuming relationship that I have and thank God I’ve got it. Cathy has a daughter, Emma (by her ex-husband Hywel Bennett) who I’m very close to and who’s just had a little baby boy, Connor. I never thought that a little Baby was going to come into my life in any shape or form – let alone one I was going to be so close to and so intimately associated with. Cathy is absolutely vital to me. She’s totally changed my life,’ he says.
In truth, Michael had already met Cathy McGowan, the woman who was to be the single most significant relationship in his life. ‘I was slowly getting back a confidence and enthusiasm for life. I was beginning to have a pride in myself again and I really felt blessed. I was desperate to do the right thing, to make everything work, to be successful. the business can be so consuming, and for the first time since I’d rehearsed with Les Mis, I couldn’t wait to get into work.
‘But I still had my inner demons to contend with. Cathy helped me to do that. She came to interview me for Newsroom South-East and, slowly, our relationship developed.
‘I’d given the lovely boy-next-door interview and we’d got the journalist bit out of the way, then we started to phone each other. She was doing a programme on Aspects of Love and I used to call her and tell her what was happening. She’d phone me every day. I very quickly just needed her around to talk to. If you’re having that many conversations you start opening up. I opened up with her and she did with me.
‘I honestly can’t envisage that anyone else could have come along and had the effect upon me that she had. I needed a woman who understood enough to be able to take me on. I also needed somebody who I could give to; somebody, who found something in me that they needed.
‘Cathy made me feel fantastic. She made me feel I deserved what was happening to me. She completely built up my confidence. When I told her I’d never been into certain designer shops, she’s say, “What do you mean, you can’t go into Armani? Don’t be silly.” I love froufrou stuff, the idea of nice watches, nice shoes, nice clothes. She opened up a whole new world where it was normal to enjoy things like that. She brought out the fun side of me.
‘But we didn’t fall head over heels in love from the start. To be honest, in the beginning part of the attraction was that I was going out with Cathy McGowan. It was a case of, “Wow, the Cathy McGowan’s interested in me.” then, over time, it turned into something more intimate and profound. I told her quite quickly about the accident. I think I’d have blown it all again, gone back down, if it hadn’t been for her. Until Cathy I had no other way of dealing with the fundamental problems I had. She took that out of me. We spoke about it and she taught me not to feel like a freak. She made me feel attractive for me, not for being Mr Entertainment. It’s wasn’t an overnight thing.
‘It was hard for her to break me down, to make me comfortable, to make me relaxed. I could be really tactile with everybody in public, but I couldn’t do it in private. If she touched me I’d literally tense up and turn away. I was frightened. I’d spent so long compartmentalising my life – putting my problem away in a separate area and doing everything possible to make sure it didn’t rear its head.
‘In those formative years, I physically couldn’t make love and, when the doctors got me back into some kind of working order, I didn’t know how. To be fair, I was weird when we first got together. I was terrified of being inadequate.’
Today, the home Michael shares with Cathy in south-west London is more often than not plastered with Post-it notes. They are the usual, everyday messages, filled with the stuff of two busy people’s lives: I’ll be back at 10 pm ... Your mother called, please call back ... I love you.
‘We’ve lived together for ten years now. We’re a family.’ he says. ‘Our relationship is something that has grown and grown. That’s what love is. A lot of people didn’t understand our relationship. Some people disapproved of it, but they didn’t know me. I have to have normality. We don’t go to opening nights and we don’t do the celebrity thing.
‘We wouldn’t dream of letting people in our house unless they were friends. It’s too precious. I love the security that we have together. I love being away from home knowing that there’s something and someone to go home to, someone who gives me a reason to do what I’m doing. My life is so removed from what it was. This is my dream to have stability, to be almost like I am now – able to understand about relationships, love and family.'
PBS WETA 2000:
Interviewer : “Are you married?”
Michael: “I´ m involved and have been involved for (sounding really old and weak ) nearly nine years…she´ s worn me down.” (laughing really naughty)