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Party pineapples to juice up your NYE bash

Stormtroopers Wills and Harry, and (right) actor John Boyega with his nephew


How to get complexion perfection


Inside week TH IS


If you’re looking for a fab film this Christmas, The Last Jedi is possibly the best Star Wars film ever. ‘It’s remarkable – and kind of unexpected,’ said one reviewer. And what’s not to love about a film where you have to guess which of the Stormtroopers are played by Princes William and Harry? Plus you get to see the late Carrie Fisher’s dog, Gary, in his first starring role as a tribute to her. (Yes, we cried.) We even caught up with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) on the red carpet and asked him… Does he make that noise at home to impress his fiancée? ‘I do, every day and every night,’ he admitted. ‘She looks quite sick about it right now!’ OYour first best issue of 2018 is on sale on Wednesday 3 Jan

Look hot and keep warm in faux fur

The new film was Carrie Fisher’s last

Delicious dishes designed for a romantic New Year’s Eve à deux




9 The Price of beauty: Katie’s face is ‘melting’… 10 Pregnant Kate’s secret: Why is the Duchess silently delighted? 16 Hocus pocus! The New Year’s Eve spell that found me a hubby 30 The belly blitz meal plan: Lose up to 10 Xmas lbs in just 7 days 32 Celeb rich list: Who won and lost a fortune in 2017? 42 Dine in style: Your New Year’s Eve menu sorted 56 £500 of New Look vouchers up for grabs*

28 I didn’t meet my sister until I was 75 34 I’m a new woman!


REGULARS 4 Start your week with a smile 12 Style: Be a star in tuxedo style! 19 Carol McGiffin 20 Health: How to beat the bloat! 22 We’re all talking about 24 Celebrate your shape: Faux fur 26 Claire crafts Christmas 27 Style: Pretty party nails 37 Cash advice: 5 top tips on gift returns


8 Meet The Glums: Sad Judy Finnigan EXECUTIVE EDITOR 14 Fred Sirieix: ‘People love SIOBHAN WYKES telling me their secrets’


38 Beauty: Make-up to wake up! 40 Dear Gloria 41 Stars with Russell Grant 44 best on test: Crisps 45 Food in a flash 46 Homes: Party pieces 48 Girls’ night in… and out 52 Tony Cowell 54 Travel: Spa breaks 57 Crossword: win £550 58 Treat yourself for under a tenner Hearst Magazines UK is a trading name of The National Magazine Company Limited (Registered in England number 112955) whose registered offices are at 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. Terms and conditions: Entrants must be 18 or over. Employees of The National Magazine Company trading as Hearst Magazines UK, Spoke and associated companies are excluded from taking part. Hearst Magazines UK retains the right to not award prizes to claimants or consortiums who in the opinion of Hearst Magazines UK have not entered into the spirit of the promotion. Should more prizes be claimed than are available in any prize category for any reason or claimed as a result of a technical error, a simple draw may take place for the prize. The editor’s decision is final. Suppliers cannot be held responsible for breakdown in communication systems or networks. Images are for representational purposes only. SP: Spoke, www.Spoke-Interactive. com. Data Protection: We will use the information you supply to process your competition entry. For our privacy policy visit



May the Force be with you


h t i w k e e w 1




Instagram/@ therealgokwan


4 Instagram/@mattjwillis


We asked our readers to send in pictures of their animals at Christmas, and we instantly fell in love with this image of Yorkshire terrier Jack, send in by Elaine Binge, from London. Looks like Jack got well and truly into the festive spirit when it came to decorating the tree! Seriously, could it get much cuter than this? Merry Christmas, Jack.

Seeing double We love seeing people inspired by others. Take a look at these famous doppelgängers and see who you think looks better. While Emma Willis, 41, and Gok Wan, 43, have a passing resemblance, we have to say actress Kate Hudson, 38, is rocking that 90s Leonardo DiCaprio look... 4 FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE

Titanic effort from Kate to copy Leo’s look

Who wowed the crowd?

Look at these sh happy people! It’s iny o favourite celebs lo nly our in satin. From Dit oking fab aV 45, and Scarlett J on Teese, o 33, button-up go hansson’s, wns to Stacey Solomon’s, 28, sh im wrap dress, we’re mery lovin this fabric. Perfect g material, girls!

best this WEEK


! STATUESQUE SCHO Yes, you really are looking at a picture of Phillip Schofield staring at a topless statue of himself. The TV star, 55, received what may be his most random fan mail yet! The gift came with a tag that said, ‘Hope you like your statue, and aren’t too weirded out by it.’ Either way, it certainly made us smile!

5 Dita and Scarlett show how you can be buttoned up and sexy at the same time, while Stacey opted for classic glam


If you’re thinking of starting a January detox, these beauty buys make the perfect tonic. The Superdrug Mix & Fizz Bath & Shower Creme Cocktail Gift Set is just £6 and boasts six delicious ‘flavours’ – including Piña Colada and Bellini. Forget Dry January, jump in the tub and celebrate with a soaking New Year!


h t i w k e e w


It’s no wonder that royals such as The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall love spending time in Scotland, especially if the views are like this! The image of this stag was taken from a car window in the Scottish Highlands. Talk about picture perfect...



Facebook/Sean Mannion


Black and white is a style classic – but black and red is certainly this season’s style must! We love Lizzie Cundy, 47, but this look is definitely not how this trend should be worn. Take tips from Victoria Beckham, 43, who teamed her sophisticated suit with sparkly statement accessories.

Victoria spices up her simple black outfit with bright-red accessories, while Lizzie’s dress is far too revealing!



Idris Elba was the picture of dapper elegance when he attended the London premiere of his latest film, Molly’s Game, in which he stars alongside Jessica Chastain, 40. Based on a true story, Idris, 45, said he’s ‘incredibly proud’ to be a part of a film about integrity ‘in a time when integrity for our population on this earth is kind of missing’. We think it’s a must-see!

9 10 Oh yes, you should! Fresh from seeing Dick Whittington, starring Elaine Page and Julian Clary, at the London Palladium, our columnist Gloria Hunniford said it was, ‘Hilarious – a wonderful night out. Traditional and fun, we should all see a panto at Christmas.’ (Be warned – this one is pretty lewd!)


Ever looked at a shot glass and thought, ‘I wish I could eat that?’ Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped the people at The Great Gift Company inventing edible versions! Made from chocolate, these mini-cups, £15 for a pack of 12, can hold any booze comfortably. Just eat it once you’re done. Waste not, want not…

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By the look on her face, it’s not shaping up as the happiest festive season for Judy Finnigan



marriage, as well as younger siblings Jack, 31, and 30-yearold Chloe, have all reportedly chosen to celebrate elsewhere. Judy revealed, ‘Richard and I will be Billy No-Mates on the big day this year. ‘One of my daughters-inlaw is expecting a baby in early January, and the usual Christmas pilgrimage from Manchester to London is not a good idea. ‘Another of my sons is taking off on a long-delayed honeymoon to Mexico. As for the other two, my daughter’s boyfriend is whisking her off on a surprise romantic break, while my youngest son is going to be backpacking in Thailand with his girl.’ Maternal Judy has spoken before about suffering from ‘empty nest syndrome’. This year, she may be feeling it more than ever, as she said she and Richard, 61, would

Daughter Chloe’s away with James Haskell


Down in the mouth: Judy with Richard

be feeling like ‘a John Lewis ad: two lonely snowpersons left out in the cold’. Richard has opened up before about how much fun Christmas is now that they’re grandparents, especially the present-opening. ‘Ivy is my stepson Tom’s little girl, and she’s a scream. Each Christmas, she gets funnier and funnier. It’s great to re-do all the stuff you did with your own kids.’ But, while Family time the kids won’t with Jack and Chloe in 1991 be around, at least Richard and Judy have each other to

spend the day with. And the couple, who have been married for 31 years, have traditions that they follow every year. ‘We don’t normally have croissants for breakfast, but we do on Christmas morning,’ Richard revealed. ‘Watching the Queen’s Speech is a tradition in our house. The Queen has been part of my consciousness for as long as I’ve been alive. Some of my earliest Christmas TV memories are of watching the Queen’s Speech. I have a glass of port while I watch.’ Cheer up, Judy – sounds like you’re set for a lovely day, kids or no kids!

‘We’ll be Billy No-Mates on the big day this year… two lonely snowpersons left out in the cold’


hristmas is a time for family, so it’s no surprise that our favourite TV hostcome-best-sellingauthor was looking down in the dumps when she was spotted out recently. In fact, even a stroll around Hampstead Heath with hubby Richard Madeley near their favourite pub wasn’t enough to put a smile on her face! And there may be a very good reason. For, despite being a mum-of-four, Judy, 69, looks set to be ‘lonely this Christmas’, as the song goes, as none of her brood is set to make it home for the big day. Judy’s twins, Tom and Dan, 40, from her previous

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What price beauty? After all her procedures, it looks like…


A natural beauty – Katie as Jordan in 1996

Oh, Katie, what have you done?

to yourself… you’re a beautiful girl. You don’t need all this fake stuff,’ commented one fan on Instagram. ‘For God’s sake, Katie, leave your face alone,’ begged another. ‘You’re naturally good-looking!’ And her online fans aren’t the only ones who are worried, as the other Loose Women panellists have also expressed their Katie shows concerns. off her shiny new veneers After speaking about her first facelift back in July, Nadia Sawalha exclaimed, ‘Why do you do it?’ Leading cosmetic surgeon Dr Munir Somji told best, ‘It appears Katie has

had a silhouette soft lift. It’s an older version of a thread lift, and only addresses the superficial skin – hence it can cause puckering, which Katie seems to have suffered, if performed incorrectly.’ ‘I also believe Katie could have body image dysmorphia (a mental condition in which a person is obsessed with flaws in their appearance). As a result, it’s likely that no amount of operations will fully satisfy her.’ As someone who rose to fame for their fresh-faced beauty, witnessing Katie progressively ruining her looks is becoming painful. Let’s hope somebody can help her see the light before she does any more damage…

‘It’s likely that no amount of operations will fully satisfy Katie’ FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE 9



and her skin looks puffy. The mother-of-five has made no secret of her love of enhancing her assets since rising to fame as notorious glamour model Jordan back in 1996. Since then, she’s discussed and even documented her boob jobs and the cosmetic work on her face – including belly fat injections, nose jobs, dental veneers, Botox, eyebrow tattooing, lip fillers and even a facelift. As Katie nears her 40th birthday, some fans are crying out for her to leave her body alone, and age gracefully. ‘Katie, what have you done


t’s no secret that controversial Loose Women panellist Katie Price is partial to a cosmetic procedure. Fans regularly voice their concerns on social media that the former model has gone too far, with one saying of Katie’s face, ‘It looks like it’s melting.’ Another tweeted, ‘She looks like a melting waxwork…’ But now, shocking new images have emerged of the star looking almost unrecognisable. Despite the extensive work on her face that Katie, 39, has admitted to, the skin around her strained mouth seems to be sagging,

IS PREGNANT KATE DESPERAT TO ESCAPE? Could the Duchess of Cambridge be secretly delighted that Meghan Markle is so spectacularly stealing the limelight? iven the current state of affairs, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine that the Duchess of Cambridge is feeling a little left out in the cold right now, with uber-glamorous Meghan Markle well on track to becoming ‘flavour of the moment’. The media frenzy surrounding the beautiful American actress – whose ex-husband is film producer Trevor Engelson, the pair having divorced in 2013 – is so strong that we wouldn’t be surprised if a new Netflix series was announced with the working title Meghan: Making A Princess! Since Kate, 35, was first revealed as William’s girlfriend in April 2004 (the couple were pictured skiing in Klosters), she has been the standout stylish female taking centre stage with the Royal


The Duchess was feeling the strain

Who’s laughing now?

