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10 Palace fury


Jungle Carol

ROCKS KATE! Exclusive!



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Inside thisissue! p12 Is your diary brimming with Christmas parties nd girls’ nights out? Get n the mood by checking ut our fancy flats for stylish footwear you can actually walk in (p27). Then turn to p28 to take your pick from our selection of 33 glam dresses starting at just £13. Not forgetting the party make-up, we have fab festive nail ideas (p32) and the best compacts to pop in your clutch (p35). Have fun! Editor, Woman

HALF-PRICE NOVEL OF THE WEEK WITH WHSMITH! Each week, you can get our ‘This week’s hot read’ book for better than half price with WHSmith. Just turn to p61, cut out the coupon and take it to a high-street WHSmith for your half-price novel. Happy reading!




p20 Your TIME

Fashion confidence 44 All dressed up If you buy one thing 48 Trophy jackets 53 Shoe obsession Fancy flats ✱ 54 Try a new trend 57 Party dresses Beauty confidence 58 Nail your party look! Beauty ed’s picks 61 Box of tricks 62


Turn to p61




15 Don’t tell me I can’t… 20 make a living out of wine 25 ✱ 16 In my experience I had four babies… 27 in just 19 months 18 Women like you ✱ 28 We became millionaires… in our 40s 32 30 Life today You paid £12k to make 35 my daughter thin ✱ 36 Stay fit and well Slimming World 43 Family dilemmas 47 Healthy living 6 healthy food swaps 52 My health story ‘I lost weight on Jane Plan’


News &GOSS

4 Food for friends Yummy desserts ✱6 Weekend special Going out, staying in 8 Interiors Christmas cushions ✱ 10 Food Awards 12 Lara’s tech gifts Getting away 66 from it all Ski, spa and sun in Austria Books & crossword 68 Bingo Win with us

Week in style Woman about town In the spotlight Ore and Craig Celeb news Carol Vorderman Woman interview Catherine Tyldesley Planet celebrity It’s panto time! Bloke at the back Jim Sturgess



See womanmagazine to tell us what you’ve been doing and to find news, gossip, tips, tricks and offers. Woman, incorporating Woman’s Illustrated and Woman’s Mirror, is a Registered Trademark of Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Cover printed by Wyndeham Peterborough, text printed by Wyndeham Bicester. Repro by Rhapsody Prepress. Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU. Distributed by Marketforce (UK) Ltd, a Time Inc. (UK) Ltd company, 2nd Floor, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU. Tel: +44 (0)20 3787 9001. Back issues: 01733 688964; All prices correct at time of going to press. ©Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, 2016. All rights reserved and reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden. We cannot be liable for the safe custody or return of any solicited material. We do not accept or return unsolicited manuscripts. Editor reserves the right to shorten or modify any material submitted. Time Inc. (UK) Ltd and/or its associated companies reserve the right to reuse any submission in any format or medium. We cannot take responsibility for manuscripts or photos sent in. Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU. Tel: 020 3148 5000; Subscription rates: One year, 50 issues (including postage): UK £56.10; Europe ¤157.15; USA $103.05; rest of world £120.40. For enquiries and orders, please email: Alternatively, from the UK, call 0330 333 1113 or, from overseas, call: +44 330 333 1113 (lines are open Mon-Fri GMT, 8:30am-5:30pm, excluding bank holidays).

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These celebs show us how to shine bright like





a diamond with these gorgeous shimmering gowns




Chloe, Sara & Helen bring you the latest gossip...





We’re counting down the days until newly announced BBC royal drama, King Charles III, hits our screens – but it seems news of the series has sent ripples through the Palace! The series is based on a somewhat scandalous play set in the future, which portrays Kate Middleton as a ‘schemer’ with a ‘calculating mind’ – a fact that hasn’t gone down well with the Duchess. A royal insider tells Woman, ‘Kate’s dreading this programme and worried it will mean more unwanted attention and upset. Rumours are she will be shown as ‘vile and nasty’ and it’s set to be quite controversial. These attacks are cruel and hurtful to Kate – it’s the last thing she wants!’


Prince Harry will be meeting Rihanna during his Caribbean tour

He broke hearts around the globe after confirming his relationship with stunning US actress, Meghan Markle. But next week Prince Harry’s bound to set tongues wagging once again as he rubs shoulders with one of the world’s hottest pop stars – Rihanna. The pair will meet in Barbados as Harry continues his tour of the Caribbean, where t’s rumoured the singer will treat him to a special performance. Let’s hope Meghan’s not the jealous kind… Green’s such a tricky colour to pull off!

Gossip to go 4 Hurrah! Larry Lamb hints that a Gavin & Stacey film might be on the cards 6



Scarlett and boyfriend Luke – can he take a hint?

His sizzling routines with pro partner Oti Mabuse have set viewers’ pulses racing, but Danny Mac has ruled out falling victim to the infamous ‘Strictly curse’. Talking about the show’s reputation for ending relationships, hunky Danny, 28, told About Town, ‘This year it’s not been an issue.’ Adding that his fiancée, actress Carley Stenson, is his biggest fan, the actor said, ‘It’s important for me to have Carley there for support.’ Isn’t she the lucky one!

Scarlett’s big news

After starring in this year’s I’m a Celeb, Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt has her sights set on making it down the aisle with boyfriend of eight months, Luke Crodden. Revealing she’s recently tried on rings, Scarlett, 26, continued, ‘I pointed out which one I liked and my ring size, just so Luke knows which one to get in the future. If that isn’t a hint, I don’t know what is!’ Hats at the ready!

Carley comes to Strictly every week to support her fiancé Danny

Don’t worry – I’ll be growing old disgracefully



Dawn French has come up with an alternative plan to growing old gracefully – and it’s certain to raise some eyebrows! Recalling her rise to fame in the 1980s, Dawn, 57, said, ‘Back then I did no drugs whatsoever, which I regret massively, and I am intending to do loads of drugs when I’m much older! Some hot drugs would certainly add to the fun of being old.’ What would her old pal Jen say?

Scherzy’s £3 beauty secret Nicole’s youthful looks defy her 38 years and now we can reveal her secret – coconut oil. The X Factor judge shuns expensive creams in favour of a remedy that costs from £3 in most supermarkets. ‘I use coconut oil for just about anything, as a moisturiser and make-up remover.’ Nicole says. ‘It gives your skin a glow and smells amazing.’ We’ll have what she’s having!

4 Congratulations! Pop star Pixie Lott has got engaged to her long-term love, Oliver Cheshire WOMANMAGAZIN

Woman interview his year’s Strictly Come Dancing is shaping up to be one of the best series ever, with dancefloor disaster Ed Balls, camp-as-Christmas Judge Rinder, and, naturally, some standout performances. But there’s no doubt BBC Sport presenter Ore Oduba, 30, is behind a handful of the series’ most memorable moments. There was his elegant American Smooth to Singin’ In The Rain that won great acclaim – even from Gene Kelly’s widow – and the jive, that blew away memories of last year’s winner Jay McGuiness. We caught up with Ore to find out more about his time on the show...


You were the first celeb to win 10s from the judges this year. You can’t be a total beginner! I am, I’m a complete novice! I

than my dreams. Plus, the fact that I get to learn to dance with a world champion is too good an opportunity to pass up. I want to get every second out of it that I can. Have you lost weight on the famous Strictly diet? Well, what’s been really nice

is I’ve been doing more exercise since we started this than I have done since I was 18. So I’m rolling back the years and shedding the pounds! I had dropped 11lb last time I checked, and I’m hoping there’s another pound or two off since. Are you feeling the pressure as one of the favourites? OK, here’s the truth. I’m

a big fan of Strictly, so I know where to go to research the show. And on Wikipedia there’s a scoring chart for all the series, with a red square for the lowest score of the week and a green square for the highest. So when I signed up, I had a look

dabbled in Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in 2013 like quite a few people have, but I went out on the first night. Before our wedding last November, I suggested to my now-wife that we had lessons to prepare for our first dance. She said no because she wanted it to be natural, but I was worried about not looking good on the dancefloor. And look now – here’s what she could have won! What made you sign up to the show in the first place? I’ve loved

Strictly since day one – it epitomises great telly! So it’s always been my dream to be on the show, and so far everything has been even better

Ore with the ‘girl of his dreams’, his wife Portia

Dancing up a storm with pro partner Joanne Clifton


BLUBBERING WRECK whenIproposed!’

Strictly’s Ore Oduba tells Woman he’s still a big softy away from the ballroom… 8


Strictly betweenus

and thought, ‘It would be nice to get a green square!’ So to get a green square by only week four was mind-blowing. But once that happens you do have to reassess and think, ‘OK, it’s not going badly, so let’s carry on with what we’re doing.’



But don’t you get nervous about your dance? Don’t get

d isn’t the most graceful, bless him, but he is just fantastic! The pressure’s on him now because everyone can’t wait to see what he does next, but he’s so popular with the public that he could make the final. I just can’t call whether the audience will vote for someone amusing and endearing or a real dance talent...

me wrong, Saturday arrives with a bagful of nerves and a heavy anxiety. A couple of times my legs have gone to jelly just before we dance. But you have to get on with it the best you can.

You’ve cried a lot on the show – are you a softy at home too? I am a bit of a

romantic. There have only been two things I’ve ever dreamt of doing – one of them is dancing on Strictly, and the other one is marrying the girl of my dreams. I met my wife, Portia, five and a half years ago working at the Beeb, and we got together quite quickly. But I already had a bit of an issue with falling in love very fast, so when I told my friends she was the one, they all said, ‘Not again!’ But I knew we had something special.

BALLS OF STEEL! I haven’t watched much I’m A Celeb but let’s just say the jungle is welcome to Ola Jordan!

Aww! Did you cry when you proposed?

Of course! I am getting a reputation for bursting into tears… I’ve even had a delivery from a tissue company saying here’s a few boxes in case you need it! I was an absolute blubbering wreck when I proposed! Portia always said she’d kill me if I ever proposed in public, so I joked that I was when I took her for lunch at The Shard and presented her with a card which said, ‘I wanted to ask you this…’ But it was a ticket to Dubai – a decoy! We then went back to her parents’ house and her family were there waiting and I proposed to her in front of them all. I’m a big softy!

Ed’s pro partner Katya sure is one brave lady!

Marvellous Mary

Does your wife get on with your pro partner, Joanne Clifton? Amazingly. It

was important for me that they met early on because the show is so intense. You really do live in the Strictly bubble. And if you don’t include the people nearest to you, then they’re going to feel pushed away. This summer I was in France with the Euros and then the Olympics in Rio, so it was really important for me to make sure Portia was part of this. Hopefully she’s seen that I’m not an absolute car crash, and she doesn’t have to worry about me. She’s as gobsmacked as anyone as to how well I’ve done! 4 Strictly Come Dancing, Saturdays and Sundays, BBC1

BERRY NICE From Bake Off to the ballroom, it’s Strictly fave Mary

Dan’s the man


Danny’s feeling confident, and rightly so – he’s the perfect package! But he needs to rein it in a bit ometimes nd make sure e shows off his partner, too.

Love Louise!


They’re all such a talented bunch now, but I’m so impressed with how Louise’s confidence has grown over he series. She’s totally blossomed nd I love it.



Who doesn’t love Mary Berry? She’s a huge fan of the show, so it was fabulous to have her come down and watch it live. I took her for a spin round the dance floor, even though she admitted she was a bit nervous about it! And she even told me she’s got a soft spot for Ed!


Celeb news





The I’m A Celeb star is looking slimmed down and jungle-ready as she makes her big telly comeback


here’s no denying Carol Vorderman is flying the flag for 50-plus women on I’m A Celeb. She looks to be in the best shape of her life, showing her younger camp rivals how it’s done.

The star’s been sending temperatures soaring as she shows off her fab figure in the jungle. And no wonder, as before she jetted to Oz, Carol, 55, confessed she’d been on a ‘major detox’, posting a picture of herself on Twitter wearing a tight-fitting dress with the caption, ‘Haven’t been able to fit into this dress for nearly 10 years… Heck!’ Experts reckon Carol’s lost a whopping 2st in the lead-up to her jungle adventure. ‘She looks like a slim size 10 in recent snaps, whereas before she seemed to be a size 14,’



says personal trainer Laurel Alper. ‘Her weight tends to fluctuate, but it looks like she’s been putting in some serious gym time.’

‘I don’t beat myself up’ It comes as no surprise that Carol’s turned up the va-va-voom for her reality stint. Once dubbed the sexiest woman in Britain, she came to feel more confident in her skin later in life, transforming from Countdown’s dowdily dressed maths whizz to showing off her figure in clingy bandage dresses. In an interview with Woman last year, she said, ‘I felt the most body confident in my forties and I’d love to get back to that. I’d lost weight and I’d just come out of a longterm relationship, which was a bad one. I average at a size 10, sometimes I’m a size 12, but I don’t beat myself up about it.’ Although she’s now single, Carol – mum to Katie, 24, and Cameron, 19 – is having the time of her life as a fully fledged member of the Air Cadets, and next year she’s hoping to fulfil a lifelong ambition to become the ninth woman to fly solo around the world. But not before her stint in the jungle – which she’s reportedly pocketed £200,000 for – where she describes herself as a ‘menopausal mama’ with a new lease of life. She says, ‘I’m doing more adventurous stuff now and it’s the sense of adventure that I love about this show.’ Well, you’ll certainly get plenty of that with those Bushtucker Trials, Carol!

