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Monica Rose

The older guys amongst us might remember the name Monica Rose from the 60's and 70's to do with Hughie Green - one of the most vile and hated men on TV of all times.

Monica Rose was born in White City, London in 1948. Her father was a London Underground train driver and her mother a cleaner at White City Stadium.

In 1963, at the age of just 15, whilst working as a young accounts clerk, she was given tickets for a recording of the Hughie Green quiz show called Double Your Money. The show offered a choice of 42 subjects and offered £1 for the answer to a question given by the host with the chance to double their money from £1 up to a maximum of £32. The top prize was £1,000.

Rose was plucked from the audience to take part and despite only winning £8 (on her chosen subject of 'Famous Women') she had the personality to persuade Green (he was "impressed by her cockney charm and manner") to invite her back as a guest hostess on the show six weeks later.

( It was always an unspoken secret that she was Hugie Greens lover and considering how vile he was, she certainly earned what small amount of fame came her way - as she was really a tallentless girl on the side of Hughie Green, but then, TV was so new, being professional was something yet to be learned as with many programmes in these early days - it really was amateur time and things have come a long way in the 50 years plus since then. )

She stayed for three years until leaving although returned to the show before it was taken off air in July, 1968 as a result of the broadcaster, Associated-Rediffusion, losing their franchise later that month.

She later worked on The Sky's the Limit which was first broadcast on 10 July, 1970 until 5 July, 1974. This was a travel-themed version of the show Double Your Money. The questions were based on geography and the top prize was 21,000 air miles and £600 in spending money (equivalent to £9,349 in 2019)

In December 1966, Rose performed a duet with her co-presenter Hughie Green which was recorded on the 'B' side of the single 'Cuddle up Baby' called 'Clap Your Hands'.

Personal life

Rose left show business in 1977 and was admitted to hospital three years later suffering from a nervous breakdown. In 1982 she married Terry Dunnell a Baptist lay preacher and officer of a religious group called the Frontier Youth Trust. Dunnell wrote several books on christianity including Mission and Young People at Risk: a Challenge to the Church written in 1985. Monica became a Christian and settled with him in Leicester where she worked as a checkout operator in a supermarket.

She paid regular visits to a local young offenders' centre up until 1993.

After battling depression, Rose committed suicide by overdosing on antidepressants and tranquillisers in 1994 aged just 46. A tragic waste.

Hughie Green right - one of the most vile human beings that ever lived.

Like so many people who have had a brush with fame and then lost it, especially those who are - like Monica Rose - untallented to the extreme - it can take a toll on the psyche of the person and is hard to get over, as when recognised in public by fans who adored you - like Michael Barrymor who still tries to get back into the business even after the horrors which - not his fault at all - have followed him since someone was found dead in his pool after a gay sex party - you cannot recover and life takes a dramatic turn from what you had planned / thought / assumed was the way forward and suddenly you find yourself back at the beginning but everyone knows your face and the shame, the embarrasment and the ridicule many will throw at you - mostly out of jealousy, resentment and envy - as we see on social media - and handling that kind of abuse takes its toll, just look the TV program 'Love Island' where 3 contestants have committed suicide and this is a common - and unfortunate side affect to minor fame.

Monica Rose was a result of her time. TV was in its infancy and just about anyone could with a little luck and - although now the cause of great public consternation;- the Casting Couch was massively used in all branches of show business - and always has been and in many cases stil will be, and denying that is just dumb - and while this may now be seen as wrong - usually by those who have used it and become famous and now have their accolades and awards and now complain about the journey it took to get there when at the time MANY were very willing participants in order to get a step up to fame, but the show must go on and decades later with changing times, what was completely acceptable one upon a time, decades later we decide to jail people for simply doing what everyone was doing - at the time - but were not famous and we all know the petty jealousies that follow fame and those who adore to knock while offering fuck all in return - they just like to destroy.

This is so true on the LGBTQ scene.

It's so sad when you look at the lives of these very minor celebrities who miss the lime light and the fame and spend the rest of their lives back on the normal every day treadmill of work and family and shopping and existing the best way they know how, and when your face is known in the butcher, the bakers and in the supermarkets, and when your face is one from the past where people whisper behind your back - ' She use to be famous' - it takes a brave person to move on and have a normal life after seeing the highlife that some continue on with for decades of fame and fortune, while these minor tallented people fall by the way side and are forgotten in time to old men like me reminding the old men like you of something from 50 years ago.

Many show biz stories have sad endings.

Many fall away and die.

Many are forgotten about and many sorrowful stories are hidden with smoke and mirrors and a smile, while dying a little inside every day.

John Bellamy




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