Couple of the moment Harry and Meghan


Family. But now – particularly since Meghan’s engagement to Kate’s brother-in-law, Harry, 33, last month – Kate’s got serious competition, in the glam stakes at least, from the charismatic Suits star. Indeed, Harry and 36-yearold Meghan are currently being touted as the epitome of a contemporary royal couple. They will happily do things like hold hands, indulge in back rubs, steal kisses and generally look lovey-dovey in public. In comparison, Kate and William, also 35, have behaved in the far more traditional way that we have, so far, expected from our royals. And it’s inevitable that Kate will be pitted against Meghan from time to time, as the world’s media focuses on the every move (and outfit!) of these two bright, ambitious young women. Yet, there’s potentially a whole other side to this coin for Kate as the royal wedding approaches. If recent images are anything to go by, Kate is actually far happier with her lot than people are giving

best for CELEBRITY Prince William and Kate will uphold their royal duties

No selfies, please – we’re royal! The Queen, 91, is said to detest them, and Kate and William know better than to indulge in them – but the royal ‘no-selfie’ rule is one that might take some getting used to for newly engaged TV actress Meghan. The rule does get broken occasionally, though. In 2014, during a visit to Northern Ireland, the Queen accidentally found

‘Kate is actually rather shy... she’s not as comfortable in the spotlight as Meghan’ her credit for – delighted, you might say. So what exactly is the secret behind the new megawatt smile of the – until recently – thin and strainedlooking Duchess, who often seemed to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders? Royal expert Katie Nicholl, author of Kate: The Future Queen, says the new, blooming Kate is ‘absolutely delighted’ that the spotlight is off her. ‘A lot of people think Kate’s nose is out of joint now that Meghan has come along,’ Katie tells best. ‘But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Kate is in the spotlight very reluctantly, so the chance to dip out of it comes as a welcome relief to her. ‘She’s thrilled someone else is getting all the headlines for a change. It means she

can enjoy her pregnancy now that her morning sickness has subsided. She is desperate for some time to concentrate on her family and her work. ‘Kate is actually rather shy, and not entirely comfortable in front of the cameras. You could see a touch of that on the day of Harry and Meghan’s engagement, when reporters asked her about the good news and she seemed rather stilted. ‘She’s not as comfortable in the spotlight as Meghan. It doesn’t come as naturally for her. If she had the choice, she would rather not be in the limelight. She gets far more pleasure from being a mother, and is most comfortable and herself at home,’ adds Katie. It was recently announced

that Kate, due to give birth in April, will be jetting off with Prince William on a royal tour to Sweden and Norway, on 30 January to 2 February. At the start of her third trimester by then, and with tiredness no doubt kicking in, it may not be the easiest royal trip for the Duchess. Yet, knowing that the international spotlight is turned on her soon-to-be sister-in-law – alongside Kate’s budding excitement due to the impending arrival of her third baby – this could prove a more relaxing experience. When she comes home, while all talk will be on the royal wedding in May (now set for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle), Kate will be able to quietly prepare for the baby. Indeed, Katie says, ‘The Duchess is cramming in as much as she can up to her baby’s birth in terms of engagements.’ She explains, ‘She worked up to the final weeks of her pregnancy with Charlotte [two] and George [four], and intends to do the same, so that she

Prince Harry doesn’t always follow the rules

herself in the middle of an excited young boy’s selfie (though she didn’t look impressed). And, in the same year, Prince Harry broke the royal ‘noselfie’ rule during a trip to Estonia, when he was snapped taking snaps with a woman and her daughter. Naughty, Harry!

can take some time off the other side. ‘Of course, one of the first big engagements for her after the birth will be the wedding in May, but Harry and Meghan have already made it very clear there will be no expectations of her. The Duchess is going to have a low-key role, understandably.’ So, perhaps, rather than designer handbags at dawn, Kate and Meghan could end up princesses in crime – thick as thieves – as Kate helps Meghan negotiate the tricky waters of royal life, and Meghan takes some of the pressure off Kate. Royal-watcher Katie agrees, saying, ‘Kate has been very kind to Meghan behind the scenes, offering to help where and however she can. In fact, she’s really looking forward to having another woman joining the family.’ One thing’s for sure, watching the relationship between these two ladies develop – as Kate welcomes a third baby and Meghan ingratiates herself within the Royal Family – is sure to be riveting stuff.




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Unt aut mowith co Fred trains aut reperro boxing champb comniaSkeete pre Bradley

Instagram/@fred _sir


His kids are his pride and joy


as playing Cupid at the famous First Dates restaurant (the Paternoster Chop House in London), the charismatic maître d’ – who’s been in the restaurant business for 25 years – is also general manager at Michelinstarred London restaurant Galvin at Windows. A father-of-two [Fred is no longer with his children’s Instagram/@fred_sirieix

rench-born Fred Sirieix first shot to fame four years ago, when he appeared on hit Channel 4 dating show First Dates. These days, as well

mother], the charming 45-year-old does more than check that service is running smoothly, though. As fans of the show will know, he’s the one that shows nervous singletons to their tables, offering advice if needed. Here, Fred tells us about his new book, Secret Service: Lifting The Lid On The Restaurant World, his philosophy on life, and everything in between... Fred, so what are the secrets to great service? Smile and say hello to people – before they smile and say

‘People love telling me their secrets’

e First Dates Ch ristmas special will be a party to end all parties, with special guests including Aziza – aka the first First Dates baby – and some of the show’s sin gletons who are hoping for a kis mistletoe. Moust s under the ac player Oli is brou hioed rugby ght to the restaurant by hi s mum – but will cheerleader Ka to Oli’s cheeky ch t succumb arms when he reveals his fa vourite festive

First Dates star Fred Sirieix talks food, French Christmases and troublesome guests… hello to you! It’s important to be on the floor and expecting your guests. Never leave a customer alone with their thoughts – the moment they start wondering why they’ve come is the moment they lose trust. You’ve got to make sure your customer’s journey starts off on the right foot. What do you love about the restaurant world? I think it’s the people you meet from literally every walk of life. I’m getting on now, at 45 – but I work with young people, and that keeps me young! But it’s also a challenge to do this job consistently well. Look at Alex Ferguson and Manchester United – 25 years at the top!

First Dates At Christmas Th

Do you eat out at other restaurants, or is that hard? I do go out to enjoy myself but also to learn. I’m always a pupil, never a master. Do you ever get rowdy people in your restaurant? Yes, unfortunately you get idiots in every country! One time, a group smashed their plates on the floor. You have to let people know what’s acceptable and what’s not. You must diffuse a situation rather than make it explode, though. Has First Dates changed your life? Well, people stop me in the street all the time, for a start. They always want to take a selfie with me, which is nice.

Baby Aziza’s parents, Ibiba and Aarron, met on the show in June 2016

skimpy outfit?! An other First Dates favourite , Su too. Her last date sie, is back, , with Star Trek fan Martin, failed to beam her up – but will fellow returner Darren turn out to be her Prince Charmin g? We hope so!

They also send me emails, and even tell me their problems. So would you say you’re a bit of an agony aunt, too? Ha ha… You know, when you work at a restaurant, that’s what happens. People want to know what you think, tell you their stories, their secrets. Sometimes I don’t need to say anything, I just listen. And when they finish, you can see they feel better. It’s an interesting part of the job, that connection with people. Do you have a favourite couple from First Dates? I always think about Frankie and Muhala from the first series. The guy was a dancer, and she was a dancer, too. They fell in love, flirting at the table. Were you delighted about the show’s first baby? It’s lovely, I was amazed! But then I’m amazed every time I see something special blossom between a couple. How do you feel about getting old? It’s about bettering oneself. We should all aim to turn into a nice bottle of vintage wine. Some people get bitter as they get older and turn into vinegar – it’s the ugliest thing. We’re responsible for ourselves. You’re in good shape, Fred. What’s your secret? Probably my boxing sessions. I train with British welterweight champion Bradley

Skeete – you’ve got to train with the best! It’s great sparring with Bradley, he’s so fast. Boxing is like good service in a restaurant – you have to stay on your toes and be ready for anything to happen. Have you got any regrets? No. I can say I gave it my all. If something didn’t go right, it’s because I didn’t know any better. The main thing is to learn from whatever you’ve done, and not do it again. If you do it a second time, it becomes negligence, and negligence is unforgiveable. You have two children – are they like you? They’re beautiful, so not so much, ha ha! No, they’re by far the best things that have ever happened to me. They are my pride and joy. What are your Christmas and New Year plans? I’m going to go back to Limoges in France, where I am from, because my dad is celebrating his 70th birthday this year. My brother and I have organised a massive party with the whole family, and lots of nice French food, of course. It’s going to be fun! O First Dates At Christmas, C4, Christmas Day, 9pm O Secret Service: Lifting The Lid On The Restaurant World (Hardie Grant, £16.99) is out now


Fred is more than just a maître d’ at the First Dates restaurant


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Matt is Kitty’s perfect man

Kitty Waters was determined to find a man, so she summoned the powers of the universe and her wish was answered…

‘I manifested myself a husband!’ ou’re in charge of your own happiness, or so the saying goes, but I’m not sure how much stock I used to put into that. Yet, when I found myself single in my 30s – and desperate for someone to share my life with – I decided to try manifesting myself my dream man! It sounds crazy, but I made a list of the qualities I wanted him to have, sent out positive thoughts to the universe and,



just a few months later, I met Matt, now 45. He’s everything I hoped for – and more. It was June 2006 when I found myself single after being with a guy for four years. We’d drifted apart and, although we’d decided breaking up was for the best, afterwards, I went off the rails. I became the ultimate party girl, as hitting the clubs seemed preferable to staying at home alone. But drinking too much and late nights soon took its toll on my health.


By 2011, I had become overweight, tired and very unhappy. One morning, after waking up with yet another horrendous hangover, I realised I couldn’t go on as I was. At the age of 34, I knew that party life had lost its shine, and it was time to rediscover myself. So, I swapped clubs for the cross trainer, shots for smoothies and cut my long blonde locks into a chic bob. By Christmas 2013, I felt

happier and healthier than ever before, and my career in recruitment was soaring. But, as my TV filled with scenes of happy, family life, I realised there was something missing – someone special to ring in the New Year with. It felt like all the good men were already taken, and I’d been out of the dating game so long I didn’t know where to start… After Christmas, I went to stay with my friend, Runa, in Iceland, and I confessed that I wanted 2014 to be the year

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The heavens above fulfilled Kitty’s desire

I found my soul mate. ‘The as picturing time feels right,’ I said. ‘The my ideal only problem is finding him.’ man, I also Runa told me I needed to made a list have an open mind, and we of all the discussed manifestation – things I was the belief that if you really looking for. focus on something, and pour Someone who positive energy into it, then liked to travel, the universe will provide. was a family man, I know how it sounds, but loving, ambitious, open I’d always been a spiritual soul minded and… hairy! and, really, what did I have to Back home, I kept a diary, lose? So, on New Year’s Day, in which I wrote down all I found myself taking part in the negative stuff that was a special manifestation ritual. clogging up my mind. With candles lit and wine The idea was that it helped poured, I closed my eyes and make room for positivity, so pictured myself in the future I could concentrate on what I – on New Year’s Day 2015 was manifesting. – with my dream man. I wrote about my ‘I’m 6ft, so he’s perfect relationship very tall, with and what I dark hair,’ wanted it to be ‘If there’s I said to like, and then g in one th Runa. ‘He’s I went on ’ nt ar I’ve le also very lots of dates y, ck wa d un so t ‘It migh t if affectionate – I viewed but I truly believe tha at wh and isn’t them as on rd ha us you foc afraid to practice. you want, the universe hold my Six months will help you fulfil your dreams.’ hand.’ As well on, in June

Willing to pull herself out of a dark spot, Kitty saw the light

2014, I was walking my dog, Lola, in the park, when I suddenly had the urge to look up at the sky. ‘Please give me a sign that I won’t be single for ever,’ I whispered. As I went to leave, I saw something glistening in the mud. It was a piece of costume jewellery but, with its sparkling solitairecut diamond set in a gold band, it looked just like an engagement ring. I cleaned it up and slipped it onto my left hand. It fitted perfectly, and I wore it around the house. It made me feel like I was already engaged!

