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I was brought up in Essex by very traditional Irish Catholic parents and attended a Catholic comprehensive school.

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Or rather, when I did stop to think of myself as becoming a mother, I imagined the only way I'd do so would be through an anonymous sperm donor.Or are some gay women much more flexible about who they fall in love with?These were certainly the questions on many people's lips this week, when it was revealed that Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne's mistress, Carina Trimingham, had dropped her female partner of a number of years in favour of a man.Today, with five-year-old triplets, Thady, Frank and Orla, and a seven-year-old daughter, Saoirse, a husband and a home in a leafy London suburb, I could be viewed as the archehtypal wife and mother, even if - as a stand-up comedian and actress - I don't have a conventional career.But through my 20s and 30s, I cut a very different figure altogether: I was a lesbian. Did I simply cave in to conventionality later in life?I fell in love at 17 with Tim, a hugely attractive pupil at the local grammar school.

It was a very intense relationship and I believed I would be with him for ever.

We talked about getting married and having children.

We carried on dating even when we went to separate universities - he to Cambridge and I to Kent.

Was my biological clock too deafening to ignore the desire for a child?

Do some women simply play at lesbianism because it appears cool?

I am convinced that while men are usually entirely driven by sex when it comes to choosing a mate, women are often attracted more by the emotional side of the relationship and I was excited by the close bond a relationship with another female could bring.