How she did it No doubt Carol, who won Rear of the Year in 2011 and 2014, is keen to give her fit camp mates, including ex Strictly star Ola Jordan, 34, and Olympic hockey ace Sam Quek, 28, a run for their money. Ahead of facing the rigours of the jungle, not to mention the hot Australian climate, Carol wasted no time preparing her body for the


Carol is feeling fit and ready for her next adventure

1 Walking: She’s previously revealed that she walks up to seven miles a day. 2 Juicing: Detoxing leaves Carol feeling healthy and energised. 3 Weight training: Building her strength has transformed her body.



challenges. Just days before she flew to Oz, she revealed she’s been doing strengthening exercises, as well as walking several miles a day. She tweeted, ‘I’ve just started weight training. OMG I love it, why haven’t I done this before?’ She also managed to squeeze in some early morning gym sessions before flying Down Under, sharing some of her workout diary on social media. Plus, she’s been making sure her health is in tip-top condition, following a juicing programme to get all the nutrients she needs. In the past, Carol has declared her support for Jason Vale’s juice detox diet and last year spent two weeks in Portugal, surviving off fruit and vegetable juice to deep cleanse her body.

‘Sign r o f p me u Strictly!’ If she has her way, glamorous Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley could soon be swapping the Street for sequins…

‘It was always a dream of my grandfather James to see me do an album. Unfortunately we lost him a few

years ago, but I always promised him that I’d do it, so the record means a lot to my family and me. I’ve sung ever since I was a little girl, and I got my love of old school jazz from my grandfather. Hopefully he’s looking down on me and is proud.’

‘My character Eva still doesn’t know about Aidan and Maria’s one night stand – but when she does find out there will be fireworks! Eva’s very feisty

and a lot ballsier than I am, and I can imagine that she’ll take things to the extreme. I’m a massive believer in karma and that the universe will deliver what that person deserves – but at the same time if someone cheated on me, I would help karma along a little!’ ‘Married life is really good and has cemented everything for us. Tom is

number two? It’s not even entered my head yet. I’m too busy at the moment! There are lots of mums at Corrie so we organise mum and baby days out. I was with Tina O’Brien yesterday celebrating her little boy Beau’s birthday. And I saw my former co-star Paula Lane and her son Arthur the week before. We try to see each other as much as possible!’


so chilled and is such good friends with my co-star Shayne Ward that it makes filming romantic scenes a lot easier. Tom knows and understands it’s just part of my job.’ ‘Motherhood has put everything into perspective for me. It makes you realise

what’s important in life. I think it was Mother Teresa who said, ‘If you want to change the world, spend more time with your family,’ and I think that’s a great quote to live by. Am I thinking about baby

‘Shayne’s expecting his first baby, but I honestly don’t think he’ll need any advice about becoming a dad.

Whenever I’ve seen him with kids he’s absolutely fantastic, so I think both he and his partner Sophie will be naturals. Alfie’s completely obsessed with Shayne! The two of them are little buddies, but when Alfie first met Shayne he was completely star struck. I took him to set recently and Shayne sang for him. Alfie was mesmerised – although everyone is when Shayne sings!’ ‘I exercise when I can and we keep very active as a family. If I can’t get to the gym

‘I will have been on Coronation Street for six years next May, and it’s gone unbelievably fast! Initially I was only

meant to be there for three years but everyone’s so lovely to work with that it would be hard to go. People who leave do go on to great things – just look at Michelle Keegan – but they all miss it as would I. Most of us are on a year-to-year contract, so there’s always that chance that they might kill you off! But I hope the door is always open for me.’



Cath’s become a cobbles favourite since her Corrie debut in 2011

With co-star Shayne Ward who plays her cheating boyfriend Aidan Connor



s we pick up the phone to chat to Corrie star Catherine Tyldesley, she quickly apologises. ‘Sorry I’m ringing a bit early, my son’s quiet so thought it’d be a good idea to call now!’ she tells us, as she reveals she’s enjoying a rare day off from the cobbles with Alfie, 19 months. Cath, 33, who’s best known as Weatherfield’s Eva Price, is also celebrating the release of her debut album Rise, after the success of her first single earlier this year. Here the actress, who’s married to personal trainer Tom Pitford, chats bucket lists, motherhood and why hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Woman interview then I’ll take Alfie for a long walk, or do squats while pushing him on the swing. Like any busy mum, I’m short on time and it’s hard to fit exercise in, but there are many things you can do. We all want to be around as long as possible, especially when you have children.


There’s a lot of temptation to eat badly on the Corrie set! But I always say, ‘Fail

to prepare, prepare to fail,’ so Tupperware is big in our house, as we’re always trying to eat healthily. We have an amazing chef on set called Nathan who does Paleo foods each day. So if you want to cheat you can, but you’ve also got healthy options.’ ‘Every year when I watch Strictly Come Dancing I really want to do it! That’s one

thing that’s definitely on my bucket list. What’s my signature move? I think it’s probably best I don’t move at all! I really don’t think I’d be very good, but I just love the show and a challenge.’ ‘When I first joined Twitter, I used to write goodnight really early in the evening, so people at work started calling me Granny Cath. I said, ‘That’s

a bit harsh. Can we call me Aunty Cath instead?’ But now it’s stuck! I know it sounds boring, but my dream is getting an early night and then getting up early the next morning – in that respect I’m such a granny!’ ✱ Catherine's debut album Rise is out now on United Agents Records. Cath will be at Manchester’s Lowry Theatre on 3 Dec. See

The men in Cath’s life

Little Alfie is the image of his dad, and has inherited his mum’s love of music!

Cath enjoying her first year of married life with husband Tom Pitford

With co-star Shayne Ward. They play lovers on screen and behind-the-scenes the pair are firm friends.



make a living outofwine For Federica Zanghirella, drinking a glass of white isn’t just a nice treat – it’s business, too


his festive season, many of us will be indulging in a glass of wine or two. But when I crack open a new bottle at Christmas, I won’t just be enjoying it for pleasure, I’ll be drinking it for work. Sound like a dream job? Well, let me tell you how I started making a living from wine in my forties…

After training as a 3D graphic designer, I set up a design business with my husband. Aged 30, I was working for 12 hours in front of a computer, and like most people, I loved nothing more than unwinding with a glass of red after a long day. Having friends who produced their own wine meant I also spent some weekends travelling to vineyards with them, learning all about the winemaking process. I found it fascinating and, wanting to know more, I started studying wine in my spare time. I learnt about the different ways to make wine and the harvest. When I had a glass with dinner, instead of just gulping it down, I’d smell the aromas, trying to pick out the ingredients I’d read all about in books. I grew passionate about wine – not just drinking it for fun but thinking about what had gone into making it. But it was

just a way to pass time – I mean, how could my interest be more than just a hobby? Wine expert: Federica Then, in 2007, I separated from my husband. While it was difficult, I continued me a job as General Manager. I wanted to run the business on my own. But I soon to say yes straight away but I was hesitant realised I couldn’t keep up the long hours – I’d worked as a graphic designer for 10 in front of the screen. I wanted to be years, could I really switch careers at the outdoors, socialising with people and age of 40? My mum was concerned, as doing something that made me happy. were friends, saying it was a risk but I One night, I sat down with a friend and, couldn’t give up the opportunity to do over a bottle of red, after I explained my something I truly felt passionate about. predicament, he told me that, wanting So I took the offer and, in January to become a wine expert, he was doing a 2012, I joined the board of UK Sommelier sommelier course. ‘Why don’t you join Association. I went on to transform the me?’ he suggested. It seemed like the programme, offering a five-month course, perfect way to shake things up, so, in teaching students from all over the world November 2008, I enrolled on the course. who wanted to be sommeliers. While still working as a graphic designer, Today, I’m Vice President and when once a week I took night classes, learning I tell people I spend my days sipping on everything from the correct method to a glass of red, white or rosé or visiting a taste wine – swishing it around the glass vineyard during harvest, they’re always first to release oxygen, before smelling it jealous. But it took a leap of faith to get and then taking a sip – to the here and I’m glad I did it because now, at best environment to grow a vine. the age of 45, I’ve got a successful career I soon became the wine in wine. So take it from me, next time expert for friends and family, you enjoy a glass, stop and smell the and when I was out with people flavours – appreciating your drink will they would turn to me before only make it all the more enjoyable! ordering a bottle. But instead of ✱ finding it a chore, I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge – telling them to pair fish with a light, citrus white and to choose a fruity, intense red for steak. Working full-time, it took three years for me to complete the course. In 2011, I was thrilled when I passed the exam but ✱ Take your time: You don’t have to quit wanting to continue to broaden your job to retrain. Many courses can my wine knowledge, be done part time. Find one at I started to help run the course – pouring the ✱ You can cash in: The best wine and setting up way to make money is to before each class. Generation Y Not! are turn something you enjoy I did so well that, 40-plus women like you – whether that’s writing or in 2012, the who are grabbing life with both wine – into a business. Go President of the hands. Let us know how you to and UK Sommelier rewrite the rules on Facebook search ‘hobby businesses’. Association offered and Twitter or by email. For


Yes, you can BUT REMEMBER…



Federica now teaches people how to become sommeliers

details, see page 3.




FOUR BABIES injust19months A devastating diagnosis left Melanie Cregan and her husband Paul believing they’d never have a family...


oming into my house, it’s utter chaos – the sound of children playing can be heard from every corner and there are toys everywhere. Since giving birth to four beautiful – albeit rather messy – girls in the space of just 19 months, this is what life is like. And, while I’ll admit it’s exhausting, the truth is I wouldn’t have it any other way. You see, there was a time when my husband Paul and I thought we’d never have a family...

I’d been with Paul for three years when we started talking about children. We both wanted to become parents, so I came off the contraceptive injection and after our wedding in September 2010 we started trying. I was convinced it would happen quickly, that within a few weeks we’d be celebrating starting a family, but one month passed, then another. We started tracking my cycle, I took ovulation tests and ate every fertility-boosting superfood there was but two years later… still nothing. I didn’t understand, I was only 28, and worried, I went to see my GP. Although he said it wasn’t unusual, he agreed to send me for an ultrasound. The results came back that October. Doing my best to convince myself everything would be fine, I told Paul I’d go

on my own to get them. Looking back, I wish more than anything he’d been by my side, because what the doctor told me left me bereft. ‘You’ve got polycystic ovary syndrome,’ she told me, gently. ‘It means it will be very difficult for you to fall pregnant. You’ll struggle to ever conceive.’ I remember sitting there, devastated.

Monthly heartache Back home, I broke the news to Paul and as I did, my body shook with sobs. I couldn’t help feel it was all my fault that we didn’t have a family. We researched IVF but with a price tag of around £5,000 there was no way we could afford it. So, although we knew it was unlikely, we decided to just keep trying – and keep hoping. But then, three weeks later, in November 2012, I took another pregnancy test just in case. I wasn’t surprised when it showed up with one blue line. Negative again, I thought, tossing it aside as disappointment washed over me. Only, as I went to pick it up, to throw it in the bin, I noticed what looked like a second line... With my heart pounding I did another test and, sure enough, two blue lines appeared. Surely I couldn’t be pregnant, not after everything the doctor had said? Not wanting to get my hopes up, I waited, with the test in my hand, for Paul to come home. As I showed it to him, his eyes widened. We did another and another – four in total! But it wasn’t until




Melanie can’t believe that, despite the odds, she is now mum to four daughters a nurse confirmed it for us the next day that I believed we were going to be parents. It felt like a miracle, as doctors had been convinced I’d never conceive naturally. At my 20-week scan finding out we were having a girl, it all became real and in July 2013, I gave birth to Ava. She weighed 8lb 8oz and with her big blue eyes, she was gorgeous. Holding her, I couldn’t believe she was really mine.

In my experience

Paul and Melanie finally get to cuddle their triplets after nine days in intensive care now we were about to be a family of six! I’ll admit, this pregnancy wasn’t easy. Finding out we were having three girls we named them Isla, Lily and Ella – and Ava, then 15 months, seemed excited to be a big sister. But as the weeks passed, I put on 6st. I couldn’t fit my bump behind the steering wheel of the car and every morning Paul had to help me get dressed.