And, just two months later, I was swiping through Tinder, when there he was. Matt Surfleet was 6ft 4in tall and good-looking. Describing himself as kind, successful and spiritual, I knew I’d found The One. Meeting him in person was even better than I’d imagined and, by our fourth date, we were head over heels in love. Within three months, we’d moved in together. I know it sounds crazy, but Matt was everything I had manifested. And after three blissful years together, in May 2017 we went to our favourite restaurant, where Matt pulled out a matchbox from his pocket. ‘Kitty, will you be my wife?’ he smiled. Opening the box, I gasped. The sparkling engagement ring was identical to the one I had found in the park! I couldn’t believe it! We wed three months later in a beautiful ceremony and now, at 40, I can’t wait to see in the New Year with my gorgeous new husband. So, if you’re looking for love in 2018, never lose hope of finding that special someone – I’m proof it can happen!


‘Picturing my ideal man, I made a list of all the things I was looking for... and the perfect relationship’

CAROL McGIFFIN THE WAY I SEE IT... Wise words from our feisty, fearless and funny columnist

won’t be too unhappy to see the back of 2017. It hasn’t been a great year for me or my family after we lost my sister, Tracy, to cancer in January, and then my other sister Kim’s partner, Shaun, died in September, too. It’s not been all bad, though. I sold my London flat, which allowed me to fulfil a lifelong dream of buying a house in France. Mark and I were able to spend a long and leisurely summer there. However, the best thing is that I managed to survive another year without my own cancer coming back – something I do consider because of what’s happened to my family this year. So I’ve made a New Year’s resolution,






I’m loving... S N OW

recently, When it snowed ntain my even I couldn’t co , put up t excitement. I go d went an my snugglies on ost of it. m e th e ak out to m n-ups Seeing other grow their to ck regressing ba acting early childhoods, e in their tim st fir e th like it’s e seen lives that they’v simply as w , uff the st ts joyous. Snow lif d oo m ’s ne everyo be ld ou sh d an prescribed on the NHS – but only if you don’t need to travel anywhere at all…



Here’s to a very happy New Year!


and it’s to stop worrying about what might happen. I have to, because it’s why I’ve put off stuff I need to sort out, like my breast reconstruction and my wedding. I’m also going to get my second book finished, and make sure that “learn to speak French” doesn’t appear on my 2019 list (it’s been on there since 1974!) because this year, je vais le faire parce que je dois le faire! (I’ll do it because I have to do it!) Finally, to all you best readers, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you for reading my rants, I couldn’t do it without you!’

I’m loathing... SAVE A STAMP, AND CALL


I think it’s time to say goodbye to Christmas cards. They’re a waste of trees, time, money and space; a pointless piece of card with a rubbish picture on the front and a pathetic message inside, like ‘season’s greetings’. Who really looks at them, likes them, or enjoys writing them? No one. And with first-class stamps now at a whopping 65p, there has to be a better way. Next year, I’m just going to call people. FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE 19



fter weeks of rich food, sugary treats and plenty of booze, no doubt you will feel in need of some recovery time for your mind and, probably, your body! Here is how to help your digestive system and body recover from all the Christmas excess, and beat that bloated feeling that seems to affect us all after the festivities.

BAN THE BOOZE Although it seems to be a pretty popular idea, there is no such thing as a liver detox. There aren’t any teas, pills or shakes you can buy that genuinely detox your liver or heal it after all the booze. Your liver really doesn’t need a detox, it just needs a proper break from alcohol. Commit to abstaining for a few days for a good stretch into the new year.



Even certain healthy foods can actually worsen that bloating feeling you may have. It’s not just the Christmas pud and treats that do it – it may be some surprising foods as well. Some vegetables and fruit break down in the body and produce lots of gas and bloating – cauliflower, onions, apricots and apples can all do this. So, although of course they’re healthy, they may make you feel bloated.

It’s not just too much food that can cause bloating, it may be other things you do that are also a problem. Chewing gum and drinking fizzy drinks mean you take in a lot of unnecessary gas, which will worsen your bloated feeling. Also, certain artificial sweeteners can make you very gassy: sorbitol is known to be a culprit, so look out for that in foods.

FRIENDLY FIBRE The heavy and rich foods we all eat over Christmas aren’t particularly high in fibre: this means that part of the bloated feeling can come from slow-moving digestion and constipation. Eating high-fibre foods, such as bran-based cereals and plenty of fruit and vegetables, can help to get you back on track. Walking – indeed, any exercise – is also a great way to get your digestive system moving.


HELP YOUR GUT Your gut has a very fine balance of friendly bacteria that helps it to keep everything moving. That can be knocked off-kilter by all the excesses of this season, particularly sugary and stodgy foods. You can replace your friendly bacteria, and balance out your digestive system, with a probiotic – either in yoghurts, yoghurt drinks or even probiotic tablets. They are known to help with bloating and irritable bowels.

best for HEALTH

Look younger with Lesley Anti-ageing guru Lesley Reynolds reveals the latest treatments to help you stay youthful As we age and our metabolism slows down, stomach and hip fat gets harder to shift. But, with the right nutrition, exercise and treatments, you can shape up.


BodyJet is a gentler form of fat removal compared to lipo, and is ideal for areas such as the tummy and love handles. The water jet-assisted procedure ‘washes away’ fat without damaging blood vessels. Under local anaesthetic, a cannula is inserted under the skin. A thin

water jet is then channelled into the fat tissue, which is then aspirated through the cannula. Recovery takes one to two days, but support garments must be worn for two to three weeks. The best results are seen after three months when everything has settled. From £2,000.

MICRO-TUCK LOOSE SKIN If the skin on your stomach is hanging, the non-surgical route is preferred, but a micro-tuck, focusing on the lower tummy, can tighten the abdomen. It’s less invasive than a full-on tummy tuck with a faster recovery. The incision is short and best for women in shape, who only have a small amount of excess skin. An overnight stay in the clinic is required, as the procedure is performed using general anaesthetic. There’s a downtime of three weeks. From £5,000.

WATER – NOT WINE! Drinking water is probably one of the best ways to beat the bloat after Christmas. You don’t usually need to drink as much as two litres a day, but it is wise to do so if you’re trying to get your system back on track. Water is essential for your bowels to work regularly, and it helps to prevent bloating. It’s also a better alternative to alcohol!

NATURAL AID Peppermint oil capsules can be very useful for calming down bloated tummies. You can buy these in pharmacies. Take them with a large glass of water at each meal. They are used regularly by doctors to control bloating for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint has long been known as an aid to digestion and is used in peppermint tea to calm tummies, but the oil is even better.

tightening treatment using radio frequency energy to help stimulate new collagen. You will need to commit to at least six weekly hour-long treatments for the best results. From £150 a session.


● There’s no point spending cash on treatments only to continue with bad habits. Junk food and a lack of exercise will leave its mark. ● Two of the belly’s enemies are sugar and carbs. Cut back. ● A daily plank will strengthen the core. Rest on your elbows, feet on tiptoes and hold for 30 seconds. ● Bloating happens when

your body holds on to too much water or bad bacteria, so consume natural diuretics such as cranberries, beets, cucumber, lettuce, green tea and carrots. ● High levels of the hormone cortisol can cause fat to store on the stomach. Meditating regularly for 15 minutes can help to reduce stress, lowering cortisol production.

For more information on Lesley and her team of doctors, visit



Body-shaping treatments have come on in leaps and bounds with a number of new technologies to firm and smooth stomach skin with little discomfort. Forma is a painless skin-


If you haven’t had time to keep up with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, we’ve done it for you…

Can you ever go too far with New Year’s Eve? While most of us spend the last day of December catching up with old friends in a bar, or sipping happily on a bottle of cheap Champagne at home, celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and the Osbournes tend to celebrate it rather differently. Whether Leo’s in Australia or sailing through St Bart’s on his yacht, he is known for pulling out all the stops on NYE – much like Mrs O, who once spent as much as £200,000 on a New Year’s Eve party for her friends and staff. The X Factor judge explained, ‘We think it’s important to include family and friends – and most of my staff fall into that bracket. Everybody deserves some kind of reward for their hard work.’ While we agree with Sharon, is it worth all that money? Either way, a New Year spent with Leo or the Osbournes would definitely be one to remember. How far do you go for New Year’s Eve?

e r ’ e W t u o ab KING L A T L L A

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Tell us at bestmagazine



At this time of year, we’re all about eating and drinking ridiculously excessive amounts, so why not combine cake and alcohol in one delicious dish? Keen bakers have been making the most of their leftover Baileys by adding it to their desserts, resulting in some pretty potent puddings. Cheesecake seems to be a popular option among Pinteresters, with food blogger Life, Love & Sugar whipping up a chocolate cheesecake trifle that will mean you’ll likely need a nap afterwards.


Boozy bakes

PICK of the best L G O IN G V IR A

Are you smarter than a four-year-old?

content with dying hair Prism hair Not just one shade, US hairdresser Ursula Goff (@uggoff) has been experimenting with ‘nature inspired hair’, taking her looks from the likes of volcanos and rainbows – as seen in this picture. The result is mesmerising, if pretty tricky to copy. She’s amassed over 100k followers on Insta and, when we’re set for a FIND US ON dreary January, INSTAGRAM AT… they’re certainly @bestmagofficial a mood booster.


Many of us make resolutions when the New Year rolls around, and some of them are often trickier to keep than others. YouTuber Tingman uploaded a video of his adorable daughter and her thoughts on New Year’s resolutions. With 160,000 views and counting, her opinions have clearly made more than one person smile, so this is a definite must-watch to kick off the New Year. Find it by googling ‘4-year-old gives best advice for New Year’s resolutions’

Hello, Ma’am Snap! We’ve all had that awkward moment when you turn up at a party only to find someone else wearing the exact same thing, and it seems even the Queen isn’t exempt! Greeted by HM at Buckingham Palace, Nigeria’s ambassador and his wife must have wondered if they’d got the dress code almost too close!

Trending on Twitter Trump may seem like the loudest on Twitter, but the top tweets of the year have been revealed, and his don’t feature. Bigger were Ariana Grande’s response to the Manchester bombing, an image of late singer Chester Bennington, and – maybe our fave – a last presidential tweet from Obama.

FIND US AT… @bestmagofficial


Pitch Perfect 3 The Bellas are back! The a cappella singing group – led by Becca (Anna Kendrick) and ‘Fat Amy’ (Rebel Wilson) – decide to reunite one last time for an overseas USO tour competition. With plenty of infectious, toe-tapping pop hits and a laughout-loud performance from Rebel, it’s the perfect film to watch with the girls.


I love your outfit…

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2 1

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Skirt the issue A fuller style is ideal for pear shapes.

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Make your New Year’s resolutions on the Mr Plan app, which helps you stick to your goals!


or my last column this year, I’m giving you some fab, fun ideas for transforming your home for New Year! Whether your celebrations are big or small, these easy makes will give you a really great look that your guests will love. Happy making!

New Year cheer!

