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Joanna Lumley appears the epitome of conﬁdence but here she reveals how she has to psych herself up to speak out
y star chat y
❝What makes me nervous❞ S he’s made politicians quake in their boots and more recently prompted an unprecedented public apology from Gordon Brown over what she called a smear campaign regarding her Gurkha campaign. So it may come as a surprise that Joanna Lumley is human just like the rest of us and needs to boost her conﬁdence before stepping out. “I get nervous when I have to give a speech so beforehand I psych myself up by saying, ‘I’m longing to be out there to be talking to my darling friends (as yet unmet) but who I know I’ll like, on a subject I’m longing to talk about it. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing. Let’s go!’ ” It’s this get-up-and-go attitude that has stood Joanna in such good stead over a career spanning four decades – and why she is as busy as ever. When we meet on a cloudy spring morning this strikingly attractive women, unbelievably 64 next month, is full of enthusiasm for her latest project, an epic 4,200-mile exploration of the Nile from end to end in the four-part ITV1 series Joanna Lumley’s Nile. It’s a factual programme, like others Joanna has so successfully presented on the northern lights and cats, that capitalises on her likeability factor. For after Joanna’s triumph in securing UK
settlement rights for Gurkhas last year, her cachet went through the roof and cemented her reputation as a national treasure. In middle age she’s on a career high that much younger starlets would give their supersmooth skin for. “Yes, the sun has come out and I can’t see a cloud at the moment, but we all know what the weather’s like – it changes,” chuckles Joanna. “So at the moment I’m just fantastically lucky that some of these things that I’ve longed to do all my life are happening. On my wish list was doing good work as an actress, and I’ve got a play that’s going to Broadway this autumn. I also did four episodes of BBC1’s Mistresses and then I’m in a ﬁlm with the lovely Isabella Rossellini. This is all wonderful stuff. “But things can go ‘Bang!’ I’ve been hot before and then it goes cold and you’re like, ‘Hang on, what went wrong?’ Nobody can sustain a level, and nobody does. It’s wrong; everything goes in waves. The sun is shining now, so shake the apple tree now because it will go away again.” With her love of adventure – she and her husband, musician
On the campaign trail – Joanna pictured on a visit to Nepal where she was hailed a hero by the nation
Stephen Barlow, don’t book hotels when they travel abroad, preferring the excitement of the unknown. Nor is Joanna the girliest of girls. “I think there are masses of tomboys who like climbing and travelling and things that are considered men’s domain,” muses Joanna. “Like me, they couldn’t be more in love with men, but they don’t just want to be sissy girls.” There’s nothing sissy or girly about Joanna’s latest adventure, Joanna Lumley’s Nile, in which she heads down
Joanna shares a secret Psst… ‘While ﬁlming the Nile series I became really sick. I felt dreadful, but I had to keep ﬁlming. We were in the Sudan ﬁlming this man who was acting out a story of how he’d survived a crocodile attack. I was down in the sand commando-crawling with him and you’d never know I was nearly dead! My face looks a bit chalky and you can see the sweat on my face.’ YOURS
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PICS: NI SYNDICATION; AlAMY
By Vicki Power
dream I followed my
Doing a marathon
changed my life Lesley Sinﬁeld, 67, from Essex, struggled to walk one mile but she was determined to take part in the London Marathon...