Expanding family Then, in February 2015, at 30 weeks, a scan showed one of the triplets, Isla, had no fluid around her and doctors weren’t sure if she’d survive. I was terrified. I had an emergency caesarean and the babies were rushed to intensive care. It was another six hours before I was able to see them. The girls were so tiny – Isla weighed 3lb, Lily, 3lb 2oz, and Ella, 3lb 6oz – all I could do was stroke their hands through a hole in the incubator. But nine days later Paul and I were finally able to hold them. It was a wonderful feeling. And nine weeks on they were all allowed home. Of course, having three tiny babies and a 21-month-old was quite a handful. We needed to get a bigger car and a special pushchair – we even had to sell our terraced house in Manchester and buy a detached one so we’d have enough space. 210 nappies £21 Now, a year on, Six packs of wet wipes £15 the girls are doing Four tins of formula £24 well. Isla, who was the 22lb of apples £20 smallest, is definitely appeared. As Paul pulled Seven boxes of baby wafers £14 the boss, Ella is very independent and me into his arms, I cried Lily is inquisitive, always watching happy tears. And there was more good – what’s going on. And Ava says they’re and very surprising — news to come, all her best friends. when, in October 2014, a scan revealed Every day, Paul and I are in awe of not one, or even two, but three heartbeats. our special family. But even now I still ‘You’re having triplets!’ the sonographer can’t believe that in 19 months we went told us. Looking at Paul, I saw my shock from having no children to having four. reflected in his eyes, then we both smiled. That’s most definitely a baby boom! We’d been told we’d never have children,



With doctors convinced that I’d never conceive again, Paul and I hadn’t thought about contraception. But, in June 2014, when Ava was 11 months old, I started feeling nauseous. At first I thought I’d got a bug, but then Paul suggested I take a pregnancy test. ‘Don’t be silly,’ I said. We’d been lucky once, what were the chances of it happening again? But, sure enough, two blue lines



On benefits… now I have two houses Standing in line at the Post Office to collect her benefits, single mum Belinda Grashion’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Back home, she sat on the floor of her rented house, allocating her income support to the mounting bills – and then sobbed. ‘I desperately wanted to give my daughters, then 13 and 11, a good life,’ recalls Belinda, a part-time massage therapist from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. When she saw an advert in the paper for a workshop on making money from property, she borrowed the £1,000 needed. After the course, Belinda felt she could make it work. She would source houses that the vendor was willing to sell for 75% of their market value, because they were in a state of disrepair, and add value by redecorating. She’d then take out a mortgage for the higher value and rent it out,

then use some of the mortgage money to renovate the next house she took on. She gradually built up a portfolio of properties and savings worth £8 million. ‘Within four years the profits had turned me into a millionaire. We went from having to pay our bills in instalments to living in a beautiful home with cars.’ Belinda is now 56 and runs courses teaching women how to become wealthy by investing in property. Home in Doncaster is a 100-year-old, threestorey eight-bedroom farmhouse, while in Barbados she has a villa on the beach. She drives a BMW and is about to buy a Porsche. Both of her girls, who are in their thirties, have also made their fortunes through property. ‘I don’t often stop to reflect on how far we’ve come — I’m too busy making the most of every moment,’ says Belinda. ‘But I am proud.’


We became millio Faced with poverty after their marriages ended, these three women



Women like you


Now I only work because I want to Bernadette Doyle’s sons were just three and one when she separated from their father. That was seven years ago, and the split gave her the impetus to turn her fledgling online company into a goldmine. Within two years, aged 41, Bernadette was a millionaire, training business owners how to maximise profits by moving aspects of their business online. ‘I really wanted a successful business, but when you’re the only parent everything falls to you, from cooking meals and getting up with sick kids to paying the bills. ‘I figured out early on that I had to have systems, such as cooking meals in batches and freezing them. I also pay someone to clean and do my laundry. ‘My sons are now eight and 10 and I work school hours, with occasional evening calls overseas.’

The moment Bernadette knew she had ‘arrived’ was in 2011 when she was invited to join a group of entrepreneurs at Richard Branson’s Necker Island. She does not spend a fortune on the latest gadgets for her boys, but is happy to pay for experiences. ‘We’ve been on skiing, surfing and horse-riding trips,’ she says.


‘We have a four-bedroom detached house, and could afford to upgrade, but it’s a walk from the boys’ school so it’s perfect. ‘I also have a little Fiat 500, nothing flash. But it’s wonderful knowing that every day I spend working I do so out of choice because, if I wanted, I could retire. So I only do work I enjoy and make every hour count.’

My bedroom is bigger than my old flat When Geeta Sidhu-Robb left her husband, she and her children — aged one, three and seven — were sleeping in a friend’s spare room. Six months after her separation, Geeta, a corporate lawyer, had found her own flat. And while not struggling for money she was left so exhausted she was vomiting and on a drip. After turning around her own health through nutrition, Geeta set up Nosh Detox four years ago – partly as a way to spend more time with her children. The business, which began with her cooking up batches of food in her kitchen to sell to friends of friends, expanded when she first set up a website and then began selling meals and

raw juices online and through the Amazon website. Business has boomed over the past four years – it’s now worth £4.75 million. Geeta is now 49 and her children are 20, 16 and 14. ‘I live in a beautiful house in Chelsea worth about £10 million, but I rent it so I don’t have to worry about its upkeep,’ she says. ‘My bedroom is bigger than the flat I first lived in as a single mum.’ They enjoy four holidays a year, but Geeta is keen to keep the children grounded. ‘We spent Christmas four years ago helping out in an orphanage in Africa,’ she says. ‘It’s important to me that they appreciate how privileged they are, compared to other people.’

onaires…in our 40s found inspiring ways to make a fortune for the sake of their children



This page: Dress, £49.99, sizes 6-18, earrings, £5.99, both New Look Leggings, £28, sizes 6-22, Next Ring, £12, The Collection at Debenhams Opposite page: Jumpsuit, £69.99, sizes 6-22, Autograph at M&S Shirt, £49.99, sizes 6-20, H&M Shoes, £25, Very Bag, £49, Biba at House of Fraser Ring, £12, Mood by Jon Richard



Fashion confidence

wardrobe y t r a p r u o y Revamp with sparkle and lace







Fashion confidence

Don’t fancy black? Try dark green lace instead Dress, £48, sizes 6-22, Next Earrings, £5.99, New Look Ring, £8, Red Herring at Debenhams Bag, £14.99, Bonprix



This dress is a designer lookalike


Dress, £68, sizes 8-22, Very Earrings, £6, Red Herring at Debenhams Ring, £4.99, New Look Shoes, £27.99, New Look


4 Stick to a neutral colour palette for this trend – silvers, green and black are very chic. 4 Instead of a simple dress, look for texture, like overlying lace and macramé. 4 Team leather-look leggings with a sparkly shift dress and create a waist with a belt or length of ribbon. 4 Don’t spoil the effect with lots of jewellery – simple and minimal pieces are more modern.



Fashion Editor’s picks

TROPHY JACKETS Up your evening game with the addition of a sharp throw-on… Blazer, £40, trousers, £35, both sizes 8-20, clutch, £25, all Wallis, top and shoes, stylist’s own

Blazer, £70, trousers, £35, jumper, £12, all sizes 8-16, shoes, £50, River Island

Jacket, £129, trousers, £69, both sizes 8-22, Monsoon


ver Island £95, sizes 8-16, Ri

rothy Perkins £40, sizes 6-22, Do

Jacket, £79, trousers, £69, both sizes 8-22, scarf, £15, shoes, £45, all Monsoon


r M&

Redo £79, sizes 6-24, La

iggy fo £79, sizes 6-22, Tw

pshop £65, sizes 4-16, To

ps £59, sizes 4-16, To

ry £45, sizes 8-24, Ve

allis £60, sizes 6-16, W

imark £25, sizes 8-22, Pr

as £79, sizes 8-18, Ph



, Mang £89.99, sizes 6-14

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, Asos er, £25 w o fl as a Pretty

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Tummy trimming tunics Over-indulged on pre-Chrismas treats? Pop on a tunic-style dress to hide and skim over any lumps and bumps.

£35, sizes 8-24, Peacocks

£65, sizes 8-22, Debenhams

£85, sizes 6-18, River Island

£49.50, sizes 8-24, Collection at M&S

£48, sizes 6-22, Next

Pick PERFECTPA your It’s time to call off the search, ladies - you’ll feel and look confident in

Clever slimming ruching Ruched detailing will help to distract the eye and create the illusion of a slimmer-looking waist in a matter of seconds.

£50, sizes 6-18, Lipsy

£35, sizes 8-16, Wallis

£78, sizes 6-22, Next

£89, sizes 8-22, Monsoon

£65, sizes 6-16, French Connection

£89, sizes 8-16, Hobbs

£45, sizes 8-16, Wallis

£80, sizes 8-22, Littlewoods

£75, sizes 8-16, Joy

£50, sizes 6-2, Dorothy Perkins

Fit and flare to flatter Worried about a big bum and thighs? These skater dresses nip you in at the waist and skim over any problem areas.



Figure fixers

£19.99, sizes xs-l, Zara

£40, sizes 8-16, Wallis

£40, sizes 8-16, Wallis

£38, sizes 8-22, V by Very

£13, sizes 6-18, Primark

£35, sizes 6-22, F&F at Tesco

PARTY DRESS these flattering festive frocks, no matter what body shape you are


£79, sizes 6-20, Phase Eight

£50, sizes 14-32, Evans

£16, sizes 6-28, George at Asda £90, sizes 8-20, Laura Ashley

£45, sizes 8-18, FWM by Fenn Wright Manson for Matalan

£38, sizes xs-l,

£45, sizes 8-16, Wallis

£85, sizes 6-18, Oasis



£19.99, sizes 6-18, New Look

£40, sizes 8-16, Closet

£54.99, sizes xs-xl,

£55, sizes 6-22, M&S



MUM AGE 12: 12st 7lb

AGE 16: 11st

Beverley just thought Destiny had a big frame

YOU PAID£12K… TO MAKEMYDA Her 12-year-old’s treatment cost the taxpayer thousands, but Beverley Deakin has no regrets


ou can’t put a price on happiness, and Beverley Deakin knows that better than most. When her 12-year-old daughter, Destiny, sobbed as the dial on the scales reached 12st 7lb, she’d have spent any amount of money to make her smile again.

Only, the cost of Destiny’s weight-loss treatment – an incredible £12,000 – wasn’t paid for by her mum. No, the truth is, it was you who foot the bill. In a country where the NHS at times seems stretched to provide care for everyone, perhaps you’d expect Beverley to feel guilty, even embarrassed. But the



single mum-of-two insists her daughter’s weight gain wasn’t her fault… Like every caring parent, her children’s health has always been Beverley’s top priority. At home, she cooked meals from scratch for Destiny and her older brother, Macaulay, now 20. Shepherd’s pie or vegetable omelettes were often on the menu, and Destiny attended dance classes every week. ‘I never had chips or fizzy drink in the house,’ insists Beverley.

Comfort eating And yet, despite Beverley’s attempts at a healthy lifestyle, after the death of her grandad, when she was eight, Destiny turned to food. ‘When I’d ask her what

she’d eaten at school, she’d tell me she’d spent her lunch money on cheesy pizza and chocolate,’ explains Beverley. Perhaps it was then that Beverley should have discussed healthy eating with her daughter – instead she chose not to address her daughter’s problems. ‘I hoped it was just a phase,’ Beverley insists. But, in the years that followed, it proved not to simply be a ‘phase’. Destiny

Telling it like it is continued to gorge on junk food and, aged 11, she became the victim of bullies. ‘She came home in tears,’ recalls Beverley. ‘She told me girls were calling her fat.’ Even this didn’t prompt Beverley to worry about her daughter’s weight. ‘Destiny is tall for her age and she’s got broad shoulders like me,’ she says. ‘I’m a size 16, but it’s because I’m built that way, not because I’m fat. I thought she was the same, so I told her to just ignore them.’


Shocking sight So, despite her daughter wearing a size 14 school uniform, it wasn’t until a year later, in March 2013, that Beverley finally realised how bad things had become. ‘She’d had her school photo taken and when she showed it to me, I was stunned,’ Beverley says. Seeking to take control, Beverley took her daughter to the GP. There, Destiny was asked to stand on the scales. ‘I couldn’t see the number,’ explains Beverley. ‘But I saw Destiny’s face turn deep red. When she finally showed me I was shocked. I had no idea my 12-year-old was 12st 7lb. The doctor told us she was clinically obese.’ While most parents would be horrified at the idea that they weren’t able to control their child’s weight themselves, when Destiny was referred to the Rotherham Institute of Obesity, Beverley was thrilled. There, she was provided with diet advice and access to a free gym. But even sweating it out on the treadmill and cutting out chocolate did nothing for Destiny’s ever-expanding waistline. ‘I

think she was secretly eating,’ explains Beverley. ‘But as a parent, you can’t be everywhere all the time.’ In July 2013, staff at the institute told Beverley about MoreLife – a camp for overweight children held in the six-week summer holiday. They’d put Destiny’s name forward, and the local council had agreed to fund her place. At £1,000 per week – £6,000 in total – did Beverley feel guilty about the heavy price tag? ‘I work in an antiques shop and pay taxes,’ she explains. ‘If we were living off benefits, I’d understand, but it was just as much my money as anyone else’s.’ So, five days later, putting her daughter’s problems in someone else’s hands, Beverley drove Destiny to the camp in Leeds. In the six weeks that followed, Destiny had a lifestyle overhaul. She ran two miles every morning before doing other activities, like swimming, for the rest of the day. Experts taught her how to make healthy food choices, and she was put on a 1,800-calories-a-day diet. ‘She lost 1st 11lb in six weeks,’ says Beverley. Destiny was determined to maintain her weight loss – only, in the cold winter months, and back home with her mum, it wasn’t so easy. ‘By then it was dark in the morning, so I wouldn’t allow Destiny to go running on her own,’ says Beverley. ‘It was too cold for her to go swimming and I was cooking hearty winter meals.’ By Christmas, she’d gained half a stone.

‘Destiny came to me and told me she wanted to go back to camp,’ Beverley says. But rather than feel like a failure, Beverley says she was surprised. ‘I hadn’t really noticed the weight creeping back on and I’d expected her to put on some in the winter anyway – like we all do,’ she says.