Love Claire xx

U NEED WHAT YO decorative

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A family secret came to light after nearly 70 years – and siblings Jon and Christine met for the first time

I didn’t meet my sister until I was 75 Jon Entwistle was in his 70s when he received a letter that changed everything he’d ever believed about his childhood and family…

t the grand age of 72, I thought I’d pretty much seen it all. After 46 years of marriage, my wife, Ren, and I had retired to North Yorkshire. We’d shared an exciting life, first running our own restaurant and then, for a time, living in the South of France. With our three children grown up and settled, and six wonderful grandchildren, you might say that I wasn’t expecting any great surprises. Which is why a letter that



landed on the doormat in 2013 threw everything I’d ever known into confusion. The handwritten note was from a lady called Glenys Swatman. ‘Dear Jon,’ she wrote. ‘You don’t know me, but I am your cousin…’ Glenys claimed she was the daughter of my ‘real’ mother’s sister. Then she added she was searching for me on behalf of Christine, my sister who lived in Canada. I was stunned. As far as I knew, I didn’t have a sister, and I’d always thought I was the son of Irene and

Arthur Entwistle. The name Joan Penn, who Glenys said was my real mum, didn’t mean anything to me. ‘Could it all be true?’ my wife asked. An odd incident that had happened when I was 18 came to mind. I was still living with my mum and dad in Scarborough, when a man with a Canadian accent telephoned the house, and said, ‘Your mum sends her love.’ My father wouldn’t explain the call, so I put it down as a prank – but, with everything Glenys was now telling me,

best for REAL LIFE my ‘new’ cousin, Glenys. She and her husband only lived a few miles away from us, in Keighley, Leeds. Talking to her, I quizzed her about my mother. Tragically, she had passed away in 2003. It seemed, though, that she had never given up hope of a reunion with me. And I saw a photo of her for the first time. The family resemblance was striking, ‘Beautiful,’ was all I could say when I saw it. Glenys put me in touch with my half-sister, Christine, who lived in Canada. Thanks to Skype, we could talk face-to-face for the first time. Christine is eight years younger than me. She first discovered she had a longlost brother when she was 18, and found my birth certificate. After three years of chatting via Facebook and the internet, we finally bridged the Real mother almost 5,000-mile gap. Joan – Jon was struck by the I met Christine at strong family York Railway Station resemblance this September. As she walked towards me along the platform, she mouthed, ‘Jon’. And that was it. It was like we had always known each other. Me and my little sister… the missing years just melted away. a wrench for my mother, Christine stayed with us for but I will never know why four days. I was so thrilled to she made that decision to have her in my home. leave me. We spent hours getting to It can’t have been easy for know each other, with me my father, either, left alone wanting to know as much with a three-year-old boy. as she could tell me about My father married again my mother. – to Irene, the woman I had Now, I’m just grateful called Mummy. to know the truth, and I’m There were so many thrilled to have a sister. questions to ask – but I don’t blame anyone – not nobody to answer them. my dad for keeping secrets, Sadly, Irene passed away nor my mum for leaving. It in 1987, and Dad died in was a different time then, 1992, aged 80. and the decisions they made I know that he would have can’t have been easy. thought what he was doing My story has a happy was for the best. ending – even if it did take The next step was meeting nearly 70 years to happen.

Jon grew up with his dad and ‘mum’ Irene, knowing nothing of the dramatic truth about his family

mother at all. In fact, during World War II, my father, Arthur, was posted abroad. My Christine: the mother, Joan, left at home in half-sister Jon Scarborough with me, fell in didn’t know existed love with a Canadian airman called Cyril Penn, who she could it be a clue? was nursing back to health. Glenys had included an I was just three, it seems, email address, so I contacted when my mother decided she her. Curiosity was driving couldn’t be apart from Cyril. me forward. When Dad returned, my The story that unfolded parents divorced. Things were was quite incredible. It meant tense, and Dad was granted everything I’d ever full custody of me. believed about my Denied the chance to see me, childhood was ‘If there’s after two years, a lie. It turned one thing my mother out that the and Cyril woman I’ve learnt’ ’ emigrated I’d called ‘You can’t judge others decisions, or worry to his native Mum, and sh about what-ifs. Cheri Canada. mourned at what you have in the It must her funeral, here and now.’ have been was not my


‘I don’t blame anyone – not my dad for keeping secrets, nor my mum for leaving’


SEVEN-DAY DIET By tweaking the hormones that control the rate we store fat, you can lose more weight than ever for New Year. Follow our detox plan, and you could shed excess pounds fast



Lose up to 10lb in ! a week

Over the festive period, when life is hectic, it’s easy to dismiss tiredness, carb cravings and hard-to-shift flab as just side effects of being busy. But, according to US weight loss expert Dr Sara Gottfried, these are important signs that the body has stopped responding to the hormone leptin. Leptin informs the brain that you’ve had enough food, explains Dr Gottfried, who has helped some slimmers lose more than 4st in six weeks. Eating too much of the wrong kinds of food and exposure to toxins triggers inflammation that causes the brain’s leptin receptors to become too damaged to respond efficiently – a condition called leptin resistance.




When your brain thinks you’re starving, it tells the thyroid to conserve energy, slowing down metabolism by up to 50 per cent. The result of this leptin resistance? The calories you do eat get burned off a lot more slowly, and typically get stored around the hips, waist and bum. Resetting your levels by intermittent fasting and eating more foods that support leptin in the body – such as grapefruit, oats, dark green vegetables, eggs, peppers and turmeric – can reverse fat storage and rev up energy levels by up to 180 per cent, speeding up weight loss. Follow our diet for seven days, and you could lose 10lb!




You can choose when you want to carry out the two-day fast in the week, just be sure to consume all your meals within an eight-hour window.



Morning: Black coffee or tea. Breakfast: Two boiled eggs. A handful blueberries. Lunch: A large bowl vegetable soup. Spinach, watercress and rocket salad with olive oil and lemon juice. Afternoon: Black or green tea. Dinner: A baked sweet potato topped with red peppers. Salad with olive oil and lemon juice.

Morning: Green tea or decaf latte. Breakfast: A tub of live natural yoghurt. A handful blueberries and sesame seeds. Lunch: Avocado and tomato salad with olive oil, lemon and chilli flakes. Afternoon: Green tea or coffee. Dinner: One can of tuna in brine. Green salad with olive oil and lemon juice.



Breakfast: A grapefruit. One egg, scrambled, with two cherry tomatoes. Cranberry juice. Lunch: Rice salad: 30g brown rice mixed with two cherry tomatoes, handful of rocket, handful of walnuts, 30g feta cheese, olive oil and lemon juice. Dinner: A salmon fillet pan-fried with 1tsp olive oil and a dash of chilli flakes. 3tbsp broccoli.

Breakfast: Small bowl porridge oats with 3tbsp semi-skimmed milk, 1tsp each honey, sesame seeds and blueberries. Lunch: Wholemeal tortilla filled with 3tbsp tuna flakes, red pepper slices, handful rocket. Dinner: Two lamb chops, grilled. Mash: Crush sweet potato and three carrots with 1tsp each turmeric and butter. Broccoli.



Breakfast: An egg poached on a slice wholemeal toast. A large cranberry juice. Lunch: 30g egg noodles stirfried in 1tsp sesame oil with small pack stir-fry veg, red pepper slices and cashew nuts. Dinner: Pan-fry a tuna or fillet steak. Salad: red onion, tomato and 30g mozzarella slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Breakfast: 30g granola with 1tsp pumpkin seeds, blueberries and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. Lunch: Vegetable soup. Two slices smoked cheese. Walnuts. Dinner: Chicken lettuce wraps: Toss a chicken breast in 1tsp garlic power, fry in 1tsp olive oil. Add 3tbsp coconut milk, 1tsp brown sugar and lime juice. Cook for 15 mins. Serve in lettuce leaves.



Breakfast: 30g bowl muesli topped with 3tbsp grapefruit. Cranberry juice. Lunch: Chicken or beef burger with an onion and tomato. Salad. Dinner: Mediterranean cod casserole: A cod fillet brushed with olive oil, baked in a moderate oven for 30 mins with tomatoes, herbs and red pepper slices. 30g brown rice.

Choose one each day ● Handful of almonds

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Money S spinners or money sinners? Celebrity status can earn you a fortune, but not every star has the Midas touch. Here’s our round-up of the stars who have hit the jackpot in 2017 and the ones feeling the pinch…

Meet the money spinners...

avvy Holly is one of ITV’s highest-paid female stars, and the 2017 gender pay scandal saw the 36-year-old presenter reportedly given a £200,000 raise to bring her in line with This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield (who earns a reported £600,000). This year also saw Holly win lucrative deals to be the face of Diet Coke – which is said to come with a six-figure pay cheque – and a range of bedding for Dunelm. Already worth an estimated £10 million, Holly and husband Dan Baldwin’s company – Roxy Media – reported a net worth of £1.48 million as of February 2017 and, this Christmas, the couple are said to have paid themselves £1 million from the company. When Dancing On Ice returns in January, Holly will resume rink-side duties – for even bigger bucks. When fellow presenter Rylan ClarkNeal challenged her recently about her worth she spluttered, ‘I’m not very good with maths.’ Somehow, we doubt that!



C Queen of the Jungle... and our hearts



018 is set to be the year of the Toff, after Made In Chelsea star Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo took I’m A Celebrity... by storm. Posh Toff, 23, smashed trial after trial and proved she had what it takes to be true Queen of the Jungle. Now she’s in high demand, with offers of work rumoured to be worth up to £5 million. Even the Beeb want her to appear on Question Time!


rowned Jungle winner on last year’s I’m A Celebrity…, Scarlett Moffatt has had a meteoric rise to stardom in 2017. She began the year with a successful weight-loss DVD deal, before being unofficially adopted by fellow Geordies Ant and Dec and landing a regular slot on their award-winning Saturday Night Takeaway. She was also chosen to front a revamp of Davina McCall’s old dating show, Streetmate, and returned down under to present I’m A Celebrity.... Extra Camp. Add to that a lucrative autobiography – Me Life Story: The Funniest Book Of The Year! – and it’s easy to see why the 27-year-old ex-Gogglebox star has already fulfilled her vow to pay off her parents’ mortgage. She’s rumoured to have banked over £1 million. The sky’s the limit for this lass!

Scarlett’s come a long way from the Gogglebox sofa!



Holly’s skating her way to the top

f singer Olly Murs ever wants a We bet Olly’s heart skips change of a beat when career, he could he sees his always become bank account! an investment banker! The shrewd Essex boy’s amassed a personal fortune – partly by only paying himself a modest weekly wage. In March 2017, the 33-year-old cashed in by going on tour with his fifth studio album, 24hrs. Then, in October, he was confirmed as the new coach on The Voice, replacing Gavin Rossdale – another massive income booster. Accounts lodged with Companies House in 2016 revealed his firm had funds of £6.3 million, so given how busy he’s been, Olly must have done very nicely in 2017, too. Lolly Murs might be more appropriate!

… and the money sinners! K ATIE PRICE


enowned for her shrewd business brain, former model Katie Price, 39, has sold everything from kids’ books to pony gear in her time. Her popularity peaked when she was married to singer Peter Andre and her company, Jordan Trading Ltd, was raking in more than £1 million a year. But since their messy split

Is the Price of fame taking its toll?

Katie’s legendary earning power has taken a knock, and she was hit with a £200,000 tax bill earlier this year. The wolf’s still far from the door but, with five kids and a high-end lifestyle… look out, Katie!




Gabby is shaping up to be a star

ove Island contestant Gabby Allen, 25, not only found love on the show but fame, too. Gabby and Blazin’ Squad’s Marcel Somerville, 31, might not have won – but things have been on the up ever since. Fitness instructor Gabby has a lucrative deal with Quiz clothing, as well as being paid for several sponsored social media posts, where the Liverpudlian boasts one million followers. She has recently announced a new project, too – the fitness app, Shape Up with Gabby Allen. And, since it’s been reported that Love Island stars can earn up to £5,000 an hour for appearances, we’d say 2017 has been one hell of a money-spinner for this lady!


hen Channel 4 snatched The Great British Bake Off from the BBC, Paul Hollywood, 51, was the only regular judge to join the move. Apparently, his new bosses gave him a whopping salary of £400,000 per season. The revamped show was a financial hit and a big earner (largely thanks to all those ad-breaks viewers hated!). Add to that the fact that Channel 4 commissioned a series about his life, there’s no doubt Paul made a killing this year. But, his reported £10m fortune (at Companies House, his 2016 earnings stood at £9,934,549) could soon be slashed in half, after his recent split from wife of 20 years, Alex. If he’s not careful, his With a potential finances divorce settlement on his will go stale hands, Paul will need to keep the dough rolling in.

