‘I don’t care what people say about the way I look,’ says Sharon Osbourne with her typical defiance. 

But then she glances in the mirror – and what she sees clearly bothers her. ‘I know I look gaunt and I know everything that goes along with it. And I did it.’

Sharon has indeed shrunk since we last met for an interview 18 months ago at her Los Angeles home. The smart red bob cut is still in place, her make-up is immaculate and the lilac cardigan she’s wearing today is elegant, but her face is different. 

‘I’m too gaunt and I can’t put any weight on. I want to, because I feel I’m too skinny. I’m under 100lb and I don’t want to be,’ she says. ‘Be careful what you wish for.’

She was always petite, but now she resembles a tiny bird as she sits in a big plush armchair at Claridge’s Hotel in London with her feet tucked up. 

Sharon Osbourne, 71, will take to the stage in January with her new live show Cut The Crap, in which she will share the remarkable story of her life

Sharon Osbourne, 71, will take to the stage in January with her new live show Cut The Crap, in which she will share the remarkable story of her life

She has done this to herself, she says, by spending months on a drug designed to help Type-2 diabetics manage their blood sugar levels.

‘I started on Ozempic last December and I’ve been off it for a while now, but my warning is don’t give it to teenagers, it’s just too easy. 

‘You can lose so much weight and it’s easy to become addicted to that, which is very dangerous. I couldn’t stop losing weight and now I’ve lost 42lb and I can’t afford to lose any more.’

Her bluntness would be shocking coming from anyone else. But this is Sharon Osbourne, who has always been very open and honest about her responses to body image and weight issues, from her struggles with bulimia to undergoing plastic surgery. 

‘I’ve never really cared what people say about the way I look because I know I’ve paid a fortune to try and look attractive,’ she says in her gravelly accent, shaped by a lifetime of hopping back and forth across the Atlantic. 

‘I was never a beauty. I was never blessed that way. I was blessed with a pair of balls instead of great t**s!’

There’s no doubt she has courage and Sharon will show it again when she takes to the stage with her new live show Cut The Crap, in which she will tell the remarkable story of her life. And there’s certainly a lot to say. 

The daughter of a notorious music promoter, Sharon took on the sexist world of 70s hard rock as a manager herself. 

She married the Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne and turned him into a huge global success with an oversized reputation as the hell-raising ‘Prince of Darkness’.

Born and bred in bohemian post-war Brixton, Sharon studied ballet and loved dancing. While her parents hoped she would be a performer, she ended up working with her father who managed stars like Jerry Lee Lewis and Electric Light Orchestra

Born and bred in bohemian post-war Brixton, Sharon studied ballet and loved dancing. While her parents hoped she would be a performer, she ended up working with her father who managed stars like Jerry Lee Lewis and Electric Light Orchestra

They finally plan to come home to England from Los Angeles as he tries to recover from terrible illness. ‘It’s a total change of lifestyle. We’ve both said, “We want this.”’

They’ve been based in LA since before Sharon cut a deal with MTV there in the early noughties to make a pioneering reality show based around her family, The Osbournes. 

She then became a television star in her own right, first as a judge on The X Factor and later as an outspoken chat show host. 

‘I try to be as truthful about myself as possible. I am what I am. A lot of people put up shields but I don’t have one. I’m too old. I couldn’t keep it up. I’d break character if I tried to pretend I’ve found God.’

So there will be no holds barred in the new show. No nerves either, as it won’t be her first time in a theatre. 

‘I was a stage school brat and I did appear at the Palladium at about 13 in the chorus for a pantomime. I studied ballet and loved dancing. My parents wanted me to be a performing artiste but I didn’t have the goods.’

Born and bred in bohemian post-war Brixton, she moved to posh Berkeley Square when her father made some money. 

‘That was a huge jump. I was just lost. What are you going to do for fun on Bond Street as a teenager? So I used to do things like making an appointment in Elizabeth Arden and dropping a stink bomb. I got into a lot of trouble.’

Her dad managed Jerry Lee Lewis and Electric Light Orchestra among other stars and was a hard man known as the Al Capone of Pop. 

‘My brother and I were taken on tour and would be left alone in the hotel for long periods and cause chaos. We’d break into the kitchens. We were both bolshy kids.’

Sharon started work with her father. ‘I was mouthy and ballsy and I tried to intimidate people, that was how I survived. If I had been a nice girl, they would’ve eaten me alive.’ She wouldn’t do certain things, though. 

‘In those days it was all about how you should take people out, get them a couple of hookers or buy them a new stereo system and they’d play your record or put your act on their show. I couldn’t play that game.’ Why not? 

Sharon with her husband Ozzy who has Parkinson's disease

Sharon with her husband Ozzy who has Parkinson’s disease

‘I was never into drugs and I wasn’t going to get someone a prostitute. I used to look at the way they would abuse women: their assistant would be in the room and when she bent over they’d all be giggles and staring at her t**s and all of that. I was like, “Oh, f*** off you creeps.”’

The music industry has been transformed since then, she says. ‘Now people are so wary. The MeToo movement has totally changed the workplace for women.’

Her life changed in the late 70s when she went to America to look after Ozzy Osbourne, who was falling out with his Black Sabbath bandmates. 

She ended up marrying Ozzy, but how did she deal with all the groupies that must have been hanging around? 

