- Viv Nicholson
Vivian Nicholson (born
3 April 1936) became a public figurein Great Britainovernight in 1961 when she won £152,000 (equivalent to more than £5 million in 2005 in terms of average earnings [http://measuringworth.com/calculators/ukcompare/] ) on the football poolsand announcing to the press that she was going to "spend, spend, spend". Then she became an icon for a new kind of self-confident Northern woman some two years before Julie Christie's appearance in "Billy Liar", and was popular tabloidfodder for some years. She also appeared on the cover of The Smithssingle " Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now".
By her own admission, however, she found it hard to cope with the psychological effects of the money she had won. She came to feel distanced from the people she had lived among, who in turn could no longer relate to her, and developed an ever greater longing for a much more affluent area.
After her husband Keith was killed in a car crash, her fortune rapidly dwindled to nothing; indeed, she had spent, spent and spent:
banks and tax creditors both deemed her bankruptand declared that all her money, and everything she had acquired with it, belonged not to her but to Keith's estate.
She made many attempts to regain both her public profile and her lost wealth, such as recording a single (entitled "
Spend Spend Spend", written by her brother) and appearing in a strip clubsinging " Big Spender", but none succeeded.
Nicholson did win a three-year legal battle to gain £34,000 from her husband's estate, but rapidly lost it all following some bad investments. After relocating to
Malta, she was rapidly deported back to Britain amid a storm of tabloid publicity after assaulting a policeman, and was admitted to a mental home to escape from her third husband, who brutally abused her during the four days they lived together (the marriage lasted only thirteen weeks).
After opening a short-lived
boutiqueshe ended up penniless, and by 1976 claimed that she could not even afford to bury her fourth husband, who had died (and with whom she had broken up three years earlier).Fact|date=February 2007
* [http://www.vivnicholson.co.uk/ Official site]
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