Now that she’s lost a whopping 6st 7lb, Joanne Collins is looking forward to 2018 – for all the right reasons…

17st 4lb at her heaviest, Joanne’s weight was getting in the way of her family life

I’m a new woman! es, it’s that time of would have helped, but no… year when millions I loved meeting other mums make resolutions for coffee and cake. And, at to slim down and get fit. home, I liked to bake. Only, for me, the New Lack of sleep left me Year always used to mean with little motivation to continuing my bad eating and prepare home-cooked meals, barely-there exercise habits, Instead, we ate ready meals. and not making a fresh start. When I did cook, I’d make It was only when a holiday huge portions of spaghetti to Center Parcs with my Bolognese or lasagne, topped husband, Mark, 46, and sons with tons of cheese. Luke, 10, and Finlay, six, In April 2015, our friends ended in humiliation that Helen and Steve suggested I decided to address my a holiday to Center Parcs 17st 4lb figure. in Holland. Mark and the Having trained as a chef, boys were ecstatic about I’d always loved food, but mountain-biking, rockrunning around kitchens climbing and swimming, but meant I stayed a size I was apprehensive.   14-16. When I got During every activity, I was a job as a hotel general at the back, panting and manager in 1999, sweating. The final the trouble really straw was the started. I would water park. s e’ ‘If ther sit at my desk, When g in one th snacking. I saw the ’ nt I’ve lear I fell towering joy en ll sti n ‘You ca pregnant slides, my e the foods you lov , with Luke heart sank. on as se ay lid over the ho in 2007, and There was as long as you do it it gave me no way in moderation…’ even more of an I would be excuse. A whole able to slither packet of Jaffa Cakes down them. was nothing to me.  I pretended I didn’t feel In 2011, Finlay arrived and well. By the pool, I sat bulging I went part-time at work. out of my size-22 swimsuit, You’d think not being around watching my family and that hotel food every day burning with shame.



‘How have I let this happen?’ I agonised. That feeling came home with me. ‘I love you,’ Mark insisted. ‘But your weight makes you miserable.’ There was no arguing with him. My self-esteem was at rock bottom. I wanted things to change, but how? Then I received a message from a friend who was now working as a Cambridge Weight Plan consultant and wanted help with social media for her new business. As we talked, I felt hope surge back. Sandra tailored an eating

plan for me. Every day, I’d eat three Cambridge weightloss products (soups, bars, porridges and shakes) and a 200-calorie meal. That added up to 800 calories. In the first week, I lost 6lb, then averaged out to 3-5lb each week. Slowly, over the following months, I started to re-introduce more food. It’s not rocket science, but a few simple life changes made a massive difference. I reduced my portion sizes, made home-cooked meals and did my food shopping online, so I wasn’t tempted to fill a trolley with treats roaming

best for REAL LIFE

‘I sat by the swimming pool, bulging out of my size-22 swimsuit’ around a supermarket. I also started walking. Then, running. Progress was slow at first but, this year, I did the 10-mile Great South Run. Six months after starting the Cambridge Weight Plan,

Typical day, before… BREAKFAST Cereal and toast LUNCH Chicken mayo or ham and cheese baguette DINNER Chinese takeaway or pizza, spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne SNACK Cake

I’d lost 6st 7lb and weighed 10st 10lb. Going from a size 22 to a size 12 means I’m literally half the woman I used to be, with twice the confidence! I’ve even decided to become a fulltime Cambridge consultant. The best thing about my new shape was being able to go on the water slides with Luke and Finlay at Center Parcs last year. ‘Mum, you’re such good fun!’ they shouted. This year, I’m going to work hard to maintain the figure I’m so proud of. I’m looking forward to some runs and bike rides with Mark and the boys. I might be 47, but I won’t be lagging behind. I’ll be in the lead!

… and after BREAKFAST Porridge LUNCH Home-made soup or a salad served with chicken or prawns DINNER Chicken stir-fry, mushroom omelette SNACK Piece of fruit or cereal bar


Now, she enjoys running and cycling with husband Mark

COMING NEXT WEEK Find out which Loose Women star lost 12st... PLUS Read her exclusive diet plan



? ? On sale Wednesd a 3 Jan y

best for CASH ADVICE


2 1

RETURN IT One choice is to take gifts back and get something you actually like. This is tricky without a gift receipt – most stores won’t give you a refund without one. Even if you have an original receipt, many shops can only issue a refund to the credit or debit card that was used to make the purchase – ie, the giver. Gift receipts get round this by transferring the purchasing rights, so that you have the same options as if you’d bought the gift yourself.

LEGALITIES Shops don’t have to issue a refund just because you don’t like something. Legally, they only have to act if the item is faulty, so you’ll be at the mercy of their returns policy. Check before you go to avoid embarrassment. If you don’t have a gift receipt (or it was bought online), your last resort is to ask the gift-buyer to return it for you.

5 top tips on GIFT RETURNS

EXCHANGE IT Around 49 per cent of people who’ve tried to return a gift did so because it didn’t fit properly, according to Go Compare. Instead of trying to return it, you might be better off with a swap. Retailers are much more relaxed about giving you a credit note or exchanging like for like, especially if it’s just the size that’s the problem. It’s still easier with a gift receipt than without, but it’s always worth asking the question, as many shops will be happy to let you swap without one.


Remember… If you’re wanting to return or exchange your gifts, ensure you keep all the original packaging – even the cable ties. This way, you’re far more likely to be successful.


FLOG IT! If you can’t take your unwanted present back, another possibility is to sell it online. If that’s the plan, you may want to move slowly. Sites like Amazon and eBay are flooded with people selling unwanted presents in January, so the prices can drop. Try waiting till March, when you might get more money.

RE-GIFT IT Don’t want to profit from an unwanted present? You could re-gift it. That way, you save money through the year, and, hopefully, someone else will love the necklace you hated. Make sure you don’t accidentally gift it back to the person who bought it for you, though – label presents, so you know who they came from! Alternatively, give it to charity – it’ll make you feel good, and someone else will benefit from your generosity. FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE 37


* According to research by

We’ve all been there… You excitedly unwrap your Xmas presents, only to find jewellery you don’t like or clothes that don’t fit you. The problem is so widespread that we returned an estimated £335m worth of presents in 2016*. But how do you deal with unwanted gifts? Far too many of us stash them and forget about them – but our financial expert, Sara Benwell, says there are other options…


Make-up to wake up! Brilliant buys to help you look less tired he party season may have left you looking a little less fresh than usual, we’re guessing. The usual festive combination of rich diet, extra tippling and late nights will inevitably show itself in the form of lacklustre, dull skin. So we’ve come to the rescue, finding the best make-up to erase the signs of overindulgince and get you back to your glowing, radiant self.




Primers might seem like a make-up step too far when we’re all so time-poor, but the right one will make your foundation look less patchy – a common occurrence when we’re dehydrated in winter. M&S Autograph Luminosity Radiant Skin Primer, £12.50, disguises a grey complexion but, if your face feels drier than normal, try M&S Hydrating Confidence Boost Primer, £12.50 (sold in a green tube), ideal for ‘thirsty’ skins.

Fake it yourself

Home-made hand heroes With constant exposure to extreme temperatures and repeated washing, our hands are constantly fighting a battle against dryness. As the skin on our hands is some of the thinnest on our body, we need to take extra care. A grainy substance like brown sugar won’t be too abrasive but will soften any hard patches around nails and knuckles. Mix 2tbsp sugar into 1tbsp olive oil and massage in before rinsing well. Follow with a moisturiser. Believe it or not, coconut milk makes a great hand cream – keep it in the fridge for a few days to allow it to solidify. Just a pea-sized amount per hand will be more than enough. It’ll last up to three days.



Highlighters are a fast track to adding a glow, and we’re spoilt for choice in the shops. L’Oréal Paris Merry Metals Glow Drops Highlighting Fluid, £9.99, lifts a variety of skin tones. Add some to your foundation for an all-over lift, or go for a more targeted approach. Dab a tiny amount in the corners of your eyes, swipe some underneath your brow and dot some on to your cheekbones.

best for BEAUTY



Tempted to pile on the make-up to conceal tired eyes? Less is more, actually, if you want to look wide-awake. Choose a metallic, light-reflecting shade for a brighter appearance. KIKO Cosmetics Water Eyeshadow in Copper, £8.90, can be applied wet for a stronger hue. Then apply Max Factor Lash Crown Mascara, £9.99, with a crown tip for building up individual lashes.



Dark circles, puffiness, crow’s feet – our eyes can really take a hit, showing fatigue. Avoid slathering on a heavyduty concealer, as overdoing it can make you look even more tired. Pick one with a lighter consistency, like Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer, £17.50. Using your ring finger, pat it on delicately below the inside corner of your eye and blend outwards.


Forgoing blusher can risk your complexion looking flat and one-dimensional, so inject a little colour. Use a big blusher brush to diffuse the product and stop it looking caked-on. Sweep it over the chubbiest part of your cheeks, starting with a light layer, and repeat if needed. Clarins Blush Prodige Illuminating Cheek Colour (six shades), £27, offers a natural-looking effect.




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best for ADVICE

a i r o l r G a e D

of three and m u m a is rd o if n n u Gloria H s been divorced, e’ h S . 10 f o er th o m grand to deal with the losse ed n ar le d an ed ri ar rem Off Britain, sh ip R n o , d an r te h g of her dau . In her own words, es su is er m su n co battles k Gloria anything… as , o S . t’ lo a d ve ‘li she’s

Should I confront my husband? ’ve been married for 10 years, and I have always thought my husband and I were very happy. However, last week, I found myself snooping on his phone and saw flirty texts from his colleague. He came back into the room,


and I haven’t been able to read the rest. Should I confront him about it? Marianne, Portsmouth   Sometimes, when you nose around, you discover things you don’t want to see. I’d be careful about confronting your husband

My colleagues don’t believe that I’m suffering... or the past few months, I’ve been feeling really under the weather, and I have had to take a lot of time off work because of this. At first, my colleagues were sympathetic but now they’re making snide comments and insinuating I’m exaggerating just so PICTURES: BIGSTOCK, GETTY


that I can have time off. It’s becoming the elephant in the room. What should I do? Liz, Norwich Well, firstly, I’m so sorry you’ve been under the weather – there’s nothing worse. However, as nature goes, people tend to be very sympathetic at the beginning, then they lose patience as time goes on. If it bothers you that much, then show them your doctor’s letter. If you don’t think you’d feel OK doing that, ignore their negativity.

– it could end up in a row about you invading his privacy, rather than the messages themselves. Alternatively, you could keep being ‘curious’ and, if the texts continue, speak to your husband. But don’t accuse him until you’re sure of the full story.

My friends don’t really care for me o others, it looks like I’ve got loads of close friends around me. I do have a list of people I could go out with but, deep down, I’ve never really felt that they truly care about my well-being. I’ve recently won a bit of money and, suddenly, I’m surrounded by people. It’s made me question if they really are my friends. Especially as I was hospitalised with a very serious illness at the beginning of this year, and no one who surrounds me now actually visited me back then. In fact, I felt very alone during that


40 FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE O Email your questions to

or write to her at Gloria, Best Magazine, 33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ


Your Stars with Russell Grant

For the period 22 Dec 2017 – 2 Jan 2018


21 January – 19 February

Friends who share your sense of humour will seek you out for your company. Even so, taking a break from the festivities can be therapeutic. You’ll want to reconsider future goals and directions – a process that is best carried out privately.


20 February – 20 March

People around you seem to be partying like never before. You can’t keep sacrificing family time for the sake of pleasing friends. Quiet evenings in with your loved ones will allow you to relax and still have fun. This will help you feel closer to your family.


21 March – 20 April

Avoid unburdening your heart in a public forum. If you need someone to talk to, share your thoughts and feelings with people you love. Listen to an older relative’s advice, even if it seems outdated. In truth, they know you better than you think.

extremely difficult time in my life. Stephanie, Essex Anyone who has won the lottery will tell you about all the new ‘friends’ that suddenly appear. Be careful not to buy friendship. The reality is, all of us only have a handful of true friends who are there for us when times are bad. When my daughter, Caron, died, I realised who my true friends were. It happens when you are up against it. Also, do explain to your friends about how alone you felt when they didn’t visit you.


21 April – 21 May

You love a good bargain, but if you can’t face the crowds on Boxing Day, check which of your favourite stores have launched their clearance sales online. This is a great time to spruce up your wardrobe, or you might splash out on a piece of jewellery.


22 May – 21 June

Responsibilities that loomed large earlier in the month will now ease considerably. It will be like a great burden has been lifted, and you’ll find it easier to relax. An invitation to a big social event you originally were going to turn down will sound tempting.