Money well spent Still, keen to make her daughter happy, Beverley applied for yet more funding. ‘I was thrilled when she got a place for the second time. As far as I was concerned, it was taxpayer’s money well spent,’ she says. So, in July 2014, Destiny, who by then had regained all the weight she’d lost, returned to camp. ‘I knew she’d lose weight, just like before,’ explains Beverley. ‘So when she’d lost a stone, I wasn’t surprised, but I didn’t want her to pile the weight back on.’ But Beverley needn’t have worried. Destiny took matters into her own hands and started cooking her own stir-fries and salads – she even joined a gym. Now, over two years on, Destiny is aged 16 and a size 12. At 11st, she’s a healthy weight for her 5ft 8in frame. And as far as Beverley is concerned, her progress is worth the £12,000 price tag. ‘Yes, it was a lot of money, but it would cost more for the NHS to pay for a lifetime of obesity,’ she explains. ‘People might judge, but I tried my best. I can’t be everywhere. I’m just glad that after all her hard work, she’s confident and happy.’


AUGHTERTHIN CHILDHOOD OBESITY Was Beverley right to expect taxpayers to foot the bill for her daughter’s weight-loss treatment? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or by email. For details, see page 3.

Beverley believed Destiny’s weight gain was a phase

Destiny now leads a much more active lifestyle

✱ One in three 10- and 11-yearolds in the UK are overweight. ✱ Some school-uniform suppliers have been forced to stock 5XL blazers, which have a 56in chest. ✱ Eating smaller portions, getting more sleep, less screen time, and completing 60 minutes of activity a day can all help children to lose weight. ✱ Visit for more information



Your nails are the one place you can afford to have a bit of fun and make a style statement. Go on, it’s Christmas - treat yourself to a new shade

nail your


Beauty confidence THE LOOK





This look needs a few layers, so go for a dark blue polish that goes on in one to two coats, like Bourjois La Laque Gel in Blue Garou, £6.99. Paint the tips with a glitter polish, such as Nails Inc Nail Polish in Chelsea Embankment, £15, stopping halfway









Always apply a base coat under a red polish to stop it staining your nails. We love Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1, £10.95. Colour time! Our favourite this season is OPI Got The Mean Reds, £12.50. Two layers should do the job.

You want a glossierthan-glossy topcoat, like Nailberry Fast Dry Gloss Ultra Shine Top Coat, £17. PERFECT FOR This shade is so timeless you can wear it during the day and through to the night without it looking too over the top.





down your nail. You want an ombré effect. Add a long-lasting topcoat like Rimmel Super Gel Top Coat, £5.99, to keep in place. PERFECT FOR Dark blue tipped with gold is classy but sparkly. Why not welcome in 2017 with some extra bling?

Glitters can be tough to remove, so begin with Leighton Denny Easy Peel Base Coat, £12, for easy removal. Slick on a moltenmetal-look gold polish made up of fine glitter particles, like Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Game of Chromes, £9.99.


Either stop there or add a chunkier glitter. Avoid a topcoat as this can dull the sparkle. We love Essie Luxeffects Nail Polish in Summit of Style, £7.99. PERFECT FOR Layers of 24-carat-style lustre will make your hands the star of the show – and the girls envious!



Go all-out girlie pink for this look. We love the flattering Mavala Soft Matt Effect in Pink Boudoir, £4.95. Once your polish is totally dry, use a blunt pencil to trace a line vertically down the centre of your nail. It’s always easier to go from your cuticle to the top.


Go over your line with the Barry M Nail Art Pen in Black, £4.99, in one fluid motion – and you’re done! PERFECT FOR When you’re feeling brave and want to try something different, a matte coat of sugar-pink and a slick of black does the job without going too crazy.



File your nails into an oval shape – this tends not to snag and tear and will lengthen the look of your fingers. To perfect this mani, go for a base coat that evens out ridges – a smooth nail bed makes polish 'sit' better and take on a more youthful finish.


Use a shade that errs on the side of rose, NOT yellow, which ages hands. Try Nails Inc Gel Effect in Colville Mews, £15, or Maybelline Color Show in Love This Sweater, £3.99. PERFECT FOR This is an everyday total fail-safe – and we guarantee you’ll get compliments.



eauty Editor’s picks

Day to night LIP + BLUSH + HIGHLIGHTER Whether you want glowing skin and a statement pout or a youthful blush and bare lips, this one’s for you. Sarah Moon for NARS True Story Cheek & Lip Palette, £39

Vamp it up EYES + BROWS + HIGHLIGHTER Technically, this is an eyeshadow palette, but the browns are ideal for enhancing brows and the pearly shades mean highlighter’s sorted too! Urban Decay XX Vice Ltd Reloaded Eyeshadow Palette, £43


You’ll wa one of the nt your Christ se in m stocking! as

Forget lugging tonnes of make-up around with you – a new breed of compact serves all your beauty needs Get glowing BLUSH + PRIMER + EYES + LIPS Keep this in your gym bag/desk drawer/ super-sized handbag and you’ll need nothing else! This one has your whole face covered. Benefit Girl-A-Rama Palette, £29.50

All-out glam EYES + HIGHLIGHTER + BLUSH Smaller sections mean more colours, and we’re totally down with that. This has all you need to go from a sultry eye to great skin in the same sitting. MUA Devotion Palette, £5

Clutch-bag essential LIP + EYES + BLUSH This one’s so dinky you’ll wonder how it could ever get your face ready – but it does. We love the day-wear colours and cute mini lip-gloss. Laura Mercier Going Glam Palette, £39




1 2

Simply pick one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner every day. Foods printed in bold are ‘Free Foods’. Base meals around Free Foods, which include vegetables, pasta, lean meat, fish, rice, potatoes, fat-free dairy, eggs and more, and if you feel hungry between meals, snack on these foods, including fruit, too. As well as Free Foods, stock your store cupboard with fat-free salad dressings, stock, herbs, oil-free passata, tomato purée, soy sauce and spices which can be used freely to add delicious flavour to meals. To make sure that you’re enjoying a fully balanced diet, choose 350ml skimmed or 250ml semi-skimmed milk, or 30g full-fat hard cheese or 40g reduced-fat hard cheese. Boost your fibre intake by eating two slices of wholemeal bread (from a small 400g loaf), a 60g wholemeal roll or a portion of high-fibre cereals (weights specified in the plan) For ease,



the fibre servings are incorporated into your meals each day. Just remember to stick to one portion of each per day. Trim all visible fat off meats and remove skin from poultry. Use lowcalorie cooking spray (1 calorie per spray or less) instead of oil and fats. Keep hydrated. Aim to drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid a day: choose water, sugar-free drinks, tea and coffee. Don’t forget to count any milk used in hot drinks as part of your daily dairy allowance. Treat yourself. Enjoy up to two treats from the list provided every day (see page 37). To maximise your success, join your local Slimming World group or join Slimming World Online to get lots more healthy meal ideas and support to reach your target weight and stay there. To find out how you can save £35 when you join online, please see page 36.



6 7 8

‘Tis the season

TO START SLIMMING… There’s still time to drop a dress size before 25 December and with this meal planner from Slimming World you could do just that 36


Stay fit and well

BREAKFASTS OVERNIGHT OATS In a jar (glass is easiest), measure out 40g of plain porridge oats and top with fat-free natural yogurt. Leave in the fridge overnight. Remove and serve with lots of fresh fruit – such as raspberries and blueberries or sliced banana and apple.

BEANS OR BREAKFAST SARNIE EGG ON TOAST Toast 2 slices of bread (from a small 400g loaf) and top with either baked beans or poached eggs. Follow with some fresh fruit – like a couple of satsumas or plums.

Fill a 40g wholemeal roll with grilled bacon (all visible fat removed) an egg fried in a pan sprayed with lowcalorie cooking spray and grilled sliced tomatoes and mushrooms.

BANANA BIX Serve 2 Weetabix with milk (from your allowance) and top with sliced banana.

LUNCH PASTA SALAD To make the salad, add dried cooked pasta to strips of cooked chicken (all visible fat removed), chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped spring and red onion and 65g cubed reduced-fat feta cheese (from your allowance). Follow with fresh raspberries.

JACKET POTATO Bake a jacket potato and top with baked beans or prawns in Marie Rose sauce (made by mixing 1 level tbsp extra-light mayonnaise, 1tbsp fat-free fromage frais and 1 level tbsp tomato ketchup). Serve alongside a mixed salad and follow with a crunchy apple.

LAYERED SALAD Make a salad using grated carrot, shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber and drained tinned sweetcorn. Top with 40g reduced-fat grated cheddar (from your allowance) or a drained can of tuna in brine or water. Serve with 1tbsp extra-light mayonnaise.

SAVE £35

when you join online!

CHOWDER Enjoy Slimming World’s Sweetcorn Chowder, available exclusively from Iceland. Follow with a banana.




Stay fit and well

DINNER KING PRAWN JALFREZI Spray a deep non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and stir-fry 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 chopped green chillies (deseeded), 3 chopped tomatoes, 1tbsp ground cumin, 1tbsp garam masala, 1tsp turmeric, a pinch of sweetener and 1tsp sea salt for 3-4 mins. Add 2 halved green chillies and stir-fry for 1-2 mins, then add 2tbsp fat-free natural yogurt and 200ml water. Stir well, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile spray another frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and stir-fry 1 sliced onion, 500g raw peeled king prawns and 2 sliced peppers for 5-6 mins. Add 2 more tomatoes, cut into wedges, and stir-fry for 2-3 more mins. Mix 1 level tsp cornflour with 1tbsp cold water and stir into the sauce and simmer for a few seconds. Then add the prawns and veg, stir well and bring to the boil. Serve hot with cucumber ribbons and boiled dried basmati rice.



Cut 4 baking potatoes into wedges, spread on a baking tray sprayed with low-calorie cooking spray, season, spray again and cook in the oven for 30 mins. Meanwhile, season 4 lean gammon steaks (visible fat removed) with black pepper and mustard powder,

grill for 4-5 mins on each side, then keep warm. Spray a non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and fry 4 eggs. Divide gammon between 4 plates, top with eggs and serve with the wedges, grilled tomato halves and steamed green beans.

DEVIL’S PASTA Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add 6 thinly sliced garlic cloves and stir-fry for 1-2 mins. Stir in 11/2tsp dried chilli flakes and stir-fry for a few seconds, add 500g passata with onions and garlic, a 400g can cherry tomatoes, plus the juice in the

TREAT Choose up to x2 per day ✱ 2 10g Lindt Chocolate Teddies ✱ 3 M&S Mini Santa Hats ✱ 1 Co-op Irresistible Gold Dusted Mini Christmas Puddings ✱ 1 The Skinny Cow Mini Caramel Bite Lolly ✱ 1 125ml glass Tesco Mulled Wine

✱ 1 35ml measure of any spirit with diet mixer ✱ 2 Morrisons The Best Gin & Tonic Jelly Shots ✱ 1 24g bag Ryvita Minis, any variety ✱ 1 20g bag Propercorn Lightly Sea Salted Popcorn ✱ 1 Low Fat Co-op Rice Cake, spread with 1 level tsp reduced-fat peanut butter.

can. Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce to medium and cook for 15-20 mins, uncovered. Meanwhile, cook 500g dried pasta shapes according to the packet instructions. Drain and stir in the sauce, fresh herbs and 100g chopped rocket leaves. Season and serve hot with salad.

EXCLUSIVE! SAVE £35 WHEN YOU JOIN SLIMMING WORLD ONLINE If you can’t make a Slimming World group or there isn’t one nearby, or if you’d prefer to lose weight with web-based support, then Slimming World Online could be the perfect way for you to slim. Slimming World Online has all the tools you need to lose weight successfully and stay on track, including recipes, a weightloss planner, motivational tips and inspirational stories from other members. Visit before midnight on Monday 5 Dec, 2016 and enter voucher code WOMAN2016 to save £35/¤45. Full terms and conditions can be viewed at




6weekslaterhewas N ew relationships are always exciting as you find out each other’s favourite things – whether that’s food or films – and then there are those little surprise gifts you get, just because he’s thinking of you.