Running the London Marathon gave Lesley the courage to take on new challenges
I asked my friend and seasoned runner, Chris Collins, for tips and began training on Christmas Eve. I walked as far as a tree then toddled to a lamp post and by the end of December I was running a mile. As the miles grew so did my conﬁdence. One winter’s night I ran round and round a running track in sleet and snow and loved every moment. Three days before the race, when I was beginning to feel really nervous, Mandy said: ‘Just go for it, you have my support.’ This gave me the conﬁdence boost I needed. The big day arrived. After slathering my tender spots with Vaseline, I joined the long queue for the loos. Then we were off! There were so many runners it took 20 minutes to get out of the gates. Along the way, the spectator support was overwhelming and kept me going. Around the Isle of Dogs, nature called. I spotted a pub and dived into the ladies. By the time I entered Parliament Square the cars and buses were running again. My husband David stepped out and stopped the trafﬁc so I could run to the ﬁnishing line – what a star! I had done it, in just
over seven hours. My family made such a fuss of me. The ﬁtness bug hasn’t gone away. Completing the marathon has pushed me to be courageous in other areas of my life. Fired up after with the thought that I could do anything, I enrolled for an English A level and passed with an A grade. Running has given me a lifelong belief in active body, active mind. ✤ For information on The London Marathon visit www. virginlondonmarathon.com *Always consult your GP before taking on any training or exercise programmes. ✤ Have you followed your
Yours dream and have an amazing
story to share? We pay £25 for every story we print (maximum 250 words). Contact us at ‘Follow Your Dream’, Yours magazine, Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Or email your story to sheena. firstname.lastname@example.org
PICS: UNP/JOEL CHANT. AS TOLD TO SHEENA CORREA
very April my two daughters, Mandy (46) and Jane (45), and I would watch the London Marathon on telly. Brilliant as the elite runners were, we’d always be willing on the ﬁrst timers, the young, the old and the fat. I’d say wistfully: ‘I’ll be there one day,’ and Mandy would reply: ‘Mum, you never will’. I secretly vowed to prove her wrong. I was 47, short and round, with legs like Ernie Wise – deﬁnitely not built for running – but in September 1989 I ﬁlled in my entry form and sent it off, thinking it was very unlikely I’d get a place. Two days before Christmas a letter dropped on the doormat. I’d been accepted! My ﬁrst thought was, ‘How on earth am I going to run 26 miles when I struggle to oemneoamw oaklm k eo ne. m .lil.’e?’. walk one mile?’.
62 26 6 SO REY YOURS SO EO RFEUYRRV SEVVEE EVERY VEIRTYIHF FORTNIGHT G O I R NTNIGHT
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Welcome to the heart
of the magazine. If u oy ou got a funny story you’ve tto ossshare, need to let off ssteam te or have a picture uy ou proud of – get in you’re ttouch. ou You could end pu p on the UK’s biggest up lletters et pages.
Meeting Place, Yours es umagazine, o Heai edMM M eM eM, Media Media House, House, E6 2EPbhbgPark, ubor rorb reeterborough PE2 PE2 6EA. 6EA Peterborough Business Peterborough What a carry on
£25 Star rrof htrtgt ntesrstof osf strength strength for for all letter
Travelling by plane last summer, with small l ai, c, e,psses,uu uuof osuufuus, us, especially especiall grandchildren, made me carrying c over 30lbs aware of a problem which f of of sleeping child. If could easily be solved there the had been a few by the airlines or airport upushchairs pu available authorities. While you can on on arrival, for use until take a pushchair all the way y e we we retrieved our own to the plane on departure, buggies, bug it would have you can’t get it back until saved sav a lot of aching you reach the luggage u muscles mu and possible turntable on arrival. On tfuture futu back troubles. I Airports could do more to help passengers a late evening arrival at have hav heard that some Glasgow Airport, after airports overseas do travelling for more than eight hours, provide this service. my two daughters had to carry all the Hilary Christoﬁdes, Helensburgh, hand luggage. It was no mean feat Argyll and Bute
I was with my four-year-old grandson Sam on the bus when he said: “Nana – I’m happy I have got a family. I love Mummy, Daddy, Alﬁe (his brother), Nana, Granddad and Grandma and Granddad. If I didn’t have a family I’d be very sad.” I replied: “That’s good Sam,” but as I’m sure you can imagine, I had a few tears in my eyes. Mrs P Alexander, Leavenheath, Suffolk
✤ We have doubled the prize value on Meeting Place so that every contribution published gets a £10 High Street voucher, with the star letter getting £25. So keep all those letters and emails coming in.
Valery McConnell, Editor
email@example.com Isn’t life grand!