22 June – 23 July

Being a good friend is critical to your emotional well-being. A festive project will benefit from congenial teamwork. Playing board games, watching films and planning relaxing activities will draw your family together in a spirit of harmony.

MAGGIE SMITH IS A CAPRICORN 22 December – 20 January

Normally, for Capricorns, it isn’t always easy for them to accept praise and applause, but they’ll be revealing a gift they tend to hide from the world very soon.


24 July – 23 August

Steer clear of arguments with loved ones about money. If someone’s spending is getting out of hand, deal with it in the New Year. Setting up an appointment with a money manager will help reduce the friction and enable you to formulate a budget together.


24 August – 23 September

Hosting a family reunion will be a challenge you’ll enjoy. You love to create a comfortable environment that allows everyone to relax and have fun. Even if your budget won’t stretch right now, it would be a wonderful time to plan a family holiday.


24 September – 23 October

You could be introduced to some great opportunities through your social network. You want to devote some time to meaningful pursuits, and agreeing to help organise a charity event will feel empowering. People will be impressed by your spirit.


24 October – 22 November

Exploring the mystical side of life, reading inspirational books and communing with nature will be fulfilling. Do whatever connects you with your spiritual side. You might be thinking about taking your life in a new direction. You can fulfil your potential.


23 November – 21 December

Whether it’s a gathering of friends or having fun with family, you’ll have a few ideas on how to add spice to the celebration. Your happy-go-lucky attitude helps everyone feel at ease. Exercise will make it easier to get through the festivities.

Dine in style! Staying in this NYE? Try this mouthwatering menu, which is perfect for two…

Seafood cocktail Hands-on time: 15 mins Cooking time: about 5 mins Per serving: 427 cals, 25g fat (4g saturates), 23g carbs (3g total sugars)

250g fresh, uncooked seafood, such as squid, prawns and scallops 1tbsp olive oil 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil ½tbsp sherry vinegar ½ garlic clove, crushed 1tbsp roughly chopped fresh mint 42 FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE

1tbsp roughly chopped basil 1 small handful of rocket 1 medium tomato, finely diced Lemon wedges, to garnish 2 slices toasted sourdough, to serve 1 Slice the squid into rings and deshell the prawns, if necessary. Heat the olive oil in a pan and stir-fry the seafood for 3-4 mins until cooked. Set aside to cool to room temperature. 2 Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, crushed garlic, mint and basil. Season.

3 Divide the rocket between two glasses. Toss the seafood in the dressing and pile on top of the leaves. Garnish with tomato, then serve with a lemon wedge and toasted sourdough, cut into fingers. GET AHEAD Prepare (but don’t cook) the seafood and make the dressing up to 2 hrs ahead. Chill. Re-whisk dressing before serving.


RECIPES Vanilla panna cotta with mulled wine fruit

Pan-fried duck with sour cherry sauce Hands-on time: 15 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Per serving: 533 cals, 37g fat (10g saturates), 6g carbs (6g total sugars)

50g dried sour cherries 150ml light-to-mediumbodied red wine, such as pinot noir ½tbsp olive oil 2 duck breasts, skin on 2 shallots, finely chopped 1tsp thyme leaves ½tsp Dijon mustard 1 Put the sour cherries into a small bowl and pour over the wine. Leave to soak. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Heat the oil in a small pan, then gently fry the duck, skin-side down to release the fat, until the skin is browned. Put the duck skin-side up on a rack set over a small roasting tin and keep the fat to use later for roasting potatoes. 2 Cook duck in the oven for 15-20 mins,

depending on its size and whether you like meat rare or medium. The juices should run clear when you pierce the duck with a knife. Put on a warm plate, covered with foil. 3 Meanwhile, reheat the pan with ½tbsp of the duck fat and gently fry the shallots and thyme leaves for 2-3 mins until softened. Simmer rapidly for a few minutes until the liquid is slightly syrupy. Stir in the mustard and check the seasoning. Strain into a warmed jug and add the cherries. Cut each duck breast into slices and serve drizzled with the sauce. GET AHEAD

Complete recipe to end of step one up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring the duck up to room temperature before cooking. Put duck fat in a bowl and store in the fridge – it will keep for up to one month. Make the sauce up to a day ahead. Reheat to serve.

250ml double cream ½ vanilla pod, split open 50g white caster sugar 2tbsp milk 1tsp powdered gelatine 1tbsp Grand Marnier 100ml red wine ¼ cinnamon stick 1 small star anise 25g fresh cranberries 2 figs, sliced horizontally into 4-5 slices 2 clementines, segmented YOU WILL NEED:

A few handfuls of ice cubes 1 Put half the cream into a pan with the vanilla pod and half the sugar. Bring to just under the boil, then leave to stand for 15 mins to infuse. Remove vanilla pod. Tip mixture into a bowl. 2 Put the milk into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave to stand for 5 mins, until the gelatine has turned spongy. Put the bowl of gelatine into a pan set over a low heat and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the gelatine bowl. Leave to stand for 1-2 mins until the gelatine mixture has melted. Stir the gelatine mixture into the infused vanilla cream, then sit the

bowl on top of a bowl of ice cubes to cool it down. 3 Lightly whip the remaining cream, then fold in the vanilla cream and liqueur. Pour into two 150ml pudding moulds and chill until set. 4 For the mulled wine fruit, put the remaining sugar in a pan with 100ml cold water and heat gently until dissolved. Bring to the boil and bubble for 2 mins without stirring. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the red wine and spices. Bubble for 2 mins, then add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 mins until syrupy. Pour into a bowl to cool, then add the figs and clementines. Cover and chill. 5 To serve, briefly dip the moulds into hot water to loosen the panna cottas and turn out onto plates. Serve with the mulled wine fruit and its juices. TO PREPARE AHEAD Follow the recipe to the end of step four up to a day ahead. Complete when ready to serve.


Hands-on time: 20 mins, plus infusing Cooking time: 10 mins Per serving: 804 cals, 68g fat (42g saturates), 33g carbs (33g total sugars)

best for PARTY FOOD Extraordinary flavours

Tesco Finest Limited Edition Candy Cane Hand Cooked Potato Crisps, £1 The concept is wonderful, but the reality is a bit odd and slightly like toothpaste! +++++

Best Test ON

Tyrrell’s Black Truffle & Sea Salt at Waitrose, £2 If you’re a truffle fan, these will be an instant hit. A classic crisp with extra trendy oomph! +++++

Co-op Sparkling Prosecco Bubbles, £1 Light, airy and slightly fizzy, these take a bit of getting used to, but are surprisingly moreish. +++++

HAVE A MERRY CRISP-MAS! Festive flavours tried and tested by us Cheesy bites


M&S Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Champagne Hand Cooked Crisps, £2 The salmon taste is strong but, thanks to the cream cheese, not overpowering. Weird but winning! +++++

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Wensleydale & Cranberry Flavour Potato Crisps, £1.50 The cheese flavour is delicious, but the cranberry could be a little stronger. +++++

Asda Hand Cooked Port & Stilton Flavour Crisps, 95p A generous-sized bag, but the port and Stilton tastes could be more prevalent. +++++


Iceland Luxury Pigs In Blankets Hand Cooked Crisps, £1 With a taste not dissimilar to smoky bacon, these pack extra crunch. +++++

Lidl Deluxe Gin & Juniper Roast Pork Hand Cooked Potato Crisps, 99p These really shouldn’t work but, to our surprise, they really do, and you can definitely detect the gin. +++++

Best rated: Excellent +++++Very good ++++OK +++Almost there ++No thanks +

Morrisons The Best Pigs In Blankets Crisps, £1 The perfect mix of bacon and sausage flavourings gives these crisps a really authentic taste. +++++


Main-event mimics

Need a perfect pairing for your nibbles? The Slim Dips app has some great healthy recipes.

best for FOOD NEWS

Food in a flash

Theo’s meals in 20 mins MasterChef finalist and dad-of-three Theo Michaels knows time’s short in the kitchen. Every week, he shares a simple and delicious recipe...


Cranberries are not just for Christmas!

Fab fizz for under £10 Fancy a cheaper alternative to champers, without scrimping on taste? Get a bottle of Exquisite Collection Cremant du Jura, £7.99, Aldi. This crisp wine is a great way to toast the start of 2018!



Sweet to share If you are visiting friends for New Year’s Eve, give the hostess a treat by taking along a readymade mouth-watering pud! The Gü Chocolate & Amaretto Pots, £4, come in individual packaging and an easy-to-transport carry case. And, most importantly, they taste absolutely divine.

FREEZER FEAST Make light work of any gathering between now and 1 January with a little help from Iceland. The Luxury Beef Wellington

With Portobello & Dried Porcini Mushrooms, £15, serves four comfortably and can be cooked from frozen – ideal if you’re hosting a last-minute dinner party. Serve with mash and green beans for a comforting, yet indulgent, meal.

Crispy bacon & roast tomato bruschetta


The perfect festive brunch; crispy salty bacon, sweet roasted tomatoes and a hint of garlic and thyme. If I’m feeling wild, I sometimes add a poached egg as well... wild, I say! If you want to make this heartier, double up on the ciabatta rolls. giving each person two halves. PER SERVING CALS 394 FAT 28g SERVES 4 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon 20 cherry tomatoes 8 sprigs of thyme 4tbsp olive oil 2 ciabatta rolls, cut in half 2 garlic cloves, cut in half Seasoning 1 Preheat the oven to 220°C fan. Place the bacon, tomatoes and thyme onto a baking tray, drizzle half the olive oil over them and season the tomatoes well (line the baking tray with foil if it isn’t non-stick). Pop into the oven for 10 mins. 2 Meanwhile, drizzle the remaining olive oil over the

cut ciabatta halves and toast one side in a hot pan or griddle. You can put the ciabatta in the toaster if it’s easier. Once toasted, rub the cut side of the garlic over the toasted ciabatta side. 3 After 10 mins, remove the baking tray from the oven and place two rashers of bacon and five tomatoes on top of each ciabatta half and garnish with the thyme. 4 Devour immediately! TIP Buy the best quality bacon you can afford (air dried is great) and cherry tomatoes on the vine. They taste fabulous but can be more expensive.



Kick-start a healthy new year with Ocean Spray Whole Berry, £2.99. Made with whole crushed cranberries, each 200ml serving is bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C – perfect after the festive indulgence!

£6.99 £19.99 Balloon bunting,

Light, Lakeland


TOP TIP Fill ice buckets with mini bottles of booze to keep your guests happy.


£26 Drink cup, Oliver Bonas

£8 Cocktail platter, Sainsbury’s

£15 for two

Main image: Cocktails, £49.95, by Sip Sip Hooray,


Placemats, M&S

£27.99 Light box,


Get the par Celebrate 2018 in style with these glam party picks

best for HOMES £19.99 for pack of six

Stainless steel ice cubes,


Candles, H&M


£8.99 Plate, H&M

£28 £12

Champagne glass set, Next

Ice bucket, Next

£25 for four

Shot glasses, Next


Tray, Next


Get the


Photo booth kit,

rty started!

£4.99 for 10

Party poppers,



This week’s must-see TV 1

Miranda Does Christmas WEDNESDAY 27, CHANNEL 4, 9PM

It will be SUCH FUN to have Miranda Hart back on our TV screens, this time hosting her very own Christmas special! Miranda’s mission is to make Christmas as exciting for adults as it used to be when we were kids. To do this, she will be welcoming special guests – including David Tennant, Sam Smith and Bake Off’s Prue Leith – to lend a hand. Miranda will be carol-singing with another special guest, hitting the streets to cheer up shoppers, rewarding the good deeds of unsuspecting members of the audience, and playing cupid as she fixes up two singletons. Throw in a gospel choir performing a unique Christmas mash-up and a festive version of a Destiny’s Child classic, and you’ll soon be having as much fun as your inner five-year-old. We can’t wait!


The Price Is Right

Alan Carr was born to be a game show host, and the camp comic will be in his element hosting this revival of the classic 80s gameshow. Hopefuls on Contestants’ Row must guess the price of items so they can take them home.





Liv’s pleased when Aaron and Alex grow closer. Diane comforts Robert when he reads a special card. Morris gives Nicola and Jimmy an interesting proposition.