But when I first met Neal, we barely had a chance to get to know each other before he faced something so shocking that it could have shattered our relationship. Instead, it made us stronger… Back in December 2000, I’d just moved to London for a job as a graphic designer when Neal came into the office with a couple of bottles of wine. ‘How do you do and Happy Christmas,’ he smiled, explaining he was one of our suppliers. As he continued to visit the offices every few weeks, I discovered he was



a keen sportsman who enjoyed rugby and skiing. At first, I only thought of him as a friend, but by April 2002, I began to think there could be something more. I didn’t have to wonder for long, as he invited me for afternoon tea. Out of work, he was just as charming. We agreed to go for dinner three days later and over the next few weeks, we saw each other as often as we could – I met his mum and sister, he met my parents and we had a weekend in the New Forest. And when we weren’t together, we’d talk on the phone every night. But just six weeks after that first date, Neal rang to say he’d had pins and needles and wooziness. He’d been to A&E, but doctors said it was probably just stress. I tried not to worry, but a few days later,

panic washed over me as it happened again when we were together. Worried, I insisted we went back to the hospital for answers. After running tests, including an MRI scan, the doctor’s face was grave. ‘You have a glioblastoma – a malignant brain tumour – the size of a satsuma,’ the doctor told Neal as I sat beside him. Hugging me tightly, Neal tried to be brave. But he told me that he was worried this would be too much for me. Perhaps some women would have walked away – after all, we were barely a couple. We didn’t have a lifetime of shared memories, just a few weeks of fun. But, hearing Neal’s diagnosis, I couldn’t think about the long-term – all I knew was that he needed me right now, so


It happened to me

Sara Challice had only just started dating Neal when he faced a devastating diagnosis. Here, in heartbreaking detail, she reveals why she stood by him…

vomiting. While we both hoped it was nothing, Neal moved his regular scan forward and tests showed the cancer was back. It had spread to several places through the centre of Neal’s brain, where the doctors couldn’t operate. They tried to be positive, but the look on their faces said it all – the cancer would kill Neal. At home that night, we talked about our fears as Neal crumbled. ‘You don’t have to marry me, you know,’ he said. But I wanted to make the most of whatever time we had. So on 18 September 2004, surrounded by friends and family, we made our vows – in sickness and in health – a promise I’d made to him even after we’d been together six weeks. We enjoyed a blissful honeymoon to Mauritius, but almost immediately after, reality set in as Neal had intravenous chemotherapy three times a month and




I was by his side as he was wheeled into surgery to remove the tumour. Afterwards, I visited Neal every day as he lay on the sofa, weakened and sick from the chemo and radiotherapy. And as he slowly recovered, our relationship became stronger and stronger. We’d endured more than most couples who spend a life time together, so we were delighted when doctors gave him the all-clear. Spending our first Christmas together, we snuggled by the fire and drank a toast to happiness and health. And the following year, we had even more to celebrate when, on Christmas morning, Neal got down on one knee clutching a Tiffany-style diamond ring. At New Year, we went skiing and we hardly gave the cancer a second thought. But sitting on the ski lift, Neal started

was now no longer able to speak. He was fitted with a feeding tube in his stomach and I set up a bed for him in the living room. The next two years were the hardest. Neal could only communicate through hand gestures and hoisting him into his wheelchair was back-breaking work. Still, we tried to get out together – even if only occasionally. In September 2015, I took Neal to Twickenham to watch a rugby match. As I cheered on England, Neal by my side, for the briefest moment I could imagine we were like any other couple. Except I knew we weren’t. That night, Neal started being very sick. I took him to A&E – a place we’d visited more than 20 times over the years. ‘I’m afraid Neal has had a huge bleed – he’s dying,’ the doctor said. Neal was too ill to understand, but despite knowing how unwell he had been,



I felt totally unprepared to say goodbye. I juggled my work around his treatment. I stood over him with one hand on his By August 2005, Neal’s balance was chest and stroked his head with the other getting worse. As he got more unsteady, as he died a few hours later – he was only I went freelance so I could be at home 55. While I felt shattered and empty, I was with him full-time. It broke my heart to glad that Neal wasn’t suffering anymore. see the changes in the man I loved. Now, more than a year on, I’m trying to But Neal was a fighter and for the next get used to life without Neal. I’ve thrown four years, he never complained about myself into helping other carers and how sick he felt. have written a self-help book for people Then, in spring 2009, Neal came off the looking after loved ones. I’ve also learnt chemotherapy because it was making him a lot – I am a lot more patient than I used so weak. He started using a wheelchair and to be and kinder to myself, too. it marked a change in our marriage Neal and I had just six weeks of as I went from Neal’s wife to his The Carers being healthy and care-free. For carer. But I wouldn’t have had Pocket Book the rest of our relationship – all it any other way – I loved him. by Sara Challice 13 years – his cancer affected The biggest change came is available everything. But I’m glad of our in January 2012, when Neal online at time together and I’ll never suffered a mild stroke. My stop loving him. charming, outgoing husband



Family dilemmas

Suzie Hayman has trained with Relate and been a counsellor for 20 years

Ask Suzie…

Having problems with your nearest and dearest? Solve your dilemmas with Suzie’s expert advice

Shouldwetellthechildrenit’s Why won’t she put going to be Mum’slastChristmas? herself first? t’s likely that this will be my mum's last Christmas – she hasn't been well. The whole family – Mum, Dad, my sister and our families – will be at their house for the holiday. My sister’s children are teens and understand, but mine are only seven and eight, and we don’t want to upset them. Do we say anything or do we try to keep things upbeat and light?


How much money should he give them? y son and daughter have two children each and my husband normally gives them cash at Christmas. The eldest is now 20 and the youngest 10. They’re happy they get to choose what they can buy but what worries me is that he gives the eldest more. I feel he should give all the children the same. Surely it’s unfair to the others and puts the eldest in an awkward situation?



Suzie says: Not necessarily. What a 10-year-old feels is a princely sum to spend on a wish list can be a very different thing to what an adult – and 20 is an adult – might desire or need. I would imagine over the years the amount goes up, so nobody is being discriminated against, they’re simply having their share adjust over time. What you could do is also give each family a shared present – something everyone would enjoy together – and make that the same for your son and daughter and their kids. I am assuming your husband isn’t deliberately playing favourites. If he is, you might want to have a discussion about how much that not only hurts the grandchildren he sets aside, but the one he singles out. If he’s trying to make up for some hurt in his own past, help him do so but not to pass on the misery.

Suzie says: It’s not so much the mood you need to ask about but whether you come clean. The issue is whether you let the younger children know this may be the last time, and allow them to ask questions about death to prepare them. And I’d say a resounding yes. If you keep it quiet, when she does go they may not just mourn but feel they didn’t make the most of this time together, and feel cheated and deceived. Think of ways to make this Christmas with Grandma one to really remember. Suggest she find a special poem, story or film to share with them so they can go back and enjoy these in the future and relive experiencing them with her. Ask the kids to find favourite things they want to bring to her to share. You could also suggest they think of things they’d like to know – kids always love family stories and histories, and I know they’ll love to hear your mum’s. Death is a part of life and learning how to cope with sadness and loss is vital. You’ll be giving them the gift of resilience – the ability to face trouble and deal with it.

friend of mine is the kindest, most generous person who’d do anything for her family. Three years ago she had a heart attack and her doctor told her to start going to a gym, so three times a week we go together. But she endlessly worries about it – she keeps telling me she feels she is selfish taking time and spending family money on herself.


Suzie says: Women tend to put themselves second – to their children, their partners and even their friends. But the result is often resentment and irritation, which doesn’t help them, or their relationships. Not looking after our own health and wellbeing can lead to physical and mental health issues. And that’s not good for the family either. Keeping fit and spending time with a friend isn’t just a good idea, it’s essential. If she won’t do it for herself and see that she deserves it, tell her she’s doing it for her family.

My ex wants a secondchance ive years ago, my ex and I divorced and since then have been better friends than we ever were in our 20 years of marriage. We’ve never argued over our three children, who are now all in jobs or university. We travelled together to take our youngest to her college when she started in September, and when my car broke down on the way home we stayed together in a hotel overnight. Yes, you guessed it – we ended up sharing a room, a bed and a night together. Since then, he’s asked me several times about trying again. I’m worried if we spend Christmas together – which we’ve planned for the children’s sake – that we’ll end up in bed together again.


Suzie says: You have memories together and have already invested time and effort in a shared

life, and you have the bond of children. But just thinking second time is the charm is likely to end in tears if you haven’t looked at and resolved the problems you had before. You don’t argue and you do get on now, but that could be because you only see each other at your best. The trick is not to simply ‘end up in bed together’ this Christmas. What you need to do, if you want to make your relationship a success, is to talk about what caused conflict and distress the first time, and do something about it. Indeed, you have a much better chance of making this a happy ever after, but only if you’re both prepared to be honest and do some work on it. WRITE TO SUZIE ✱ BY EMAIL: Send an email to Suzie with your personal problem at ✱ BY POST: Family Dilemmas, Woman, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London SE1 0SU




DESSERTS Totally indulgent and a doddle to make – these puds tick all the boxes!

Food EedC’shoticoplate

Secure th sticks trees to lolly elted m tle lit with a you can chocolate so to stick them in p. to the

Enchantedblack forest roulade Chocolate and cherries are always a magical combination SERVES 8 PREP 20 MINS COOK 25 MINS 4 180g plain chocolate, broken into squares 4 150ml brandy 4 175g golden caster sugar 4 6 large eggs, separated 4 300ml double cream 4 2tbsp Kirsch 4 425g can black cherries in light syrup, drained 4 4tbsp black cherry conserve 4 Icing sugar mixed with little edible glitter, to dust 4 Melted chocolate, to drizzle 4 Enchanted Forest trees from Hotel Chocolat, to decorate 1 Heat the oven to 180°C, Gas 4. Grease and line a 38 x 26cm Swiss roll tin with baking paper. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the brandy. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and leave, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. 2 Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until softly peaking. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and very thick. 3 Whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolks and sugar. Lightly fold in the whisked egg whites until just combined.



Pour the mixture into the Swiss roll tin and bake for 25 mins until just firm. Cover the roulade with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to cool in the tin. 4 Whisk the cream with the Kirsch until just thick enough to hold its shape. In a separate bowl, mix together the cherries and cherry conserve. Turn the roulade out on to a clean sheet of baking paper and trim the edges to neaten. Spread the cream over the roulade and spoon

the cherries and conserve over the top. Roll up the roulade tightly, lifting the paper to help. 5 Dust the roulade with icing sugar mixed with edible glitter and drizzle with a little melted chocolate. Decorate with chocolate trees and dust with extra caster sugar and glitter. Per serving: 566 cals, 31g fat, (18g saturated), 50g carbohydrates

Bring on the showstoppers

Food Ed’s tip

Make this th e day before so it ha s time to chill and se t overnight.

Whitechocolate,raspberry & pomegranate cheesecake A no-fuss finale to feed a crowd SERVES 16 PREP 30 MINS PLUS CHILLING COOK 5 MINS 4 250g Lotus biscuits 4 100g butter, melted 4 12g sachet gelatine 4 150ml single cream 4 1kg full-fat soft cheese (such as Philadelphia) 4 200g white chocolate, melted 4 1tbsp vanilla bean paste 4 300g raspberries 4 300g pomegranate seeds 4 Raspberry coulis, to serve 4 To decorate: Gold Glitter Reindeer Cake Topper from

1 Grease and line a 20cm round loosebased cake tin with baking paper. Whiz the biscuits in a food processor until they form crumbs. Pour in the butter and pulse to combine. Press the crumbs into the base of the tin. Chill while making the filling. 2 Sprinkle the gelatine over 3tbsp cold water and leave to soften, following the packet instructions. Heat the cream until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat, add the gelatine and stir until dissolved. 3 Stir in the melted white chocolate and 1/4 of the soft cheese. Stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Beat remaining soft cheese in an electric mixer then slowly

pour in the melted cream and chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. 4 Lightly stir through half the raspberries and pomegranate seeds then pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Smooth the top to level. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight. 5 To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin and scatter the remaining raspberries and pomegranate seeds over the top. Drizzle a little raspberry coulis over the fruit. Push in cake toppers to serve. Slice and serve with extra coulis. Per serving: 353 cals, 26g fat, (16g saturated), 23g carbohydrates È WOMANMAGAZINE.CO.UK


Bring on the showstoppers Slug

Cranberry& clementine &lemon meringue tarts A citrus alternative to traditional mince pies

Food Ed’s tip

You can put these tarts together in m inutes, but arranged in a Christmas tree shape w ith a dusting of icing suga r ‘snow’ and entwined with fairy lights, they lo ok amazing.

1 Heat the oven to 170°C, Gas 3. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiffly peaking. Whisk in the sugar, 1tbsp at a time, whisking well between each addition, to make a stiff and glossy meringue. 2 Spoon lemon curd into half the pastry cases and cranberry and clementine curd (mixed with a little red food colouring, if liked) into the remaining pastry cakes. 3 Pipe rosettes or spoon swirls of meringue on half the tarts, put on a baking tray and bake for 5 mins until the meringue is starting to brown. 4 Top the remaining tarts with icing sugar-dusted pastry stars or pastry stars topped with a gold cake decoration star. Arrange in a Christmas tree shape, to serve. Per serving: 314 cals, 12g fat, (7g saturated), 49g carbohydrates




SERVES 12 PREP 15 MINS COOK 5 MINS 4 2 medium egg whites 4 100g golden caster sugar 4 24 ready-baked sweet pastry tart cases in different sizes (including M&S Christmas Mince Pie Pastry Cases that come with pastry stars) 4 8tbsp lemon curd 4 8tbsp cranberry and clementine curd (from M&S) 4 Red paste food colouring (optional) 4 Icing sugar, to dust 4 Gold cake decoration stars, to decorate

Healthy living

6 EASYFESTIVE FOODSWAPS Enjoy the season without missing out or piling on the pounds…


SWAP SAVE: 80 cals

Prawn crackers for Prawns

20g prawn crackers = 108 cals. 3 king prawns = 28 cals WHY? Prawns are rich in the mineral selenium which helps protect against some types of cancer.

SAVE: 41 cals

Peanuts for Popcorn

25g peanuts = 155 cals. 25g popcorn = 114 cals WHY? Energy-dense foods, like nuts, contain lots of calories. Being wholegrain and low in fat, popcorn helps you feel full.



SAVE: 124 cals

SAVE: 60 cals

Garlic bread for Bruschetta

1 slice garlic bread = 100 cals. 1 slice bruschetta = 40 cals WHY? The tomatoes on bruschetta are rich in vitamin C, which helps to keep the immune system healthy. They also provide lycopene, which can guard against heart disease.


