Love From the Pink Palace

Author name: Siobhan Cameron

Discover the profound impact of the Channel 4’s most watched drama series – It’s A Sin, and inspiring activism of Jill Nalder, as she uncovers the true story of her life in her debut book Love From the Pink Palace.

In the 3 years since it was aired, It’s A Sin has made a profound impact on the UK population and got the whole nation talking about HIV again. With it being one of Channel 4’s most watched drama series ever, it created unbelievably positive change in attitudes towards testing, treatment, and stigma. None of this would have been possible without the heroic and inspiring activism of Jill Nalder.

In 2021, Jill Nalder released her debut book Love From the Pink Palace: Memories of Love, Loss and Cabaret through the AIDS Crisis. Here, Jill uncovers the true story of her life and experiences during this time which inspired It’s A Sin.



We were all part of the same fight

Jill’s moving memoir is the perfect companion to It’s A Sin. Published only a year since its release, Love From the Pink Palace continued to shine a light on these often forgotten stories and kept the nation talking about HIV.

The book aims to teach people about “things they never even knew happened” and to bring out of the shadows all the forgotten ‘Jills’ who made such a difference to the lives of many.

Her memoir is full of life while simultaneously discussing personal loss in an emotive and moving way. Framed as one last gift to her late loved ones their stories are immortalised and given justice, forever remembered through the pages of Love From the Pink Palace.

One of Jill’s many cabarets with her friends dressed as ‘famous ladies of the musicals’ (Jill on the far left, dressed as Judy Garland)


Change was coming, but not overnight, so West End Cares continued its work

Alongside performing in West End productions such as Les Miserables and Oliver!, film and TV productions such as Finding Your Feet and It’s A Sin, Jill balanced her flourishing acting career with AIDS awareness campaigning.

Jill launched herself into the world of fundraising in the 1980s when she became one of the committee members of West End Cares (now known as Theatre Make A Difference Trust). The charity staged late night cabarets and midnight performances of West End shows with many of their celebrity contacts to raise funds for their friends and colleagues in the theatre industry affected by HIV/AIDS. Jill counted more than 200 shows they carried out, with performances from the casts of musical classics such as Chicago and Sunset Boulevard.

West End Cares also initiated the annual World AIDS Day theatre bucket collections, which is still a huge fundraising activity both at Waverley Care and across HIV charities in the UK even today.

Jill, her parents and two friends Jae and Dursley on the London Underground hired specially for the Oliver! opening-night party


It isn’t – and never was – about me. There were Jills all around the world and I’m sure they would tell you the same

During the HIV and AIDS epidemic, activism took many forms. History largely remembers ACT UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power); an activist group originating from New York which specialised in public demonstrations to advocate for better care and treatment, and recognition of AIDS awareness. Their iconic “Silence = Death” slogan became a powerful symbol for activists worldwide.

However, there were many more subtle forms of everyday HIV activism, demonstrated within Jill’s memoir.

Jill’s story highlights the huge role that women played in offering emotional support for those living with HIV. Many volunteered in hospitals, worked for charities, or spread accurate health information to those who needed it. Her book therefore reveals who was really there when the world turned their backs.

Caring for loved ones with HIV became a universal experience for so many activists campaigning for change during this period. Jill describes this by saying that she did not feel she sacrificed any part of her life caring for those with AIDS, but this rather “enriched” her life through the love she experienced.

A huge part of Jill’s own activism involved educating herself about the ever-changing medical knowledge about HIV/AIDS. She forged relationships with doctors to learn about new medication, befriended nurses to help achieve the best care for people, researched treatment and learned about nutrition for people with HIV. Jill says that her experiences with HIV and AIDS have left her with a “medical dictionary” in her head and that she “knows too much and too little at the same time”.

Jill’s story shines a spotlight on the forgotten activists and reminds us of those who came before us, and also of those still fighting and devoting their life to creating a better future for others.

The opportunity to reach zero new HIV transmissions by 2030 would not be possible without the ‘Jill’s’ that have existed, and still do. As Jill poignantly puts it, telling the story of this past plays an important role in shaping a better future.


The possibility of total eradication of this disease would be the greatest legacy of all

Jill Nalder, Love From the Pink Palace

Join us for an evening with Jill Nalder, the inspiration behind Channel 4’s smash hit It’s a Sin, to celebrate her five-star memoir Love from The Pink Palace: Memories of Love, Loss, and Cabaret through the AIDS Crisis.

Event details

Date and time:Thursday 14 March at 7pm

Location:  Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED

Ticket price: £18 (£30 with copy of the book which will be available to collect at the event). Save 20% off ticket price with LastChance offer (apply the code ‘LastChance’ at checkout) 


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