EASTENDERS As the Brannings come to terms with what’s happened, it’s clear that nothing will be

the same again. Fi’s fears about her father grow. The Carters prepare for their last ever party in The Vic.

CORONATION STREET As Billy lies in hospital, Adam vows to get justice for his mum. Carla offers to pay Robert’s debts. And Tracy tells Steve that Amy has to accept their relationship.




Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2017



Sarah Jessica Parker returns for season two of Sharon Horgan’s barbed comedy-drama about the fallout of a spilt between a long-wed couple. Sky Atlantic.

Jools Holland has become almost a tradition if you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve at home. So why not join him for his 25th annual Hootenanny? As usual, he’ll be welcoming stars and special guests for what’s always a night to remember.


A Right Royal Quiz



Fern Britton plays host as two teams of celebs battle it out to show who’s the king or queen when it comes to royal knowledge. Joe Pasquale and Jodie Kidd are among the contestants hoping to carry away the crown.






Handsome James Norton takes the lead in this new glamorous and gritty eightpart drama. Norton plays the English-raised son of Russian exiles, whose criminal past comes back to haunt him.


THEY SAID WHAT?! Model Emily Ratajkowski sparked controversy in a photoshoot where she writhed about covered in spaghetti. Some celebs argued it was a step back for feminism, but presenter Lorraine Kelly got down to the nittygritty when she tweeted, ‘This is a shocking waste of spaghetti – I could have had that for my tea!’

JOANNA & JENNIFER: ABSOLUTELY CHAMPERS Patsy and Eddie would certainly approve of Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders’ trip to the Champagne province of France. BBC iPlayer, available now.


...her Corrie comeback I’ve been away about 18 months. I’d said I would have a two-year break but I felt ready to come back. I’d done what I wanted to do and spent time with [my daughter] Daisy. That’s the most rewarding thing. I needed that break. But it was time for me to have some adult banter again. ...reuniting with her Corrie co-stars I’m sharing a dressing room with Kym [Marsh] and Faye [Brookes]. When I came back, I asked which dressing room I was in and they said that Kym had asked if I could share with them, which was so nice. We’re squeezed in together and it’s great fun.   ...what’s in store for her character, Carla It’s a different Carla because of the secret she’s keeping. Over the next few months, we’ll see a more vulnerable Carla, who needs her family and friends more than ever.   ...what she’s been up to during her time away I was lucky to work on series two of a Sky One drama called Sick Note. It was fantastic to work with Rupert Grint and Lindsay Lohan – she was lovely. I was offered a few of the celeb shows, such as Strictly, but I just didn’t fancy it.   O Corrie is on ITV, Monday, Wednesday and Friday




Watch thing! ONE

Jennifer Saunders

David Walliams

Grandpa’s Great Escape ased on David Walliams’ bestselling children’s book, this BBC adaptation will provide fun for all the family. When Grandpa (Tom Courtenay) – a World War II flying ace who has Alzheimer’s – is taken into a care home, he soon discovers it’s run by the dastardly Miss Dandy (Jennifer Saunders). After confiding in his grandson Jack (Kit Connor), the pair plan to make their great escape for one last adventure. But will they succeed?



‘I base my villains on Simon Cowell’ BGT judge David Walliams, 46, is back on our screens this New Year (starring briefly as Jack’s dad, Barry) in the BBC’s adaptation of Grandpa’s Great Escape. Congratulations on Grandpa’s Great Escape – what a cast! I have loved Tom Courtenay for ever, and I still can’t believe that I’m working with him. He is the perfect Grandpa. And what a treat to be working with comedy genius Jennifer Saunders again. Where do the ideas for your books come from? My sister used to put me in a dress

and parade me up and down our street, which was the inspiration for Boy In The Dress. Then we had this contestant on BGT – his first line was, ‘I know what you’re thinking, they’ve dug up Roy Orbison. I am going to eat live cockroaches,’ and then he got out a paper bag and got buzzed off. [But] I got to thinking, ‘What else might he do?’ That turned into Ratburger. Has anyone else inspired you? As a children’s book writer, the most important thing you need is an evil villain. Whenever I need one, I think, ‘What would Simon Cowell do?’ He is a very strange


character. He doesn’t like to get out of bed until 4pm! Your books seem to be going from strength to strength… The most bizarre thing is that the success of the books has outstripped anything else that I’ve done. That is a legacy for me. I’ll know I’ve made it as a children’s author if someone comes up to me and says, ‘I used to read your


Tom Courtenay

Dance Special

DON’T MISS DARKER – E L JAMES Mr Grey will see you… again. If you loved Fifty Shades Darker, then you’ll adore this steamy account of his erotic odyssey with Anastasia Steele. This time, though, Christian is telling the story. RRP £7.99.

‘I’ll know I’ve made it as an author if someone comes up to me and says, ‘I used to read your books as a child and now I read them to my children’ David Walliams books as a child and now I read them to my children.’ What were you like as a kid? Believe it or not, I was quite effeminate as a child. School was brutal at times – it wasn’t great to be camp. I played up to it and, now, I’ve made a career out of it. Throughout your career, you’ve also met the Royal family. Tell us about that… I met Prince Philip once, and he said, ‘Is this the nut that swam the Channel?’ Another time, my mum and I met the Queen. She looked my mum up and down, and my mum said, ‘I met you 10 years ago.’ As if she would remember! O Grandpa’s Great Escape is on New Year’s Day, BBC One, 6.55pm

BRENDAN COLE: ALL NIGHT LONG, FROM 18 JAN Now our columnist Brendan has hung up his Strictly dancing shoes for another year, he’s off on tour with his own show. Joined on stage

by 21 dancers and musicians, Brendan will star in dances from the waltz to the paso doble. And there’ll be plenty of sparkle with costume changes, comedy – and even Brendan playing the guitar. Visit


PETER KAY’S CAR SHARE: SERIES TWO Catch up on the will they/ won’t they romance between John and Sian Gibson’s Kayleigh, thrown together by work transport arrangements, before the final two episodes air next year. DVD, RRP £9.99.

NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL A PARTY 2018 Looking for a soundtrack for your New Year bash? Then look no further! This double CD includes the biggest artists of the past year – from Katy Perry to Rag’n’Bone Man. RRP £15.

Former Strictly star Kristina Rihanoff is the woman behind this dance spectacular. Kristina teams up with her former professional partner, Robin Windsor, and will be joined by Oksana Platero and her husband Jonathan. Plus, The X Factor’s Christopher Maloney will be singing. The show will take you through the evolution of dance from the tap and Charleston of the Roaring 20s to breakdancing, street and contemporary ballet. Visit danceto


Strictly’s joker Anton Du Beke and dance partner Erin Boag celebrate Hollywood’s golden age. Nostalgia, a big band and timeless music – you’ll want them to keep DANCING! Visit


With X Factor over for 2017, Simon Cowell dons his swim shorts and sun cream to join Lauren and Eric, plus Squiddly and Diddly, in Barbados for Christmas fter a year that included a dramatic health scare and fights with nightmare neighbours, Simon is finally safe on his favourite tropical island, Barbados. Christmas and New Year is the one time Simon takes a whole month away from work. With auditions for Britain’s Got Talent starting in early 2018, it’s now that Simon takes a few weeks’ essential time out to recuperate and get some rest.



It comes as no surprise that Simon prefers Christmas in the heat of Barbados instead of spending it in a cold and frosty Britain! He is a sun worshipper – even as a teenager he would opt to spend Christmas with his pals in Antigua, Mauritius or Thailand. But it is Barbados that has remained Simon’s favourite getaway, ever since he first went there with our late mum, Julie, 16 years ago. Mum loved the island and was a regular at the famous Sandy Lane resort, where she had friends and preferred the comfort of the beach. It’s difficult to think of Barbados

Mum loved the Madras chicken curry at the Lone Star restaurant


The Cowell clan hit the beach in Barbados

A Cow Chris

without thinking of Mum. The annual trip was the highlight of her year – she would start packing for it in November! Where Simon stays Barbados may be known as ‘Celebrity Island’ and play host to many A-list celebs – including Rihanna, Cara Delevingne, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Wayne Rooney – but for Simon, Barbados isn’t just about sun, sea and celebs: he needs to spend precious time with Lauren [Silverman] and their three-year-old son Eric. Simon’s exclusive hidey-hole allows him plenty

of privacy and the perfect place to unwind. Owned by Global Radio chief Ashley Tabor, One Sandy Lane is one of the most beautiful villas I’ve ever seen, and has a pool, butler, maid and chef. The villa sits on the beach, where Simon is seen every afternoon as he goes out to play on his favourite jet-ski. Where Simon goes to eat Long before Eric came along, Simon’s Barbados Christmas Day diary would read: Get up at 2pm – have breakfast of spinach smoothie, toast and honey, and tea. 3pm – jet-ski for an hour. 4pm – sunbathe,

best for CELEBRITY Superyacht the Slipstream offers Simon and his family a private getaway

‘Yes, the dogs do travel with Simon to Barbados on his private jet!’

welly tmas! then nap. 9.30pm – Christmas dinner (roast chicken, not turkey!). Simon is a creature of habit. If you spend Christmas with him, be prepared to fit into his schedule. Even Mum used to shout at him to get out of bed on Christmas Day. But I don’t blame him: Simon’s work schedule is close to crazy. Simon is notoriously picky about what he eats. He loves plain food like spaghetti Bolognese, chicken pie and roast dinners – all of which he can order in his private villa. In the evening, he often likes to go out to one of our

favourite restaurants on the island, Lone Star, which sits right on the beach and serves up a delicious Madras chicken curry, one of the dishes our mum loved best when she was there. For the love of dogs Simon’s love of dogs is legendary– and yes, Squiddly and Diddly travel with him to Barbados on his private jet! Simon is also a patron of the island’s biggest dog charity, K9 Friends, which he has supported since 2014. This year, on 23 December, he and Lauren will host

New Year’s Eve was a chance to go out with Mum

a charity auction alongside their chum Jonathan Shalit. Sailing the Slipstream After spending New Year’s Eve at the exclusive Sandy Lane Hotel, Simon, Lauren and Eric will spend the rest of their holiday on board the luxury yacht Slipstream. This is a special part of Simon’s holiday: a time to unwind and get some privacy, and sail away to some of the Caribbean’s other idyllic islands, such as St Barts – a particular favourite. A few years ago, we took Mum on the boat but she hated it, preferring the comfort of the Sandy Lane Hotel, where she

knew just about everyone who stayed there, and enjoyed being asked to judge the annual sandcastle competition held at the hotel on Christmas Day. Christmas really is all about family – so I genuinely hope that, this year, Simon and Lauren can get some private time together and relax, away from the pressure of Simon’s very public life and work. With Eric no longer a baby at three years old, he can now enjoy and understand just what Christmas is all about.

Why I’ll stay in Cornwall Along with my wi fe, Emma, man

y painful memor I spent many a ha ies. ppy Emma and I now Christmas in Ba spend rbados Ch ris with Mum and Si mon. It was Co tmas at home, in rnwall, with fam only a few years ily and ago, on friends. It’s cold the island, that we er, but it’s realised ho me, beside the oc Mum’s health wa s swiftly love. I cook for Ch ean we deteriorating – an ris d it was (chicken, as well!) tmas hard to watch. Fo and, on r that New Year’s Eve, reason, I find it di Emma fficult does her much-lov spending Christm ed as in lobster spaghetti Barbados – it ho – which lds too I can’t wait for!

