Fifteen Fun Facts About Sheila Steptoe
I love stories and often share various personal ones when presenting but here are a few which I don’t often share.
As you will read my life has been fun and varied but I started off life wanting to be a Nurse but failed the medical.
I then re-applied and passed but my then 10-day old boyfriend asked me to marry him so life took another direction. We were happily married for 21 years.
But that’s what I love about life…you never know what’s going to happen or who you are going to meet!
I am part of Amsterdam’s history. A friend and I whilst hitch-hiking around Europe as teenagers unknowingly participated in the first ever student demonstration in Dam Square. We joined thousands of students sitting peacefully on the ground rebelling about student life. Chaos then emerged. We were confronted by 100’s of riot police on horseback with shields and batons which was unheard of at the time (
My first standing ovation on stage – In a boarding school comedy duo production when I was Popeye and my best friend Elaine was Olive Oil – hilarious – even the Headmistress (who later expelled me) couldn’t contain herself!
I bought Monte Carlo to a standstill one night when I wore a copy of Julia Robert’s sensational Valentino B&W dress that she wore to the 2001 Oscars a few months earlier. 9 male work colleagues who were dressed in Black Tie were escorting me into the famous Casino when everyone thought they must be my body guards! Men & women got out of their Lamborghinis, Ferrari’s and Porches to see who this lady was. I really felt special and like a film star as they stopped and stared. One man came up and spoke whilst kissing my hand. My colleagues and I will never forget that memory – especially Ray who told me off as I had taken my shoes off! I had no idea that my dress was famous but I went back to my friends shop afterwards to tell her the story and she said she didn’t want to spoil my surprise.
I am the eldest of 4 girls and felt very different to my sisters so told everyone that I was adopted because no one understood that I was psychic as they sometimes found me a bit weird as I seemed to know so much! My mum was really upset when she found out.
One of my beautiful childhood memories is of my youngest sister sitting beside the burial of a dead bird which we had tended when injured. When asked why she was sitting there for so long she said “I am waiting to see it fly up to heaven” – how sweet.
Whilst at Stansted Airport once I left a copy of my first book on a table for someone to pick up via Bookcrossing.com (you share and leave a copy of your favourite book for others to read). I watched from afar as a group of 4 ladies eventually took the book so I walked away knowing that someone who needed to read it was holding it in her hands. Imagine my surprise when I walked to my flight departure line to find this lady right in front of me in the queue! I was speechless. I gently tapped her on the shoulder and explained who I was and why I had left this book there but out of the thousands of people at the Airport what a fantastic coincidence for this lady to be on the same flight…let alone stand just in front of me. We were both as shocked as each other!
I took the controls and had my first flying lesson on my 60th birthday and loved every moment. I took 2 friends up in the air with me and it was an experience I will never forget as I have always believed that we are never too old to do anything.
Something I am really proud of – my dad was Richard Branson’s first Accountant and helped set him up to be the great man he is today. Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame was already a client and recommended him. My dad and his business partner are mentioned in Richard Branson’s Autobiography.
My first TV appearance was on ITV This Morning and coincided with Top Gears Richard Hammond’s near-death crash so was cut short. Fern Britton & Philip Schofield had to make the announcement but after my
My deep and apparently sexy voice often gets me into trouble. My bank account has been frozen, people call me ‘Mr’ on the phone or clients sometimes expect a man to walk into the room. Lesbians love me and a very drunk man once asked me– was I secretly a man dressed up in drag – NO but I have often wondered if others have ever thought that but were too shy to say! I won’t mention here how I know some find me sexy and my voice mesmerizing as their comments and actions are not fit for print!
I have been a participant in 2 Guinness World Records events. In 2009 I watched my granddaughter sing in the biggest school choir event in the world at the O2 Arena – Young Voices which is an amazing experience.
In 2011 I was one of over 300+ people attending the biggest ever English Cream Tea Party which was hosted by my friend Jane Malyon of the English Cream Tea Company.
I witnessed one of the most beautiful events on earth – the birth of my eldest granddaughter. My daughter had an emergency caesarean and the Doctor handed me this beautiful baby and as I held her – with the umbilical cord still attached – her little nostrils popped open. The surgeon said to me “You have just witnessed her first breath” Then her little ears popped out and my daughter and I just cried with the beauty of life. I have had 2 children myself but nothing can compare with this magical experience which changed me forever.
I have spoken to and met through my work many famous people including Louise Hay & Dr Brian Weiss but I have also had a cuddle with Dr Wayne Dwyer – gosh what a man as he oozes energy and charisma!
I have also had an experience through Randy Gage but you will have to read about that in my books!
The power of the written word – Alongside my Mentoring and Speaking work I also run monthly Inspire Your Soul local events. Speakers from around the world come and give a talk which I occasionally publicise in the local paper.
One such friend and speaker Heidi Sawyer who is a Hay House Author was coming so I organised a small advertisement to announce her presentation. Imagine my surprise when I looked in the local paper – A Haw House Author was coming to Chelmsford!!
When the night came I announced to the audience that we have a hoar house lady and everyone cried with laughter. When Heidi and her husband had finished laughing I gave Heidi the cutting as I don’t think she has ever been so humorously welcomed!
Just one letter changed the whole meaning! I wonder if she ever showed it to the Management of Hay House!