On my 60th birthday I felt the only thing I regretted was that I’d never had the chance to learn to play the piano. It was now or never, because my hands were getting weaker with arthritis. I bought myself a beautiful baby grand piano and a few tutor books. At ﬁrst my brain didn’t take anything in and the pain in my hands limited me to no more than ten minutes. Six years later, I can play for two hours, at grade ﬁve level and I almost feel I’ve had a brain transplant! I am so contented and happy and now have new laughter lines to prove it. Cynthia Rigby, Shropshire
Not so senior moments
It is depressing when someone says it’s ‘old age’ when they’ve forgotten something. People of all ages forget sometimes. My daughter recently booked tickets doonline Gf ofordr o a show; they arrived, she put them away and on the day of the show got them out and realised she’d booked tickets for a previous date and at another venue! Margaret Sillett, Wiltshire ✤ We receive hundreds of letters and cannot reply to each one. We publish as many as we can and if they do not appear they may be used on our website www.yours.co.uk or in other Yours publications. Those not printed help us to keep in touch with your feelings and concerns and we enjoy reading them. We like to include photographs, so please send them with your letters and, if you want
Word W ord o off G God od
I snapped this church poster at the seaside in Fleetwood. With all the clever adverts and marketing we see nowadays, it’s good to see the church keeping up! Susan Carr, Cleveleys, Lancashire them returned, write your name and address on the back. Letters must be original and not duplicated to other editors. Please don’t send in your only copies of precious photos, as these can go astray in the post. If you are sending a digital image, please make sure that it is high-resolution. If you are sending a print from a digital image, please send it on photo-quality paper. YOURS
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You voted in your thousands to tell us where you love to shop. Those votes helped us compile the winners of the Yours guide to the very best high street shops for 50-plus women
Giraffe print embellished top, £24, sizes10-22
Best 50+ Retailer BON MARCHÉ Floral print top, £19, sizes 10-22; white jeans, £24, sizes 10-22, David Emanuel; beaded ﬂat sandals, £10, sizes 3-8; gem necklace, £8 D Highly commended: Marks & Spencer, Bhs
‘You can’t beat Bonmarché for ﬂattering fashion at a great price’
Rhinestone starburst necklace, £6 Square print chiffon neck scarf, £4
See overleaf for stockists
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h Street Heroes Red frill top, £19, sizes 10-22
Black glitter sandals, £10, sizes 3-8
‘Debenhams always has a huge range of options and affordable designer ranges’
Floral print skirt, £22, sizes10-22
Best Smart Clothes DEBENHAMS
Flower stud earrings, £2.50
Embroidered cardigan, £38, sizes 8-20, Betty Jackson Black; print dress, £65, sizes 8-20, Betty Jackson Black; patent bow heels, £25, sizes 3-8, Red Herring; sunglasses, £25, Butterﬂy by Matthew Williamson; spike necklace, £35, Betty Jackson Black; bangle, £20, Star by Julien MacDonald; white leather bag, £55, Star by Julien MacDonald D Highly commended: Bhs, Next
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Ask us anything… about money
your money at 50, 60 & 70+ Sarah Jagger shows you how to give your cash a well-earned boost in your 50s, 60s – and throughout your retirement years ✤ Pay off debts before starting to save. This is because the interest cost of debts is much higher than the interest earned on savings. ✤ Set up a savings safety net. Once you are out of debt, set up a standing order from your bank account into a high interest savings account. Aim to set aside enough to cover you against emergencies for at least three months.
Aim to set aside enough to cover you against emergencies ✤ Cut down on your dayto-day spending. Keep a spending diary for a few weeks and you’ll soon ﬁnd out where the money is going. ✤ A cash ISA should be your ﬁrst consideration for saving cash, simply because it’s taxfree. You can save up to £5,100 in a cash ISA this year. For best providers see www.which. co.uk/bestisas ✤ Your easy access savings
Keep track of day-to-day expenses by keeping a spending diary
✤ Put savings for costs, such as holidays and Christmas, into a separate savings account so that you’re not tempted to dip into the safety net. ✤ Cut down your essential bills each month. Switch to cheaper suppliers so that you can save money every month.
account can currently earn three per cent. If it doesn’t, switch. Financial companies drop their rates without warning. If this happens to you, move to a better account. ✤ It’s possible to get rates of ﬁve per cent if you’re willing to lock up your money in a ﬁxed-rate savings account for four or ﬁve years. However, if interest rates improve between now and 2015, you won’t be able to move your money. Best deals at www.moneyfacts.co.uk ✤ Keep your money safe and don’t put more than £50,000 in one banking institution. ✤ If you are a married and one of you pays a higher rate of tax than the other, reduce tax by making sure all sources of taxable interest or investment income are held only in the lower tax payer’s name.
