Stokie sisters Anthea Turner and Wendy reveal mum's tragic death led to reconciliation

-Credit: (Image: ITV/This Morning)
-Credit: (Image: ITV/This Morning)

Stoke-on-Trent-born showbiz sisters Anthea Turner and Wendy Turner-Webster have been brought back together over the death of their beloved mother.

Former Blue Peter presenter Anthea, 64, and her journalist sister, 57, were on the famous This Morning sofa this week to chat about their joint project writing children's books. During their appearance, Anthea explained how crucial their bond was to allow a smooth work partnership.

However, the sisters - who grew up in Norton-in-the-Moors and attended St Dominic’s Independent Junior School in Hartshill - admitted they haven't always been close after a major falling out.

It was their mother Jean's illness and then death which prompted them to bury the hatchet and reconcile for the sake of their elderly dad Brian Turner, who is in his 90s.

READ: Anthea Turner and sister Wendy make oatcakes for dad, 90, after big move south Wendy Turner-Webster tells us about her new children's book with sister Anthea and where in Stoke-on-Trent she would wave a magic wand

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Host Cat Deeley quizzed: "The interesting thing, you both have this intrinsic friendship and sisterhood, you're so close, but you had a big falling out."

Presenter Ben Shepherd added: "Our phone-in today is about family feuds and I think one of the things that they'll want to understand is how you heal a rift?."

Talking about their rekindled relationship, Animal Lifeline patron Wendy said: "Well I suppose in our case our mum being ill and then dying certainly helped. We had to pull together for the sake of our dad. It's really difficult because it just kind of happened."

Brian Turner, with daughters Wendy Turner-Webster and Anthea Turner, at his 90th birthday party at The Hollybush in Stockton Brook. -Credit:Wendy Turner-Webster
Brian Turner, with daughters Wendy Turner-Webster and Anthea Turner, at his 90th birthday party at The Hollybush in Stockton Brook. -Credit:Wendy Turner-Webster

Anthea - who fronted Blue Peter from 1992 to 1994 - then gave advice to anyone else in a similar situation. She said: "Least said best mended, and sometimes you don't pick over things. You're sisters, we just talked about the reference points there, for whatever reason, you get back together."

And Wendy added: "We never dissected what went wrong or what went right."

Discussing their latest children book Underneath the Underground: Further Tales, Anthea said proudly: "It's so easy to work together because our point of reference are exactly the same. We don't have to explain anything."

Previously talking about life in the Potteries, Wendy told StokeonTrentLive: "I still feel very tied to Stoke-on-Trent. I was born there and worked there at Signal Radio for years. I have always gone back there regularly and it's only been since my dad moved that I haven't been there.

"The house and the garden have so many memories and it has been quite a tough process to pack up and leave. But I didn't feel like I was saying goodbye to Stoke-on-Trent as I still have close friends up there.

Wendy (right) with sister Anthea Turner
Wendy (right) with sister Anthea Turner -Credit:Philip Coburn

"I'm always incredibly proud to come from Stoke-on-Trent. It's a place which can be misunderstood a lot.

"It's one of the greenest cities and people underestimate the number of beautiful places in Stoke-on-Trent. Having said that, driving through certain parts is heart-breaking, especially Burslem, where my dad had his business.

"I'd love to see a big project take place in Burslem to revitalise it. If I could wave a magic wand over Burslem I would do it in a heart beat."

Anthea and Wendy's children's books include The King's Coronation and the Kohinoor Diamond. It tells of a group of brave and adventurous mice living underneath the London Underground, plus royals in pyjamas, seven crowns and a daring mission involving the Kohinoor diamond.

Wendy added: "A couple of years ago my mum's health started to decline. Anthea and I did many trips up and down the M6 and we had hours to entertain ourselves.

"We had a conversation about whether we should do some more mice stories, because the ones we did before were set 30 years ago in a completely different cultural landscape - and we just thought, 'let's do it!'

"Originally it was just going to be on Kindle and audio book but then a publisher came along as well. It's so nice to be able to hold the book in your hand."

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