Pauline Nickson, of Leyland, had been going through a tough time back in 2000.
So putting her faith in the stars, she decided to enter a competition.
Thinking no more of it, the former Sue Ryder nurse was surprised to be named the most characteristic Aries at the BT Payphones’ Cosmic Callers competition, which led to an uplifting experience with astrologer Russell Grant.
Pauline, now 73, says: “I was going through a divorce and was very upset.
“I went to the phone box in Farington and saw an advert for Cosmic Callers.
“I had tears rolling down my cheeks and I rang up to talk about my star sign – Aries.
“My star sign said I was independent and I certainly proved it right.
“I never thought I would hear anything again, but then I got a phone call to say I was invited to come to Manchester an be interviewed.
“I did it on my own at Picadilly Gardens – there were a lot of other competitors there.
“Everyone had their photographs taken and was interviewed by a panel.
“I was questioned about my star sign, but then I went home and forgot all about it.
“Then I got a phone call a few weeks later and I was invited to London.
“We were told to go to the Planetarium in London and they shouted my name as the winner. I was given £1,000.
“It was a fantastic day and it was such a great atmosphere.
“It really helped me feel better about things.
“I met Russell Grant and he could see I was tense so he joked around and made me laugh.
“He was very good. He knew about my situation and was very understanding.
“He brought me out of feeling nervous.
“I still think about it a lot. I was surprised to see the photograph in the Guardian a few weeks ago.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t take a camera, so I never had any pictures form that day, which was such a shame.”