I don’t believe it!

Date published: 11 March 2014

A STUNNED cancer patient fulfilled a lifelong dream when she met her idol Richard Wilson — TV’s Victor Meldrew — at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice to tick off the first item on her wish list for life.

Siobhan Welsh, who has suffered with chronic leukaemia for seven years, was delighted when the Royton hospice arranged for the actor to spend the afternoon with her.

Siobhan, from Chadderton, said: “It was a dream come true to meet him. I still can’t believe he agreed to come and see me. I never in a million years thought I would be sitting down having a chat and cup of tea with my idol.”

Richard became SIobhan’s favourite when he starred as TV’s grumpy Victor Meldrew — catchphrase “I don’t believe it” — in the BBC’s “One Foot in the Grave”.

Richard, who paid his own train fare from London for the meeting, said: “I was thrilled when I got the letter asking if I would like to meet Siobhan. She’s a lovely lady; I have really enjoyed learning more about her and her list. It is a fairly small thing to come and do but to me it is a very important thing to do.

“I feel so humbled that people are touched by my work and enjoy it enough to want to meet me.”

The meeting enabled Siobhan to tick off the first element of her wish list, which sets out all the things she would love to do before she becomes to ill to enjoy them.

She said: “I have chronic leukaemia which, though it isn’t terminal, means that as I age the condition worsens to the point where I will struggle to do things for myself.

“I really want to be able to experience each of the things before my illness makes it too difficult.”

Next the animal lover will be feeding a new-born lamb; then wants to be a calendar girl, ride in a Volkswagen camper van and attend a Manchester United home game.

Arron Cheshire, a community fund-raiser at Dr Kershaw’s, made it his mission to set up the meeting for Siobhan.

He said: “When she told me about the wish list I was happy to help arrange the meeting. Within a few weeks of writing, Mr Wilson had replied and told me how to arrange everything. It’s really nice to see how happy it has made her.”