Cornwall is where Emma and I enjoy our own Christmas

Shoot for the sp Picture-perfect York is ideal for a getaway

Start the year as you mean to go on... by relaxing at a spa! THE GRAND HOTEL & SPA, YORK

Unwind in the Thermal Suite

KINGS HEAD HOTEL, CIRENCESTER, GLOUCESTERSHIRE Hidden in the old Roman town of Cirencester in the Cotswolds is the Kings Head Hotel, an old 14th-century coaching inn, beautifully renovated into a chic hotel. It’s full of original features from the exposed beams to the old Roman mosaic floor. The spa is a subterranean escape from the rest of the hotel and includes a steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and waterfall shower. Partnered with Decléor, it offers face and body treatments for men and women. The Aromatherapy Discovery Facial uses essential oils, a gentle polish and massage to smooth and revitalise your complexion. Finish off your afternoon with a walk around the town before dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. The Winter Warmer Escape costs from £159 for a Classic Room for two, including breakfast and a three-course dinner up to £30 per person. Call 01285 700 900 or visit One of the hotel’s REVIEWED BY ‘indulgent’ rooms! ELLIE ATTWELL 54 FACEBOOK.COM/BESTMAGAZINE

Nestled in the heart of historic York, The Grand Hotel & Spa is based in the old headquarters of the North Eastern Railway. Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful city centre, it’s the picture-perfect place for a getaway. Our executive room had comfy beds, Molton Brown products and tea-making facilities (including Yorkshire tea, obviously!). Located in the former vaults, the spa has a 14m-long heated swimming pool, an aromatic steam room, sauna and whirlpool Jacuzzi, as well as a huge range of treatments. We recommend the Inner Calm massage

and the Skin Solution Facial, which soothed the skin, leaving us feeling relaxed – and glowing! If you’re looking for a culinary treat, try The Rise restaurant, where you choose a few dishes to share. The Indian spiced lamb is divine! Spa day packages start from £87 and include full-day dining, a glass of Champagne and either a one-hour customised facial, a one-hour full body massage, or two 30-minute treatments. Weekend options are available, too. Call 01904 894 584 or visit REVIEWED BY LOUISE BULGIN

Relax in the Grand Hotel’s whirlpool Jacuzzi after a day’s sightseeing in York

best for ESCAPES


This underground spa is a real find!

A spa offers the perfect opportunity for the ultimate pampering journey


Take a dip in the Grand Hotel’s pool

Those visiting the capital will do worse than to make the luxury Thai Square Spa their city-break pit stop. Based underground, the plush-yetcalm surroundings will ensure you leave your stresses at the front door. The whole spa is candlelit, which adds to the relaxing ambience. You’ll feel yourself unwind instantly! Opt for the Traditional Thai Massage. The masseuse regularly checks you’re happy with the pressure and adapts it so you feel comfortable throughout the whole treatment. It’s the ideal end to a day’s shopping. Packages start from £135, which includes a Floral Foot Bath, Come Clean Bali Body Scrub and Ritual Massage. Individual treatments start from £55. Call 020 7839 7990 or visit REVIEWED BY HELEN PIKE

CELTIC MANOR RESORT, NEWPORT, SOUTH WALES Home to a world-class golf resort and an award-winning spa, the spectacular five-star Celtic Manor resort is hard to miss as you drive down the M4 motorway. The Forum Spa itself offers the perfect opportunity for the ultimate pampering journey. Unwind in the glorious indoor pool (complete with starry night sky!), sauna, steam room and adult-only Jacuzzi, and indulge in one of their fabulous treatments. The 50-minute Signature Forum Massage is pure bliss! Once your day of relaxation is complete, spend your evening in one of the resort’s seven restaurants. We recommend Cen for Asian cuisine cooked by MasterChef finalist Larkin Cen. Looking for something more traditional? Head down to the Newbridge On Usk restaurant and try the mouth-watering steak followed by the divine egg custard dessert, or visit Steak On Six, which offers a great dinner menu, as well as a large variety of delicious breakfast choices in the morning. Plus its glass-walled terrace has breathtaking views of the Coldra Woods and beyond. Signature Gourmet Escapes start from £288 for a one-night stay for two people in a luxurious Signature Collection room, including breakfast and a three-course dinner for two at Steak On Six. Call 01633 410 262 or visit REVIEWED BY MARIA SOCRATOUS

The Forum’s indoor pool is a sight to behold







POST: Send a postcard with your name, address, phone number and email address to New Look Giveaway, GVBSTN17898, Hearst Magazines UK, The Data Solutions Centre, Worksop, S80 2RT. Closing date for postal entries is 12 January 2018.

N 5 to give away!

ew year, new wardrobe! Well that’s our motto anyway. To celebrate a new season of style, we’re giving five lucky readers the chance to get their hands on £100 to spend at New Look. All you need to do is enter below!

HOW TO ENTER PHONE: Call 09010 272 710 by midnight on 9 January 2018. Calls cost 30p per minute, plus your telephone company’s network access charge, and will last no longer than two minutes. Calls from mobiles may cost significantly more. Phone line closes at midnight on 9 January 2018. If you call after this time, you will not be entered but you may be charged.

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*FULL TERMS & CONDITIONS Open to UK residents only aged 18+. Phone entries must be received by midnight on 9 January 2018. Postal entries must be received by 12 January 2018. Winners will be contacted using the details provided within 30 days. UK service provider: Spoke (0333 202 3390). ROI service provider: Phonovation/Spoke (01437 8815). Entries in the incorrect format will not be considered. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these terms, and to have agreed to be bound by them. The terms and conditions apply to the following competition as seen on page 56: New Look £100 voucher competition (five winners). Competition is not open to any employees of Hearst, or anyone else connected with the creation and administration of the competition. Hearst’s decision is final in every situation with no appeal. Hearst shall be permitted to exclude or disqualify any entrant at any time at its sole discretion, including, but not limited to: spammers, late, incomplete or multiple registrations, or registrations made by third parties or agents. Hearst accepts no responsibility for late/lost entries. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. The name of the winner will be available by sending a stamped, addressed envelope to Hearst Magazines UK, 72 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9EP, indicating the name of the competition. No purchase is necessary. Once entered, entries cannot be returned/withdrawn. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred, although Hearst reserves the right to change the prize. No cash alternative. By entering the competition, you agree to the terms of the privacy policy. Hearst may pass your personal information to promoters of the competition (where it is not Hearst) and their data processors. However, we always demand that any such parties adhere to the same security procedures. Hearst reserves the right to (i) cancel/withdraw this competition and/or (ii) amend these terms, at any time without notice. Where Hearst runs a competition with a promoter, such that the promoter is responsible for the selection and/or the provision of prizes, then Hearst shall not be responsible for, or have any liability for, the provision of such prizes. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will Hearst be liable, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss, damage or injury arising under or in connection with this competition. These terms are governed by English law, and entrants agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts in relation to all matters arising under, or in connection with, these terms.


Puzzles WIN 1 X £200, 2 X £100 OR 3 X £50 PRIZES


STRAIGHT CLUES ACROSS 6 Not so broad (7) 7 Deep-fried thin potato slice (5) 9 Behind time (4) 10 TV advert (10) 11 Propel a bike (5) 12 Vacant (5) 14 Biblical form of ‘you’ (4) 16 Jar covers (4) 17 Ceased (5) 18 Testaments (5) 22 In a formal, authorised way (10) 25 Existence (4) 26 Afterwards (5) 27 Sprinters, joggers, etc (7) DOWN 1 Books, etc (10) 2 Hit lightly (5) 3 Spruce, tidy (4) 4 Threaded fastener (5) 5 Galvanising metal (4) 6 Adder, or python, eg (5) 8 Put into a flower bed (7) 13 Increased, using the symbol ‘x’ (10) 15 A quantity one can pick up manually (7) 19 Elevators (5) 20 Personal journal (5) 21 Expiring (5) 23 Keen about (4) 24 Nobleman (4)

Both sets of clues lead to the same answer, revealing in the shaded squares a new BBC One drama premiering on New Year’s Day starring Juliet Rylance (7) CRYPTIC CLUES ACROSS 6 Having a smaller girth than one who’s losing weight (7) 7 Something to eat like the snow on the Feast of Stephen (5) 9 It’s passed on behind the clock (4) 10 It’s to do with trade of an item on TV (10) 11 Physical effort doesn’t always lead initially to something underfoot (5) 12 Leaders in early morning papers tell you that there’s nothing in it! (5) 14 Not entirely without you in the past (4) 16 Covers with a little metal I’d supplied (4) 17 Defend Eddie’s reputation in part which is over (5) 18 Documents belonging to young Mr Shakespeare (5) 22 Folly if CIA is involved in an authorised way (10) 25 A new file for a type of assurance (4) 26 Alter amendment subsequently (5) 27 Athletes taking things found under sledges (7)


TO ENTER CALL 0900 100 0921 (UK 65ppm)† / 1550 716 022 (ROI 97cpm) † CODE: PUBSTN17899 1















18 20





21 24



DOWN 1 Things written about earlier? Tut! (10) 2 Fishing boat is a hit! (5) 3 Neat cut (4) 4 Informal pay for an informal warder (5) 5 A little topaz in chrome or another metal (4) 6 Ken’s a replacement for the crawler (5) 8 Plan Ted put together is placed underground (6)

13 Dilute limp ingredients, which are greatly increased (10) 15 It’s a small quantity for a troublesome child (7) 19 Free rides for the upwardly mobile (5) 20 A book showing a dairy product (5) 21 Leaving 25A sounds like changing colour (5) 23 Keen on some quaint or odd pastimes (4) 24 Nobleman seen in Cornwall or Devon? (4) WINNING CHEQUES WILL BE MADE PAYABLE AND POSTED TO THE NAME AND ADDRESS AS WRITTEN LEFT. PLEASE TAKE CARE WHEN COMPLETING THE COUPON!

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One entry per household. Postal entries to reach us by closing date of 11 January 2018. Winners will be drawn at random from correct entries received by post and phone. Names and addresses of winners available on request. No correspondence can be entered into. The editor’s decision is final.



Crossword ANSWER CODE: PUBSTN17899

Send to: Best Prize Puzzles (52/17), Hearst Magazines UK, The Data Solutions Centre, Worksop S80 2RT. Print in ink.


Date of birth** Home telephone** Mobile telephone** E-mail address** **optional information

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46/17 MOTHERLAND ACROSS 6 Chooses 7 Tonic 9 Form 10 Noticeable 11 Ghost 12 Edges 14 Magi 16 Site 17 Print 18 Loops 22 Vocabulary 25 Even 26 Three 27 Illness DOWN 1 Commission 2 Using 3 Isn’t 4 Smack 5 Inca 6 Cloth 8 Coldest 13 Discovered 15 Airport 19 Peels 20 Dunes 21 Cycle 23 Acre 24 Adit Lines open 22 December 2017 till midnight on 8 January 2018 (closes 11 January 2018 for postal entries). Over 18s only. †UK Calls cost 65p per min plus your telephone company’s network access charge; ROI 97c per min, and should last no longer than 2 mins. UK SP: Spoke (0333 202 3390). ROI SP: Phonovation/ Spoke (01437 8815). To enter by post, use coupon, left.

SAVE the best for LAST MAKE-UP MAKEOVER Bag, £4, Primark

BOW TIE Necklace, £6, Accessorize GOOD CONDITION TRESemmé Keratin Smooth masque, £6.05, Superdrug

BIT OF FLUFF Pom-pom key ring, £7, River Island

FRESH SCENT Mini perfume, £9.50, Rituals

NEW YEAR, NEW DIARY! Week-to-view diary, £3, Wilko


GOT IT NAILED! Nail polish, 90p, Primark

Splash the cash, before the January blues kick in STYLE STATEMENT Earrings, £4.99, New Look

SAY THANKS Notecards, £5 for 10, John Lewis


GO GLOSSY! Pink Berry Lipgloss, £8.50, Rituals magazine, ISSN 0954-8955, is published weekly by The National Magazine Company Ltd, t/a Hearst Magazines UK, c/o USACAN Media Dist. Srv Corp at 26 Power Dam Way Suite S1-S3, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. All rights reserved. No part of may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Not to be resold, lent, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade at more than the recommended retail price (subject to VAT in Republic of Ireland) or in a mutilated condition. Printed by York Mailing Ltd, Brinkworth Rush, Airfield Business Park, Elvington, York, YO41 4AU. The publishers, editors and authors accept no responsibility in respect of any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue, or for any errors, omissions, misstatements or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. is distributed by Frontline Ltd, Midgate House, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 1TN. Prices are correct at time of going to press.



CUTE FOR COINS Purse, £8, Accessorize