Linda was born in Dublin in 1959, but when she was three years old, she and her family relocated to Blackpool. Her parents, Tommy and Maureen Nolan were both musicians who formed the group Singing Nolans, in which Linda also sang. Linda attended St Catherine’s Catholic Secondary School in Blackpool and later transferred to The Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford, West London.
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Linda achieved great success as a member of The Nolans. The group toured with Frank Sinatra in 1975, won the Tokyo Music Festival in 1981, and had seven UK top 20 hits from 1979 to 1982. However, Linda left the group in 1983 and earned the nickname “Naughty Nolan” after posing for suggestive publicity photos.
After departing The Nolans, Linda pursued a career in theatre, including eight seasons as Maggie May on Blackpool’s Central Pier (1986–93) and two seasons as Rosie O’Grady on Blackpool’s South Pier (1994–95). She also supported Gene Pitney on his 1984 UK tour.
In 2009, Linda reunited with her sisters Bernie, Coleen, and Maureen for a successful UK and Ireland tour. They released an album, I’m in the Mood Again, which reached No. 22 on the UK Albums Chart. Linda also participated in the 13th season of Celebrity Big Brother in 2014.
However, Linda has faced various challenges in life. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a single mastectomy as part of her treatment. Although she was cleared of cancer in 2011, she was diagnosed with cellulitis and lymphedema in her arm the same year.
In 2017, Linda was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer in her pelvis. To prevent the cancer from spreading, she has been receiving regular radiotherapy treatment, but she has said she would refuse chemotherapy if her cancer were terminal.
Aside from her health struggles, Linda has also endured the trauma of sexual assault. In 2014, she accused Rolf Harris of sexually assaulting her in 1975 while The Nolans were supporting Harris on a tour of South Africa.
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On Good Morning Britain in 2023, Linda revealed that her cancer had spread to her brain. As a result, she uses a wheelchair because her legs cannot support her body. Despite these challenges, Linda remains optimistic and willing to try new treatments. She has spoken positively about a new drug that has shown promise in treating brain cancer and is open to trying it.