SWAP SAVE: 80 cals


Mulled wine for Prosecco

1 glass (150ml) mulled wine = 237 cals. 1 glass (150ml) Prosecco = 113 cals WHY? A glass of mulled wine contains around 2tsp of sugar, whereas a glass of Prosecco contains around 1/4tsp.

Brandy butter for Custard

2tbsp brandy butter = 200 cals. 100ml custard = 120 cals WHY? As well as saving calories, custard provides bonestrengthening calcium – and is just as nice with mince pies!

SAVE: 37 cals

Cheese straws for Olives

1 cheese straw = 55 cals. 3 olives = 18 cals WHY? Olives provide healthy unsaturated fats and vitamin E, an antioxidant, which all help to keep the heart healthy.



It’s your

WE K D Oozing 1940s glamour and with Brad in a tux, what’s not to like?

Going out

The ONE big film

ALLIED WHO’S IN IT? Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard WHAT IS IT? Set in 1942, intelligence officer Max (Pitt) crosses paths in North Africa with French resistance fighter, Marianne (Cotillard) and the attraction is instant. But their mission puts passion on hold. Reunited a few years later in London, can their relationship finally flourish? WHY? If you enjoy the glamour of the 1940s – and want to see if their chemistry is as real as the tabloids would have you believe! WHY NOT? If you’re not sure a love story is enough to hook you. VERDICT: An early Christmas cracker that gives the classic Casablanca a run for its money.




My weekend top 5

Pam Ferris

WATCHING My husband Roger and I were hooked on the recent Sky Atlantic drama Billions starring Damian Lewis. We often say we have to ration ourselves so we don’t run out too soon! EATING I love to cook and I try to make interesting dishes, like stuffed Greek flatbread with Swiss chard, red onion, feta cheese, roast veg and neck of lamb. LISTENING Radio 4 is great company – I love Melvyn Bragg. Music wise, I love Carol King’s Tapestry, Fleetwood Mac and world music. READING I am reading Elaine Morgan’s The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis at the moment. It’s fascinating. MY PERFECT WEEKEND I’d be at Holkham beach in North Norfolk at low tide and follow it up with lunch at Wiveton Hall Cafe, which serves the best food you can imagine. 4Pam stars in Matilda, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary and is available on DVD now.

North Norfolk would be Pam’s weekend hotspot

All you need to make it a great one Book it now!

Great days out

Christmas fun Get into the festive spirit with lights, shows and activities galore!



Get creative with the family and make some decorations and cards for your home and for loved ones. 419-20 & 26-27 November, 3-4, 10-11 & 17-18 December, £3.50 to some workshops (plus admission charges). See


Snow White will need her five-a-day to keep up with Strictly dance-floor diva Lesley Joseph as the Wicked Queen. Co-starring Duncan James as the Prince, it’ll be cackling good fun, darlings! 418 December 2016-14 January 2017, Theatre Royal Plymouth, tickets from £10. See



THE BEST OF, ULTIMATE, SHREWSBURY GOLD,GREATESTHITSTOUR WINTER FESTIVAL Jimmy Carr is one of the UK’s Raise a glass of mulled wine to the hardest-working stand-up comics, so why not make a date to see the dry-witted funny man in action? Prepare for a full on laugh-a-thon! 4 Touring the UK and Ireland until December 2017. Tickets from £27.50 – see

festive season at this day out in the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Tickle your tastebuds, sing along to some carols and try your hand at some Christmas crafts. 410-11 December. Tickets from £6, see


One for the grown ups – try your hand at Christmas cake decorating with an award–winning baker. Then tuck into a delicious two course Christmas dinner as a reward! 42, 9 & 16 December, 9.30am-12.30pm, tickets £30, booking essential.



Go on toy-filled Santa’s Magical Journey and see West End performers deliver a three-hour extravaganza of singing, dancing, humour and variety. 410 Nov–23 December, tickets £28.50-£40. See thursfordchristmasspectacular



Staying in

Well, who doesn’t like a n

One show NOT to miss

What to record next week Tour De Celeb MON, C5 A line-up of eight stars have had a gruelling three months to prepare for the toughest physical challenge of their lives – a 146km endurance ride through the French Alps.

The Missing WED, BBC1 The chilling drama, starring Keeley Hawes and David Morrissey, comes to its conclusion. But will there be more twists and turns, or will we finally find out what happened to Alice Webster?

RILLINGTON PLACE TUES, BBC1 WHO’S IN IT? Tim Roth, Samantha Morton, Nico Mirallegro and Jodie Comer. a WHAT IS IT? The gripping dram of y unravels the real-life stor 1940s serial killer John Christie t (Tim Roth), who murdered eigh t cen inno ing fram re befo en, wom

We Have Been Watching Christmas Special WED, GOLD Some of Britain’s top comedians, including Ricky Tomlinson, watch clips from some of their favourite festive shows, à la Gogglebox.



E ODN D V 50

OUT NOW With Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis at the helm, it’s not hard to see why everyone’s been talking about this TV show. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as the two Wall Street titans prepare to face off.


1 2 3 4 5 6


My hair is so fine that I’ve never shaved my legs! I was a doctor in Casualty, but I’m scared of injections. I used to collect Coca-Cola memorabilia as one of my first jobs was in an advert of theirs. When I was at school I was the class clown. Once I played a Kylie Minogue lookalike – it could only happen on radio! I sneaked into the after-party of the first Big Brother. ✱ Sunetra is supporting Sightsavers’ Specs Appeal celebrity glasses auction. See

Timothy Evans (Nico Mirallegro) for the chilling crimes. YOU’LL LOVE IT: If you’re a history buff fascinated by real-life murder cases. YOU’LL HATE IT: If you’re looking for some light relief in the winter months – perhaps Strictly’s more your cup of tea!

ight onthesofa? WATCH IT ON CATCH-UP TV Martin Kemp’s Murder Files QUEST The silver fox lifts the lid on the world’s most notorious murderers, with reconstructions and archive footage to delve deeper. A fascinating watch.

My favourite apps

CHARLIE CONDOU Candy Crush Soda ‘I’m doing very well, but always running my battery down as I’m on it so much!’

The Affair Samantha Morton plays John Christie’s wife

Soap’s big scene

SKY ON DEMAND The characters we know and love are back – but series three opens three years after Noah (Dominic West) was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Now things are looking up as Noah has a new love interest…

RunPee ‘This app tells you the best time to go to the toilet in a film, and then gives you a brief synopsis of what you missed!’ ✱ Charlie will be performing in the Rocky Horror Show UK tour. See

CORONATIONSTREET Will Rana be left mending a broken heart when Zeedan says he has had second thoughts about them tying the knot? Meanwhile, with Maria’s case on the horizon, Aidan asks a hotshot solicitor to represent her, before tracking down Caz.


AND THE BEST OF THE REST EASTENDERS Ronnie is shocked to discover that Jack wants to sell their house, and refuses to go through with it unless they get Roxy’s blessing. Will she agree? Jane opens up to Stacey, saying she doesn’t think Ian finds her attractive any more. EMMERDALE Emma continues to get under Moira’s skin about Cain, as Rebecca bribes Robert to free Lachlan.

Getting cold feet? Zeedan tells Rana about his wedding fears



Diet extra

I’velostmy babyweight atlast! After two decades, Elizabeth Harrington has finally shed the unwanted pounds…

I’d always been a slim size 12 – but after having my daughter, Jasmine, in February 1994, my weight crept up and I was a size 20. Don’t ask me how many stone I was, though, as I refused to weigh myself. By the time Jordan was born, two years later, I was slightly slimmer, having cut my portions – but I was still a size 18. With two young children, I reasoned that I didn’t have time to diet. But as they got older, I still didn’t do anything about my weight – even after they were grown up. By September 2015, I was still size 18 and 15st 1lb – far too huge for my 5ft 5in frame.

Plan of action I had to do something but, working as a driver, I needed something easy that didn’t involve lots of counting and measuring. Then, I was watching the shopping channel and saw Jane Michell, founder of the Jane Plan. She explained that prepared meals would be delivered to your door, which sounded perfect for me. I resolved to begin in January 2016 and as I sat down to chicken tikka and saag aloo, I was impressed by how tasty they were. My only complaint was that I wanted more! Jane Plan has a dedicated support line, so I phoned for advice and the consultant



BEFORE recommended filling up on veg and crudités. While it took time, I slowly adapted to smaller portions and it was all worth it when, within a month, I’d shed 8lb.

Elizabeth has gone from a size 18 to a slim size 12!

Amazing results As the weeks passed, I swapped my size 18s for 16s, then 14s. And last month, I bought a size 12 skirt for the first time in years. Now I’m 11st 13lb and I’m thrilled. After 20 years, I’ve shifted my baby weight! And I’m going to keep eating Jane Plan meals – they’re just so delicious that I don’t want to stop.

DIET BEFORE: Breakfast: None Lunch: Shepherd’s pie, beans and chips Snack: Biscuits Dinner: Chicken, salad with creamy dressing

DIET AFTER: Breakfast: Granola with berries Lunch: Jane Plan Chicken Tikka Dinner: Jane Plan soup Snack: Pear and plum



Woman has teamed up with Jane Plan to create a 5:2 box packed with balanced meals for eight ‘fast days’ a month. Combine with our 5:2 recipes for non-‘fast days’ and see the weight fall off. At just £49.99, you’ll save £25 EVERY month – just use the code WE52B at the checkout. Only available at


✱ You can order your plan online at or call 020 3489 4770 ✱ With the 5:2 Jane Plan Diet, you’ll eat 500 calories for two days each week ✱ You choose when and where you want your diet box delivered ✱ You’ll get phone or online support



ost women put on a few pounds after having children and I was no exception, but it took me years – decades in fact – to find a solution.

Festive home

£15, M&S

£5, Wilko

Throw, £14, cushions, from £12, lantern, £10, ceramic candle, £6 for set of three, pillar candle, £12, winter mercury candle, £4, glass swirl drop antique red gold assortment, £2.50, all Sainsbury’s Home £15, M&S


£14.99, Very

Cosycomfy CHRISTMAS Christmas cushions are officially a thing. They’re everywhere! Cosy up with our pick of the best…

£15.60 M&S

£24, Debenhams

£9.60, M&S

£16, M&Co

£5, George Home at Asda

£9.99, H&M

£28, Debenhams

£25, House Of Fraser

£6, Wilko

£7.99, H&M



ASDA Classics with a twist

Extra Special King Prawn and Avocado Layered Terrine, £5, 212g So tasty!

Extra Special Stuffed Onion Baubles, £1.50, 375g Mouthwatering mini bites.

SAINSBURY’S A little bit different Taste the Difference Salted Caramel and Belgian Chocolate Profiteroles, £5, 268g, Heaven!

Sweet Cured Fruit Filled Gammon with a Mulled Cider Glaze, £10, 1.3kg Fruity delight.

TESCO Top for puds

White chocolate and raspberry shooting star cheesecake, £4, 550g Fab!


Festive Nordic town house, £50, 3.5kg This stunning cake is extra special.


Irresistible Salmon Side with Orange and Cranberries, £8.99, 775g Looks impressive and has a lovely fruity aroma.

Supermarkets are packed with festive The Woman food team has tried it all and

Taste the Difference Scallops with Minted Pea Crush, £3, 400g An elegant starter.


Irresistible Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Quiche, £2.49, 185g Perfect for vegetarians.

Asda Smoked Gammon with Whisky & Ginger Glaze, £15, 1.29kg Perfect on Boxing Day.

Fruit and Chocolate Chip Panettones, £2 each These Italian classics are winners.

Hidden Centre Black Forest Gateau, £3, 600g Sure to impress your guests.

The Best Scottish Salmon, Orkney Crab & King Prawn En Croute, £15, 925g A classic.

Finest Salted Caramel Bombe, £2.50, 227g Pure indulgence.

The Best Dressed Cromer Crabs, £7, 180g Well filled!


Spiced Winter Snowflake cake, £10, 1.11kg An amazing centrepiece for the table.

CO-OP Really delicious

The best foodie buys

WAITROSE Exceptional quality

M&S Festive fave

Romanesco Cauliflower Christmas Trees, £3.49, 300g We love these quirky trees.

Turkey Christmas Pudding Stuffed, £35, 1.66kg Stuffed with a fragrant ham.

Two Smoked Salmon Show-Starter, £6, 100g The best seafood starter.

Waitrose 1 Venison Haunch with Sour Cherry Glaze, £40.99/kg Really tender.

Red Velvet Yule Stump, £15 The most amazing cake ever – add it to your shopping list.

White chocolate and winter berry tree, £15, 550g Super festive.


Six Chocolate Pine Cones, £12, 540g Melt-in-the-mouth choc with a truffle centre.

ALDI Fine choice

Go online!

For more food ideas, se e womanmagazine.

delights, but what should you choose? picked their best buys from each store

Exquisite Dry Hung, Free Range Rumburgh Farm Bronze Turkey, £8.99/kg Easy to carve.

Specially Selected Exquisite Yule Log, £9.99, 1.5kg Chocoholics rejoice!

Specially Selected Exquisite Mince Pies, £2.99 for 6 Topped with flaked almonds.

ICELAND Posher than you think

LIDL Luxury for less

Luxury Partridge & Pear Pâté, £3, 250g Great as a simple, but sophisticated starter.

Snowy Lodge 18 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, £8.99, 907g Rich and fruity.

