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Shirley Valentine inspires new ITV rediscovery show: here are 10 of Shirley’s best quotes

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 12 July 2018

Pauline Collins in Shirley Valentine. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Pauline Collins in Shirley Valentine. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Archant

My Shirley Valentine Summer is a new reality series from the creators of Love Island and will see eight female celebrities travelling to Greece to rediscover themselves – we look back at the original film and remember some of Shirley’s most memorable quotes.

Our Shirley Valentine Summer on ITV: Lizzie Cundy, Ingrid Tarrant, Nancy DellÕOlio and Annabel Giles, Aggie Mackenzie, Ninia Benjamin, Melinda Messenger and Sia‰n Lloyd are taking part (C) ITVOur Shirley Valentine Summer on ITV: Lizzie Cundy, Ingrid Tarrant, Nancy DellÕOlio and Annabel Giles, Aggie Mackenzie, Ninia Benjamin, Melinda Messenger and Sia‰n Lloyd are taking part (C) ITV

I remember going to see Shirley Valentine at the cinema with my Mum – and being somewhat surprised that she loved it so much (in retrospect, it makes sense now…).

The film was about a woman (played brilliantly by Pauline Collins) whose kids have flown the nest and whose husband is stuck in a dinner-on-the-table-at-six-or-the-world-will-end rut – aged 42, she realises that the rebel she once was as a teenager is now a distant memory, replaced with a woman whose only roles are as wife and mother.

When Shirley’s friend Jane (Alison Steadman) wins a free vacation to Greece, she decides to break free for once and accept an invitation to ride shotgun – once there, Jane abandons her on the first night after falling for a passenger on their plane and instead of being at home talking to the wall, she’s abroad, talking to a rock.

After an epiphany, Shirley decides to make the most of her time away from the daily grind and starts to enjoy herself: her “soft little dream” of drinking a glass of wine in the country where the grapes were grown while sitting beside the sea as the sun sets becomes a reality as restaurant owner Costas (Tom Conti) helps her take a table to the shore, happy to help.

Bernard Hill and Pauline Collins in Shirley Valentine. Photo: Paramount PicturesBernard Hill and Pauline Collins in Shirley Valentine. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Costas later invites Shirley to travel round the nearby islands for a day on his brother’s boat, promising he won’t seduce her. He’s lying.

Jane thinks Shirley is in love with Costas but she reveals to the camera that she’s fallen in love with the idea of living. She spends more time with Costas and when it comes to the time to go home, she leaves the airport and walks to Costas’s tavern to find him attempting to seduce another tourist the same way.

Shocked, Costas is embarrassed, but Shirley quickly tells him she’s returned for a job not a boyfriend.

Back in England, Shirley’s husband Joe waits for her with flowers and is horrified to hear that she hasn’t returned and calls her to beg her to come home. Shirley, however, has found her niche: serving food to Britons who miss home cooking.

When their son tells Joe to go and see his wife, he finally travels to Greece and doesn’t recognise the new Shirley until she calls back to him. The film ends as the pair drink wine by the sea, leaving the viewers to decide whether or not a reconciliation is on the cards.

Our Shirley Valentine Summer, which starts on ITV on July 19 at 9.30pm, will see Melinda Messenger, Sian Lloyd, Nancy Dell’Olio, Aggie MacKenzie, Ninia Benjamin, Lizzie Cundy, Annabel Giles and Ingrid Tarrant, escape to a Greek island for the summer – rediscovering themselves and even looking for love.

Under the heat of the Mediterranean sun the cast will live together under one roof, as they discover the islands, the challenges of communal living and the ups and downs of dating.

All the participants are single and at a crossroads in their lives – all harbour a passion to try something new or pursue long held dreams in an attempt to transform their lives, for the better.

10 great Shirley Valentine quotes

1) Shirley Valentine: That’s right, Millandra, I’m going to Greece for the sex! Sex for breakfast! Sex for dinner! Sex for tea! And sex for supper!

Van Driver: Sounds like a fantastic diet, love!

Shirley Valentine: It is, have you never heard of it? It’s called the F plan!

2) Jane divorced her husband. I never knew him, it was before I met her. Apparently she came home from work unexpectedly one morning and found him in bed with the milkman. Honest to God, the milkman ! But from that day forward I’ve noticed she never takes milk in her tea.

3) Shirley Valentine: I mean, most fellas, they’ve got no idea how to talk to a woman.

Costas Caldes: No?

Shirley Valentine: No. They feel they have to take over the conversation. I mean, I mean with most fellas if you say something like, like my favourite season’s autumn, they go oh, oh, my favourite season’s spring and then you’ve got 10 minutes of them talkin’ about why they like spring and you weren’t talkin’ about spring, you were talkin’ about autumn. So what do you do? You talk about what they want to talk about. Or you don’t talk at all. Or you wind up talking to yourself.

4) I’m not sayin’ she’s a bragger, but if you’ve been to Paradise, she’s got a season ticket. She’s that type, Gillian, you know. If you’ve got a headache, she’s got a brain tumour.

5) I think that marriage is like the Middle East - there’s no solution.

6) I’ve led such a little life. And even that will be over pretty soon. I have…allowed myself to lead this little life when inside me there was so much more. And it’s all gone unused. And now it never will be. Why do we get all this life if we don’t ever use it? Why do we get all these…feelings…and dreams and hopes…if we don’t ever use them. That’s where Shirley Valentine disappeared to. She got lost in all this unused life.

7) So just think how exciting it would be if for once you had your tea at quarter past six? It’d make headlines... Joe eats late.

8) I’ve fallen in love with the idea of living. Because we don’t do what we want to do, do we? We do what we have to do and pretend that it’s what we want to do.

9) Shirley Valentine: (at sunset, Shirley sits at a table at the edge of the beach as Joe approaches up the road carrying a suitcase) Oh, I hope he stays for a while. He needs a holiday. He needs to feel the sun on his skin and to be in water that’s as deep as forever.

Shirley Valentine: (Joe walks straight past her without any recognition, she turns and speaks from behind him) Joe.

Joe Bradshaw: I didn’t recognize ya.

Shirley Valentine: I know. I used to be The Mother. I used to be The Wife. But now I’m Shirley Valentine again. Would you like to join me for a drink?

Joe Bradshaw: Er... thanks.

10) He kissed me stretch marks!

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