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Sharon cuts the crap

Sharon Osbourne visits the Midlands this month with brand-new show Cut The Crap!... The better half of heavy metal icon Ozzy will be ‘revealing all’ about ‘some of the hardest years of her eventful life - from the anguish of a broken marriage and Ozzy’s infidelities, to the constant spectre of drug abuse in her family, the loss of friends, betrayal by colleagues, and her ongoing battles with mental-health issues’...   

Ever wanted to find out what makes Sharon Osbourne tick? Now’s your chance.

The formidable Mrs O is heading to Birmingham theatre The Alexandra this month with Cut The Crap!, a show in which she will be taking questions from the audience - under the direction of journalist and Loose Woman Jane Moore - on any subject they care to ask her about. 

“This show is really about my life story,” says Sharon. “I’ve certainly lived a lot of life in my 71 years, so there are a lot of stories to tell! Plenty of ups and downs - good luck and bad, too. It’s not all been wine and roses. 

“I love hearing other people’s life stories. I’d never buy a novel; I only buy biographies. I don’t like made-up stories. Mind you, I don’t think anyone could make up my story. My life has been like a Jackie Collins novel - or so I’m told.”

Does she think she attracts drama? “Yes, I do. I think it may be because I’m a bit eccentric, so it must follow me around. I’m a magnet for drama.” Not to say a mouthpiece.

Is she a woman with regrets? “Sure. To have regrets is a part of life and growing. I often think: ‘If I could only do that again.’ But you can’t. So all you can do is try to make sure you don’t do whatever it was another time. Not that I always succeed!”

So what does she regret professionally? “I’m someone who’s always said what’s on her mind. And then it’s gone. But other people won’t let it go. They don’t like confrontation, and they don’t like it when I challenge a situation.

“The thing that I forgot when I was actively trying to have a career in TV was that I was an employee; it wasn’t my show. There were certain rules that went with that, certain attitudes expected of you. There’s a professionalism that should come with the way you conduct yourself.”

Outspoken she may be, but she’s also loving and loyal and hugely protective of husband Ozzy and their three children, Aimee, Kelly and Jack.

Life is about to change for the family. This year, she and Ozzy will move from LA back to their Buckinghamshire home. Why?

“It’s just time. I look at the years and years I’ve lived in LA as being permanently on holiday. But America is changing. It’s becoming more scary. The UK isn’t immune to that. Everywhere feels jittery right now but the UK perhaps less so.

“I still feel very English. I’ve never felt American. More of my adult life has been spent there but I’ve never acquired an American accent. I’m British and I want to come home.”

Does Ozzy feel the same? “He does, but he’s a little anxious about the distance between him and the kids and the grandchildren.” Jack has four girls; Kelly has a baby boy. “They’re the best thing about getting old.” 

Ozzy was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003. “But the world didn’t know that, and the condition progressed extremely slowly anyway.”

All that changed when he got up in the night five years ago, tripped over something in the dark and fell flat on his back on the tiled bathroom floor. Such was the damage to his spine that he’s now undergone five major surgeries.

The fall also acted as a trigger for the Parkinson’s, which went into overdrive. The result is that he’ll continue to make records - he’s had two top-five albums in the last five years - but his touring days are over. “He was halfway through his two-year farewell world tour when the accident happened.”

How is he coping temperamentally? “He’s gone through terrible depressions. And when you’re not in a good state of mind, it’s hard for the body to heal.” 

It must also have put pressure on Sharon. “I’ve become his cheerleader. That’s something I hadn’t planned at this stage of my life. And it isn’t easy watching your husband go through such agony physically. It’s heart-breaking. You can’t put it into words.

“But he’s getting there. His mental state is much improved. Last year, he won two Grammys. He’s 74. He was selling out arena shows. None of this was in our plan. We think we’re in charge of our own destiny. Ha!”

She thinks being UK-based will help Ozzy. “Once he gets home and feels the love that’s here for him, that will be very healing. And the grandchildren can come and visit. It’s not like he’s never going to see them again.”

Ten years from now? “Well, I hope I’ll still be alive - and Ozzy, too. There are no outstanding goals, nothing left to prove. I’ve done it all. I’ve lived one helluva life. Now, I just want to spend important time with my husband.”

She pauses. “I do like a mission, though. I’ve always got to be doing something.” 

You can say that again.

by Richard Barber