Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ross King: Olivia Newton- John puts hard year behind her and boosts cancer care with sale of those trousers

© Rodin Eckenroth/Getty ImagesOlivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John

I remember my first pair of leather trousers – and so does everyone else who saw me in them!

I’m not sure they would fetch more than a quarter of a million quid if they were sold.

Although a few eyewitnesses might have chipped in if I’d agreed to never wear them again.

I chatted to Olivia Newton- John last week and she was auctioning off a load of her Grease memorabilia to raise money for her cancer centre in Australia.

And that included her leather jacket and outfit from the hit 1978 musical in which she starred with John Travolta.

The amount she made was, like my original leather trousers, certainly eye-opening – a cool £1.8 million.

Olivia is feeling better after what she told me was a difficult year.

“I’m feeling great, thank you, I was sick earlier in the year but I am doing better now,” she said. “I feel a lot of love from people and a lot of prayers and they really help.

“I have monks chanting for me and I have love coming to me, so I want to say thank you to everyone.”

Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and it came back again in 2013 and 2017.

She is using medicinal cannabis which she said has helped her enormously.

But I was also hugely impressed by the star’s positive attitude to the illness.

She doesn’t say it was “her” cancer – she told me it doesn’t “belong” to her.

What does belong to her is a very special relationship with her daughter, Chloe, whom she raised with her first husband Matt Lattanzi.

‘We have a very special relationship, she’s a wonderful girl,” she said.

“Actually she tells me that as a little girl when I was on tour she would put on Grease to help her go to sleep.

“I don’t know how long I was gone, but she knows every word, every song.”

People forget Olivia actually was born in the UK and left for Down Under when she was a young girl.

“I was born in England, left when I was five,” she said. “I lost my accent in Australia very quickly. I probably did have a strong accent.

“I probably said things like, ‘hey mummy, may I please have…’

“Which I miss because I love the manners of English people.

“I miss the English sense of humour, as well as the manners. And great afternoon tea.”

Olivia is looking fabulous at 71. I can’t believe Grease came out more than 40 years ago now.

Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta is still considered by Olivia as a dear friend.

I asked her about John because the pair will be teaming up for some live events later this year.

Olivia told me she makes sure they’re not out of touch with each other for too long.

“We’ve stayed friends since Grease,” added Olivia, “there’s not been a year where we haven’t been in touch with each other.”