Joanna Lumley’s son had letters that pleaded with her to rescue him ‘taken by teacher’

Joanna Lumley, 74, opened up about the “biggest pain” in her heart after telling a tear-jerking story about her son’s experience at boarding school. Following her casting in British TV series The New Avengers in 1976, she had to send her son Jamie to boarding school due to being a “single parent” and not being able to commit to the specific filming days.

“But I made a pact with him,” she said in a recent chat with Esther Rantzen on her That’s After Life! podcast.

“I said, “Look, if you hate it, just write to me and say you hate it and I’ll come and sweep you away, it doesn’t matter at all.'”

But sadly Joanna continued to believe Jamie was loving life where he was studying.

READ MORE: Joanna Lumley scoffs at the idea of first female James Bond

“He wrote me letters but I discovered much later that the headmaster had taken all the letters,” the actress claimed.

“The boys had to give all their letters to the headmaster before they were sealed up and posted and he was made to rewrite the ones that said, ‘Please take me away.'”

The star began to choke up as she remembered the guilt she felt after finding out Jamie was desperate to come home.

“He could never get the message through to me, so I never knew and I could never take him away,” she admitted.

“Because I would have just rushed down there and said, ‘Goodbye, I’m taking my boy away.'”

What made it harder for Joanna was the fact she too, endured some awful experiences at boarding school, after her family moved to the UK from the Middle East.

Esther referred to her friend’s time there as the “toughest thing to ever happen” to her and Joanna agreed wholeheartedly.

“I was eight and my sister was two years older, she was with me,” the Wolf of Wall Street star remembered.

She recalled the small “wretched” Kentish school, which only hosted 11 boarders, as she described how she managed to “bounce back” from the trauma whereas her sister was very home sick.

Having read books on the bubonic plague, a young Joanna would go to bed terrified she would wake up ill; a “grim” recollection for an eight-year-old, to say the least.

But she admitted the whole experience taught her how to “get over things” and to “endure all sorts of unpleasantness” knowing it will all come to an end.


Daily Express

The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918.

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