‘I was so used to it because that was the world I knew. That’s what comes along with being famous. It was always there.’

Was she willing to turn a blind eye? ‘Yeah. Especially if somebody is insecure or a narcissist that wants it all [as he was]. I was always like, “Wear a condom and never ask names or addresses. You don’t want to know.” 

‘When it gets to something more personal than that, then it’s a problem. Then I’m not going to turn a blind eye.’

Ozzy and Sharon did split up for a while after he confessed to an affair with his hairdresser, but they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. So how have they managed to stay together? 

‘You’ve got to remember I had three kids. I had a family to hold together.’ Aimee was born in 1983, Kelly the following year and Jack the year after that. ‘I didn’t have parents to look after me.’

Sharon’s dad resented her taking over Ozzy’s career. ‘I couldn’t call up and say, “Listen, what do I do? I’ve got this problem with my husband.” There was no one. You get through. It takes a toll on you mentally, of course it does. You push it down, then one day you just explode. 

‘It’s got to be 30 years ago that I discovered antidepressants, something to even out my mood and keep me on a level that was liveable.’

Ozzy is now 74 years old and Sharon is 71, so how do they get along these days? ‘Well, for nearly five years my husband’s been really sick. Relationships change all the time, as we change.’ 

The singer has Parkinson’s disease and has also suffered from spinal problems after a fall. ‘We’re at a stage where I’ve been taking care of my husband, not because I have to but because I want to and I love him.’

Sickness has kept Ozzy from touring, so she’s seen more of him than ever before. 

‘He’s had seven operations in five years. There’s nothing more they can do. Now it’s about recuperating. He was on huge amounts of blood thinners so you have to be careful, because if you fall again you could bleed out. It’s like he’s a piece of china and you’ve got to put cotton wool around him.’

It’s a far cry from his devil-may-care image. ‘It’s just been heartbreaking for me to see my husband in a position where he’s not self-sufficient, he needs help. He was so vibrant, with such a zest for life. But you learn to adapt,’ she says softly. 

For all the rows we’ve seen between them on camera over the years, there is a tenderness now. ‘I will always be there for my husband. I adore him. I owe him so much. He gave me the best things in my life, my kids.’

Aimee is now an actor and singer, despite having stayed away from the cameras when The Osbournes was being made. Kelly and Jack became famous through the show and both work in television. The family live in LA but Sharon’s been trying to return to live in Britain for some time. 

‘I used to love LA but I’m uncomfortable with the way it’s changed. When Ozzy had his accident I was like, “God, if only I could get you home to England and have some space.”’ 

By home, she means the 350 acres of land around their Grade-II listed home, Welders House, in Buckinghamshire. We’ve got a forest to see the wildlife and there is privacy.’

The original plan was to be there permanently by last Christmas. ‘The house took longer than we thought. Now the gas and water pipes need changing, so there’s a big trench all around the perimeter. I can’t stay there because there’s no heat.’

Ozzy’s operations have also kept him in the States, but now those are over will the couple make it home for Christmas this year? ‘I hope we’re in our house,’ she says.

But Sharon has five grandchildren, so how will she manage with seeing them less? 

‘That’s the heartbreaking thing. I can see them whenever I want in LA, we’re together a couple of times a week. We’ll have to give that up, but they’ll come over for holidays, we’ll go there for birthdays and we won’t be parted for long,’ she says.

Jack, her son, is often in London. ‘Jack’s always been my rock. If anything happens I go to him and he’s there to advise. He has multiple sclerosis, but thank God he’s doing great. He just got married and he’s happy.’

What about her own career? The Osbournes have a successful podcast these days. Sharon also appears on TalkTV and says it’s easier to speak her mind in this country. 

‘I’m not woke. I don’t pretend that I am. I’m very tolerant. I have nothing against any race, any religion. You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. If you start on me, I’ll start on you. That’s it.’

Sharon was responsible for turning her husband, Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, into a huge global success with a reputation as the hell-raising ‘Prince of Darkness’

Sharon was responsible for turning her husband, Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne, into a huge global success with a reputation as the hell-raising ‘Prince of Darkness’

Talking of controversy, what has she made of the recent allegations against Russell Brand? 

‘I wasn’t surprised. Not at all. An extreme, outrageous person. I saw the documentary about him and thought, “How the hell did anybody get away with that behaviour?” Women just won’t accept that any more. Women have a voice and they use it now and it’s brilliant.’

He was flavour of the month in Los Angeles for a while though, so surely Sharon hung out with him then? 

‘I did. My husband’s going to kill me because he asked me not to talk about him. I knew him, although not well at all,’ she says. 

She’s not surprised he’s being called out now. ‘You play, you pay. It doesn’t matter how long ago, it always comes out. No matter who he is. All of these people think it’s never going to come out. Well, life catches up with you.’

Clearly there’s a reason why Sharon’s new show is called Cut The Crap, and she’s apparently ready to take any question at all from the audience. ‘What are they going to ask me that I haven’t been asked before?’ She laughs, confident after a lifetime of saying the unsayable. 

‘They can’t embarrass me because I talk about it all anyway. Bring it on. I’ve seen it all and I’ve heard it all before.’

  • Sharon Osbourne – Cut The Crap, 21 and 24 January 2024. For tickets visit tinyurl.com/4zn592cm
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