Viv Nicholson

Viv Nicholson

Vivian Nicholson (born 3 April 1936) became a public figure in Great Britain overnight in 1961 when she won £152,000 (equivalent to more than £5 million in 2005 in terms of average earnings [] ) on the football pools and 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 tabloid fodder for some years. She also appeared on the cover of The Smiths single "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 bankrupt and 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 club singing "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 boutique she 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

External links

* [ Official site]

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