LYNN Paul credits theatre producer Bill Kenwright with being one of the most important men in her life.

Twenty years ago, Kenwright took the chance on the former New Seekers singer and transformed her into a stage star, appearing in the classic Blood Brothers. Lynn is back reprising that role of Mrs Johnstone at the King’s Theatre.

Blood Brothers is the poignant nature versus nurture story of twins separated at birth, one raised in poverty the other raised in great wealth.

But along the way Lynn reveals pop legend Rod Stewart also played a part in her survival in the business. Lynn was dating Rod the Mod back in the seventies.

“We were at a party at my house one night and having a lovely time, but Rod had a chat with my mum and told her I should write my own B sides.

“Rod told her it was the only way to make money.

“But I’d never written a song in my life and hadn’t a clue how to do it so my mother decided she would.

“She had never written a song either, but ended up writing four country songs that I recorded.

“She was an incredible woman.”

In the late sixties, Lynn attempted a solo pop career which never really worked out but went on to join a Manchester group The Nocturnes.

The Nocturnes featured a dark-haired singer called Eve Graham. Eve however left to join a band called The New Seekers. And when one of the line-up left, Eve suggested her pal Lynn as a replacement.

The New Seekers became a phenomenal success, with seventies hits such as Beg, Steal or Borrow and You Will Never Find Another Fool. Their Coca Cola ad pop hit I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing sold over 20 million copies.

But Lynn and the other New Seekers didn’t make a fortune from it.

“We enjoyed a great life, we stayed in nice hotels and enjoyed first class travel, so we were in awe of that world.

“However, we started on £50 a week which moved to £100 a week. The only lump we ever got was £6000, to put down as a deposit on a property.

“But you know, we didn’t complain about it. That’s the way it was, and so many other groups were in the same position.”

Lynn adds; “I look back at my manager David Joseph, and although he made a lot of money out of us it’s down to him I’m had such a long career.

“You have to be grateful for what you’ve got.”

Lynn is grateful to Rod for suggesting writing B sides, which gave her half the royalty on the record. But despite dating rock stars and living the glamorous life of a pop star, fame didn’t turn her head.

“My mother wouldn’t let my head be turned,” she says, grinning.

“I was once out with my parents at dinner when someone demanded I sign an autograph. And my mother made sure I always signed. She said ‘Remember how lucky you are to be famous. And I did.”

Lynn was almost born with stage make-up on her face. Growing up in Manchester she attended dancing lessons as a three year-old.

“I was appearing in panto from that age,” she recalls.

“I was thirteen when I formed a girl trio and we’d play the working men’s clubs, with my dad driving us.”

Lynn, who was born Lynda Belcher, was just 14 when she announced to her headmistress she was ready to leave school and begin a full-time showbiz career.

“I told Miss McGuire my plans and she said ‘Oh, no, you’ll never make it. You’re far too nervous.

“Once I had said this I was dropped from the ‘A’ stream to the typewriter class, which I had to stick for six months. But then I was off.”

Miss McGuire would end up with egg on her face but fame didn’t arrive immediately.

Lynn worked her way into the pop world. When the pop career faded, Lynn moved on to musical theatre. She suddenly had to look after herself.

“I wrote to Bill Kenwright on the advice of my mum and three weeks later I was on the stage of the Phoenix Theatre ready to rehearse. And I enjoyed this new-found freedom,” she says.

Lynn had moved into acting effortlessly. No training. Straight onto the stage.

“I love it so much,” she says of her acting career. “And who’d have thought I’d still be appearing in Blood Brothers 20 years on.

“It’s a fabulous part, for me the best in the business.”

She adds, grinning; “I’m getting on a bit. (She’s now 68). I’m just so glad Bill Kenwright thinks I can still pull it off.”

Lynn Paul is a lady with no regrets about her career.

But isn’t she a little disappointed she didn’t become one of Rod’s wives?

“I don’t think I was tall enough,” she says, grinning. “I’m only five feet six.

Blood Brothers, The King’s Theatre, until September 16.