Deluxe Freedom Foods Cocktail Sausages Wrapped in Bacon, £1.99, 210g Yum!

Deluxe Vegetarian Parcels, £1.99, 2 x 200g Simply delish!

Deluxe ODB Pork Belly Slabs, £6.99, 1kg A standout dish.

Carrot Baubles, £2, 400g With citrus and herb butter.

Luxury Fillet of Beef Wellington, £15, 850g Paired with mushrooms.




Who’s thereal enemy? Both a passionate love story and thrilling spy drama, Allied is the movie you have to see…

On a mission in North Africa in 1942, Max encounters a beautiful French Resistance fighter, Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard). Irresistibly drawn together, they work on a deadly mission behind enemy lines, risking all in their fight against the evil of Nazi rule. Marianne isn’t just a beauty with a stunning wardrobe, she’s also an



accomplished agent with a straight aim and a mistress of deception – skills she puts to the service of the Allies.

Betrayal of trust It’s not long before their working relationship blossoms into a passionate, steamy romance that eventually sees the couple married and living as a family in wartime London. But their blissful happiness is doomed once Max’s bosses reveal the terrible

cret that threatens to shatter his faith n Marianne. He’s given a terrifying 72 hours to establish, once and for all, whether she is the brave wife he knows and trusts – or a double agent who cannot be allowed to live Written by Steven Knight and directed by Academy Award-winning Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Flight), Allied is wonderfully romantic, gripping and tense. It’s in cinemas from 25 November, so grab your partner, take a friend, your sister, anyone... but don’t miss it!

WIN a fabulous 1940s London break! Fancy seeing the London sights featured in Allied? Our prize draw winner and a friend will spend two nights at a 4-star hotel with breakfast, and enjoy a vintage champagne afternoon tea. You’ll see a West End show, indulge in a 1940s-style fashion makeover experience, and get £200 to spend! To enter, send your contact details to by 6 December 2016 Terms and Conditions: Prize includes afternoon tea for two at The Connaught, two tickets to a choice of West End shows, a two-night stay for two in a centrally located 4* hotel in a twin/double room, breakfast daily, a 1940s makeover experience each and £200 spending money for the winner only. Travel is not permitted over Christmas, New Year, Easter, Bank Holidays, trade fairs and special local events. Any other exclusion dates specified if applicable. All dates subject to availability at the time of booking. Trip is based on two people sharing a standard room. The prize is not transferable or exchangeable, cannot be redeemed as cash and cannot be used in conjunction with any other special offer. There is no cash alternative or refund for unused portions of the prize. Minimum age is 18 years. All bookings must be made at least 4 weeks (28 days) in advance of travelling and taken before August 31 2017.

© 2016 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


t last, the hotly anticipated World War II movie Allied is hitting our screens. Set and filmed in Britain (hurrah!) and starring the eternally gorgeous Brad Pitt, it’s an espionage thriller that tells the intriguing story of intelligence officer Max Vatan (Pitt).

Gadgets get glam


Our expert, Lara Lewington, gives her verdict on the latest innovations to make your life easier. Follow Lara on Twitter @LaraLewington



Spiralizer Express (£39.99, Effortlessly creates strips of curly veg, such as courgette with a choice of thicknesses.


Vaultcard (£24.99, vaultskin. com) Pop this card in with your credit and debit cards and it’ll stop anyone stealing information from your card.


Tile Slim (£29.99, firebox. com) Know someone who is forever mislaying things? This slim Bluetooth tracker is sure to change their life.


Skross PRO Light USB – World International Adapter (£27.33, This adapter comes with two USB ports to charge more than one device.


Under £10

Calorie-counting jumper skipping rope (£8.49, ryman. This rope counts calories burned and up to 9,999 revolutions!


Urbanista Seattle Corded (£49.99, Foldable headphones with big-on-bass sound and a built-in microphone for calls.

Here’s my pick of this year’s must-haves...







Fitbit Alta (£99.99, A very easy to use fitness tracker. The companion app is brilliant and it displays calls and texts on your wrist, too.

Propel T65 X-Wings Star Fighter (£199, Star Wars fans can recreate their favourite battles with this quadcopter fighter plane.

Sleep Induction Mat (£39.95, Trouble sleeping? The acupressure point nodules on this mat are said to help you nod off.

Chip The Robot Dog (£199.99, This robotic pooch can be trained by voice commands, learn tricks and play fetch. For eight years plus.

LuMee Perfect Selfie phone case (from £14.99, iwantone A phone case with LED lights to improve the lighting for your picture taking.

Nikon Coolpix B500 (£219, Packed with lots of great features including the Snapbridge app – and takes great night pics, too.




Ski, spa and sun in

Expect value-for-money skiing, warm hospitality and quiet slopes in the village resort of Filzmoos

WHY GO? Thanks to its wooden chalets, snow-capped fir-trees and incredible mountain vistas, you can’t help but fall in love with the village of Filzmoos. Nestled in a picturesque corner of Austria’s largest ski area, Ski Amadé, it’s smaller and quieter than many of its neighbours, making it ideal for first-time skiers, beginners and family groups. Getting here is easy from Salzburg, with the drive along mountain roads taking under an hour. And the resort has a good snow record – we were lucky enough to have fresh powder snow in January.

Woman’s Caroline found piste and quiet!

GET THE GEAR... Easy access to ski hire and schools makes staying here a breeze, especially with a family. Lifts from the main road of this compact resort and hotels are connected by a free ski shuttle service. We picked up our ski hire from Sport Stefan where kit, including skis, boots, poles and helmet, starts at £27 per day;


Filzmoos is ideal for family groups



The mountain vistas on offer are incredible

After an hour of refresher tips, we were set to go. Skiing in Filzmoos is laid-back as slopes are open and quiet with almost no queues. It offers 14 pistes with a mix of blue (easy) and red (intermediate) runs. Ski passes start at £36 for the day, with the best value being six days for £210. Passes for more than a day give access to the entire Ski Amadé area;

Getting away from it all

WHAT’S TO EAT? Olympia is reasonably priced and has a massive sun deck – an ideal spot to watch the kids in ski school. Specials start at £8; restaurant. At the top of Papageno run is cosy Schörgi Alm, with its gingham, sheepskin and heart décor, cheesy dumpling soup and Stiegl beer.

Tuck into delicious food at Olympia


Quality snow boots are a great investment. They’ll keep your feet cosy-warm for hours while standing in the snow at the magical balloon festival.

A horse-drawn ride is an absolute must

TRY SOMETHING ELSE Skiing not your thing? Then take a winter walk through forest trails, try your hand at snowshoeing or jump on a toboggan. And don’t forget a romantic horse-drawn sleigh-ride. Snuggle under a blanket and breathe that mountain air! It costs £18pp for 90 minutes, including a refreshment stop at 300-year-old The Hofalmen.

PARTY TIME Don’t expect a wild scene, but this town has plenty of après-ski. Ski straight to the door of the rustic Happy Filzmoos; Order Jagertee – rum with tea, red wine and plum schnapps – and enjoy the DJ and lively atmosphere.

POST-PISTE PAMPERING I couldn’t resist the ultimate après-ski massage at the Alpenkrone Hotel – 30 minutes of pure bliss, which brought my aching body back to life (from £41.60; Most hotels have a sauna... but be warned: locals strip naked!

GET ME THERE! Night of the Balloons is a spectacle worth seeing

Inghams offers seven nights half-board at the four-star Alpenkrone Hotel, Filzmoos, from £609pp departing 14 January 2017. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Salzburg and resort transfers; ski-holidays, 01483 791 114.





Hot-air-balloonists gather from all over the world to take part in the Dopgas Balloon Trophy week, taking place next from 14-21 January 2017. Watch as the multicoloured balloons are assembled and inflated on the north side of the village and don’t miss the spectacular ‘Night of the Balloons’. Wrap up warm, grab a glühwein and a gingerbread cookie from a market stall, then party the night away under the stars. More than 40 balloons are fired up to music, all set against the twinkling mountain backdrop. And from December to late February, you can book a balloon ride with Peter Flaggl for two hours from £262 per person;

Garden offers

Award-winningroses SAVE A 50% Rose ‘For Your Eyes Only’ – Rose of the Year 2015

dd fragrance, colour and variety to your garden with this elegant collection of highly scented, award-winning roses. Flowering from June to September, enjoy four months of continuous climbing colour in your garden. These longlived shrubs return each year and only require one simple pruning in late winter or early spring before growth starts again. Supplied as bare roots.

Rose ‘Sunny Sky’ – Rose of the Year 2016

4 Buy one of any variety for £14.99 4 Buy the whole collection of three (one of each) for £22.49 – that’s half price! Rose ‘Scent From Heaven’ – Rose of the Year 2017

HOW TO ORDER BY PHONE 0844 573 1686* QUOTING WR62Z BY POST FILL IN THE COUPON BELOW ONLINE WWW.THOMPSON-MORGAN.COM/WR62Z Lines open 9am-8pm (weekdays) and 9am-6pm (weekends). Offer available to readers on the UK mainland only. All orders will be acknowledged by letter or email, advising you of the expected dispatch date. Offer subject to availability. Your contract for supply of goods is with Thompson & Morgan, a company wholly independent of Woman, published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Woman will collect your personal information to process your order and alert you of news, new products, services and offers available from Woman and from Time Inc. by email, phone and post. You can unsubscribe from emails by clicking unsubscribe from within the email. Closing date: 31 December 2016. Roses dispatched from December 2016.


Woman Rose Trio Offer, Dept WR62Z, PO Box 162, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3BX

Please send me the following



Rose ‘Scent From Heaven’ x 1






Rose ‘Sunny Sky’ x 1




Rose ‘For Your Eyes Only’ x 1



TCM73555P TCC47551

Award-winning Roses Collection x 3 (1 of each) Incredibloom x 1 100g Sachet

£22.49 £4.99

£ £


Incredibloom x 1 750g Tub


£ Postage £1.95


Woman, published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd, will collect your personal information to process your order and alert you of news, new products, services and offers available from Woman and from Time Inc. (UK) Ltd by email, phone and post. You can unsubscribe from emails by clicking unsubscribe from within the email. Please tick here if you prefer not to be contacted by phone or post [ ].

I enclose a cheque made payable to Woman Offers (name, address and ‘WR62Z on the back of the cheque – please do not send cash) for the sum of £ .............................................................................................. Mrs/Miss/Ms/Mr (delete as applicable) Initial ........... Surname ..................................................... Address ............................................................................... .................................................................................................. .................................................................................................. Postcode ............................................................................. Daytime tel no. (inc. code) ........................................ .................................................................................................. Email .....................................................................................

Press the pause button

Books & puzzles THIS WEEK’S HOT READ


For more books information, see

Joanna Czechowska read A Leap Of Faith by Trisha Ashley, paperback £7.99, ebook £3.85 (Black Swan) Sappho Jones is an independent thirty-something woman who lives on her own, likes to organise her friends’ lives and writes fantasy novels. The only thing she hasn’t tried is motherhood and her mind keeps returning to that subject. She decides to relocate to her cottage in remote Wales and gets involved with the village locals, including a handsome potter called Nye. Could he be the father of her child? A witty and warm read. NEXT WEEK Buy Broken Heart by Tim Weaver for only £3.49

ONLY£3.49ALeapOfFaith by Trisha Ashley (RRP £7.99)


Love, Or Nearest Offer by Adèle Geras Estate agent Iris Atkins not only finds suitable houses for her clients, but she also discovers what is missing from their lives: the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect new life. But does Iris know what she herself needs?


How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry Emilia has promised her father she will come home to her idyllic Cotswold village and rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a book-lover’s dream, but it’s the customers – the lady of the manor, the single dad, the shy chef – who tell the best stories.

GREEK SECRETS A Year And A Day by Isabelle Broom After her mother’s death, Holly is finding life difficult. When she receives a letter telling her an unknown aunt has left her a house on the Greek island of Zakynthos she travels there and uncovers the secret that tore her family apart.

T&Cs: Discount valid on one copy of A Leap Of Faith by Trisha Ashley. Subject to availability. Voucher is valid until 6 December 2016 and is redeemable at WHSmith high-street stores only. Excludes outlet stores, WHSmith Online, ‘Books by WHSmith’ at Selfridges, Harrods, Arnotts and Fenwick stores, WHSmith ‘Local’ and all travel stores including those at airports, railways stations, motorway service stations, hospitals and workplaces. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other multi-buy, voucher or discount card. Only one coupon can be redeemed per transaction and it must be surrendered upon use. No cash alternative available. Photocopies not accepted and coupon not transferable. WHSmith reserves the right to reject any coupon it deems, at its sole discretion, to have been forged, defaced or otherwise tampered with.



➺ ACROSS 5 Easily suggest following strong leader (6) 7 Tiny piece of a quiet magazine item (8) 9 It may call one to the way in from El Dorado or Bellport (8) 10 We hear these when nose is broken (6) 11 Pleasure sought by challengers, not got by some players (12) 13 Magnitude of Oxbridge crew given head start (6) 15 Ignore developing zone (6) 18 Establishments bringing out verities in us (12) 21 Hurry and irritate with work briefly (6) 22 Things studied by people under rulers (8) 23 Relating to one in Naples or otherwise (8) 24 Any GCE result for a go-between firm? (6)

➺ DOWN 1 Jauntily wearing something. Like a good loser? (8) 2 My young sister even left French leaders and me alone (6) 3 Border in front? That is right! (8) 4 So six Romans in confusion with sight (6) 6 I sold tea out when cut off (8) 7 Points of law in city estates primarily for the constabulary (6) 8 Man, possibly, lies badly (4) 12 MoD cites problems, but not of foreigners (8) 14 Falling when dancing commonly? (8) 16 Understood it could make the grade (8) 17 Gravy boat, or just the boat? (6) 18 Not so much support for French one, if not otherwise (6) 19 Unusually busy little Washington tunnel route (6) 20 Pace around the headland (4)

LASTWEEK’STRICKYCROSSWORDANSWERS. PUZZLE1ACROSS7Heritage 8Oral 9Wade 10Expedition 12Drink 13Secretary 16Tilt 17Here 19Passenger 21Tears 24Procession 26Dial 27Safe 28ExecutesDOWN1Repair 2 Hibernate 3Lanes 4Temples 5Host 6Vapour 11Darted 14Tremendous 15Planes 18Defined 20Abroad 22Reader 23Inner 25Chew PUZZLE2 ACROSS7Camera 8Ladder 9Recorder 11Vision 12Prince 13Punished 15 Spaceship17Graduate 19Berets 21Adjust 23Terrible 24Unseen 25ElevenDOWN1Career 2Recognised 3Candle 4Eleventh 5Adds 6Remove 11Represent 14Supervises 16Adapting 18Riding 19Barber 20Taller 22Uses WOMANMAGAZINE.CO.UK


Woman Bingo promotion

‘I won £12,810 in eight weeks!’ Verona Roberts, 50, from Birmingham, was thrilled to win the jackpot four times


hen I think about the four huge jackpot wins I had in just under two months at the end of last year with Woman Bingo, I have to pinch myself.

It wasn’t so long ago that the sandy beaches of the Caribbean were just a dream. But thanks to my cash prizes, I have now experienced them for real!

Totally unexpected I’ve been a member of Woman Bingo for about 11 years and in November 2015, I got home from my job as a lab technician and thought that I’d have a game or two of Diamond Bonanza. That evening, I had decided to spend £1.25 on playing. I usually only spend 25p a time, but this time I opted to up my money a little. I had only been playing for a few minutes and was on my third spin when something incredible happened… Five diamonds appeared on the screen, meaning I had hit the jackpot. And it was a huge sum _ £5,313! For a split second I was speechless – until a loud scream came out of my mouth!

I always use the chat rooms on the Woman Bingo site and I typed out, ‘Oh my God’ about six times while the other users congratulated me on my win. It was such an amazing feeling. After the win had sunk in, I considered what to do with the money. My daughter got married last year, so I treated her to a stylish sofa suite for her new home. It was also my son’s 21st birthday. He works in film production and I knew he wanted a new camera, so I thought I would buy him one. He was so chuffed. And with Christmas coming up, my jackpot went towards lots of festive presents and food. However, I didn’t want to spend all of my prize at once, so I thought I’d save some money to celebrate my upcoming 50th birthday.

Verona couldn’t believe it when she won – and then she did it again and again and again!


VERONA’S FOUR JACKPOT GEMS! 1st WIN: 4 Nov 2015 – £5,313 2nd WIN: 14 Nov 2015 – £1,582 3rd WIN: 12 Dec 2015 – £3,135 4th WIN: 28 Dec 2015 – £2,780 62


Even more wins Nearly two weeks after my jackpot win, I logged into my Woman Bingo account again and went back into Diamond Bonanza. I never expected to hit the jackpot again – I just like chatting to the other members and the games are such good fun. But to my utter surprise, I matched a row of diamonds for a second time. I almost fell off my chair as I realised that I’d won £1,582 – a total of just under £7,000 in the space of a fortnight! I felt so excited. Then, just a few weeks later, I logged in again. Even though I often play Double Bubble and Pirates Plunder, I decided to play Diamond Bonanza as it had been so good to me. And, to my shock,

WINNERS EVERY DAY! Congratulations to everyone who has scooped big jackpots, just like Verona ✱ Tracy E, from ✱ Susan W, from Essex, won £8,244 Essex, won £1,593 on Bingo Lounge on Emerald Bingo ✱ Leah W, from ✱ Joanna G, from Wigan, won £11,585 London, won £2,000 on Game Show Bingo on Bejeweled Bingo ✱ Don’t forget, the ✱ Rachel E, from next big winner Coventry, won £5,757 could be you! on Bingo Lounge

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How would you spend a huge cash prize like Verona’s? I hit the jackpot for a third time, scooping £3,135! Then, at the very end of 2015, I played a few games of Diamond Bonanza again and, amazingly, I hit the winning numbers for the fourth time, scooping a jackpot of £2,780. I was stunned. My winnings now add up to £12,810 – and I won it all in just

under eight weeks. Since my wins, I’ve enjoyed a dream holiday to the Caribbean. I have family on the islands, so was keen to mark my birthday in the sun. My jackpots have helped me treat the family and meant I could really celebrate my 50th in style! I can’t recommend the Woman Bingo site enough…

EARN UP TO £20 GUARANTEED CASH** Sprint To Cash – the quicker you are to complete our tasks, the more guaranteed cash you’ll grab… Simply opt in and complete the four tasks from 25-29 November 2016 to earn guaranteed cash. The first 200 members who complete the tasks will earn £20, the next 300 will earn £10 and the next 1,000 will earn £5. The race is on! **18+, UK only. Opt-in required. Wagering requirements apply. T&Cs apply



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Peter Pan WHO: David Hasselhoff WHERE: New Theatre, Cardiff WHEN: 10 December– 8 January 2017 WHY: The Baywatch legend stars as Peter Pan’s arch nemesis – it’s going to be h-off the hook!

Robin Hood WHO: Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie WHERE: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton WHEN: 17 December– 8 January 2017 WHY: Shane’s EastEnders character Alfie finally got his girl, but will his Robin Hood be as successful at wooing Maid Marian? Cue the doof-doofs…

Dick Whittington WHO: Steve McFadden, The Krankies and John Barrowman WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome WHEN: 19 December – 29 January 2017 WHY: A soap icon, a legendary double act and a natural born entertainer – where else could you find such a varied cast?!

IT’S BEH From the wonderful to the wacky, this

Robinson Crusoe Snow White WHO: Lesley Joseph and Duncan James WHERE: Theatre Royal, Plymouth WHEN: 16 December– 14 January 2017 WHY: Swapping Strictly for the stage, Lesley’s turn as the Wicked Queen is sure to get top marks! Plus, dishy Duncan will stop the audience from feeling Blue



WHO: Brian Conley and Gok Wan WHERE: Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea WHEN: 10 December– 8 January 2017 WHY: Expect glitz and glamour as Gok brings the style, and plenty of laughs from popular comic Brian.

Planet celebrity


Cinderella WHO: Amanda Holden, Paul O’Grady, Lee Mead, Nigel Havers and Julian Clary WHERE: London Palladium WHEN: 10 December– 15 January 2017 WHY: The enchanting all-star line-up is on hand to magic up a fantastic night – it’s the most lavish panto in town!

Peter Pan


WHO: Craig Revel Horwood WHERE: Churchill Theatre, Bromley WHEN: 9 December– 7January 2017 WHY: He’s used to being the panto villain on Strictly, so Craig’s stint as Captain Hook is bound to be fab-u-lous!

year’s star panto offerings don’t disappoint!


Aladdin Cinderella WHO: Pauline and Charlie Quirke WHERE: Beck Theatre, Hayes WHEN: 9–31 December WHY: The mother and son duo will make sure it’s a fun family atmosphere.

WHO: Marti Pellow WHERE: SECC Glasgow WHEN: 10–31 December WHY: Marti’s wig for evil sorcerer Abanazar is reason enough to snap up a ticket!

Aladdin WHO: Lisa Riley and Joe McElderry WHERE: Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton WHEN: 10 December– 22 January 2017 WHY: Woman favourite Lisa is the star of the show, as Joe brings a touch of The X Factor to proceedings.

Bloke at the back

Just Jim!

He’s currently playing wartime spy Callum Ferguson in BBC2’s Close To The Enemy, but it’s not the first time actor Jim Sturgess has encountered the era. For 2010 film The Way Back, he played a Polish prisoner of war plotting to escape from a Gulag labour camp. But when he’s not working, Jim, 38, is more at home jamming on his guitar or watching The Wire… At school, I was only interested in skateboarding, music and smoking. My education was wasted. But I was always interested in art and music, so I feel I’m catching up a lot of the time. Now, I read around whatever job I’m doing to educate myself. But I’d rather go and get drunk! After school, I decided to study in Salford. I chose Manchester because I loved all the music that came from there and I hoped to start a band, but then got into acting. I felt amazing because for the first time I was getting top marks and not being told off for not turning up. Home is London, but I bounce to New York a lot too. It’s a nomadic way of life. But whatever I’ve just been doing feels like a dream when I come home and end up talking to mates about football!



I’m not good at sitting still, and I wish I was better at it! I’ll be at home, and think, ‘Why can’t I just chill out?’ and then, when I’m filming, I can’t wait to not do anything. All these films and shows on Netflix I should be sitting and catching up with – it gives me anxiety just thinking I’ve got to plough through all that!

Jim loves relaxing with his guitar

STURGESS The star of BBC2’s gripping thriller Close To The Enemy tells Woman what makes him tick…

When someone recognises me, I’m quite grateful. I get recognised more in America than I do here. I think some of the films I’ve been in were much bigger over there. Often, if I get recognised in London, it’s a South American tourist who loves The Beatles film I did. 4 Close To The Enemy, Thursdays, BBC2


Across The Universe ‘I’d played in bands and done a bit of acting, so everything came together.’



OneDay ‘Ionly knew where we were in the story depending on the wig I was wearing!’



Cloud Atlas ‘I spend time with other people fromCloud Atlas, and they don’t realise I was in it!’


Close To The Enemy ‘You think you know about the war, so it was amazing to find out what really went on.’

Say what? ‘I nearly died from frostbite filming in Bulgaria!’


THE CASTING COUCH He’s been to Hollywood and back over the course of his career...

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Tuck a sparkly jumper into a metallic mini skirt for a super flattering shape. Sequin jumper, £14 PU mini skirt,£14



Metallics, jewels and lace are ideal for the party season – so don’t hold back!

Release your inner disco queen, ramp up the glitz and get set to party.

Matalan is a brilliant go-to store for all things glam. I love to mix and match separates, like this metallic-striped jumper and glossy blue mini. But less can be more, too. So start with a classic outfit and dress it up. Think black lace,

This lace skirt and cami will look fabulous together and show off a slim upper body. Not in the mood for a dress? Choose an elegant, flowing culotte jumpsuit. Lace pleated skirt, £18 Lace-trim cami, £12 Ankle boot, £25 Earrings, £4 Double layer plisse culotte jumpsuit, £20


shimmering pleats and chic dresses and jumpsuits that bare your shoulders. I love the keyhole back on this culotte jumpsuit – simply add glitzy earrings and scarlet lipstick. Check out metallic details on footwear, too. Opt for a pair of eyelet lace-up boots like these, and you’ll be on-trend with every footstep you take!



Ruffles went all high-fashion this year, adding instant status to this classic LBD


Dress £18

It’s a must-have of the moment – and here’s how to style up that fave LBD, says Paula Moore

You can always count on a little black dress to make you look and feel fantastic, and Matalan’s Bardot dress is our pick of the bunch.

Showcasing this season’s off-the-shoulder trend, this dress is not only elegant, it’s flattering as it accentuates curves and will minimise your hips. I also love the chic lace

dress on my Ed’s letter page – the detail is stunning. Complete your party look with a smart black clutch and a pair of velvety heels. Add jewellery for all-out sparkle. And, for the ultimate cover-up, throw on this sensational faux fur stole to channel your inner celeb. Oh, and it will keep the chill out too. Brrr!

‘YOU CAN’T BEAT AN LBD AND DIFFERENT ACCESSORIES WILL REFRESH YOUR LOOK’ Get your accessories bang on trend, whether it’s a faux fur stole, a pair of 70s-inspired velvet sandals, or a stylish gold-strap black clutch. Fur stole, £8 Clutch, £6 Platform sandal, £20


It’s timeto celebrate!

If ever there was a moment to seek inspiration from the celebs and glam up, it has to be Christmas. Faux fur, sparkle, glitter and jewels, nothing is too much – and I love it! So, as my diary fills up with party invites, it’s time to address the big question – what to wear? Luckily, Matalan has nailed the season’s hottest looks. From super-chic little black dresses and stylish clutches to rich velvet footwear and dazzling accessories, it has everything you need to ramp up your party look. So what are you waiting for… Need more inspiration? Check out The Show for style advice and key pieces to invest in this season. You’ll be very glad you did!

Paula Moore Woman Fashion Director


CATCH US ONLINE For brilliant party-style inspiration, tune into Matalan’s The Show with Denise Van Outen and leading fashion editors. Visit


For the perfect LBD, look no further than this lacy number. Just add heels! Lace detail dress, £18

On the cover: Foil plisse jumpsuit, £22; Fur stole, £8



Dressing up can be casual as well as smart. Team this striking deep-pink top with jeans for a stand-out look. Pink off-the-shoulder top, £12




LUXE LOOKS Eye-catching styles for your wish list


Woman uk 28 november 2016