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On average UK consumers lose £4,950 each over a lifetime on faulty goods they don’t bother to take back according to www.thisismoney.co.uk
✤ Don’t stick with a poor-performing current account. Alliance & Leicester’s Premier 50 ee re rnerC Current r urrent Account pays six per cent interest a a ba lbabo on nb balances a la up to £2,500 for the ﬁrst a Ca. r aey year. ear. C Call a 0800 068 6069 or visit . . . w www.alliance-leicester.co.uk wiw ll . a o o yyo y o f fy✤fI IIff yyou’re ou offered early retirement through u udnu drredundancy edunda you can take the state pension li t s d a and nd sstill till contribute to a personal one if you i i ni g b begin egin a new job and don’t need the income. t t t etee✤GG Get et a state pension forecast from eP e T The he P Pension en Service (0845 3000 8 1 168) 68)aa and n boost your entitlement by i i nim making k aking additional National Insurance t t i rt nc contributions, ontrib if you can. o o yyo y o f fy✤fI IIff yyou’re ou about to retire, shop around r r or oer ofb before efore yyou buy an annuity. It’s possible to u uer ucssecure ecure a an income of up to 30 per cent more nn noya anahtthan han yyou ou could by buying one from your s soi s n p ension provider. There are specialist annuity pension i i i v dvi vp orovide who offer even higher income for providers k k ek ossmokers moker or people with health problems.
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✤wS Switching witchi to an ‘all-in-one’ package or ‘bundling’ & BEYOND where you get your television, phone and broadband from the same provider, could save you up to £130 a year, says moneysupermarket.com ✤ Cut energy bills by ensuring you’re on the correct tariff for your usage and region. Moving online to a ‘dual fuel’ direct debit deal is the easiest way to make savings. ✤ Paying annually for home insurance can cut the cost of a premium, and adding a partner to your car insurance policy can also help cut the cost. Switching, or threatening to
i hcti R U OY N IIN NY YOUR OU R
switch, can also keep premiums to a minimum. ✤ If you have debts on a credit card that charges a high interest, switch to a nought per cent deal. Virgin (0800 096 9939) currently offers 16 months at nought per cent on balance transfers. ✤ Protect the real value of cash savings with NS&I Index Linked Certiﬁcates which guarantee to provide a tax-free return ahead of the Retail Price Index (RPI). For more information call NS&I on 0500 007 007. ✤ Credit unions aim to pay a dividend on savings once a year to all their members. This is typically two or three per cent. Another bonus offered by credit union savings is that life insurance is included at no cost to the member. For your nearest
✤ If you want to save with the chance of big winnings, consider Premium Bonds from National Savings and Investments. Premium Bonds are an investment where, instead of interest payments, savers have the chance to win cash prizes. The minimum purchase is £100, returns are tax-free and you don’t lose your money. ✤ Check whether you’re missing out on any beneﬁts by visiting the website www. entitledto.co.uk. If you are struggling for cash go to a Citizens Advice Bureau or one of the network of Independent Advice Centres for a one-to-one detailed beneﬁts check up. ✤ If you’re retired or a non-taxpayer, ask for a R85 form when you open a savings account. Fill it in, send it off and the interest on your savings will be paid to you in full.
Moneysupermarket.com recommends getting your television, phone and broadband from one supplier
credit union, call the Association of British Credit Unions on 0161 832 3694 or see www.abcul.org ✤ If you live alone you are entitled to a 25 per cent reduction on your Council Tax. If you have a ‘severe mental impairment’ such as Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to pay at all.
Sources: Hargreaves Lansdown www.h-l.co.uk; Evolve Financial Planning 020 8240 6511 or www.evolvefp.com; Albany Financial Consultants Ltd 01273 734342; Friends Provident 0800 000 080; unbiased.co.uk and moneymagpie.com
Turn the page for more advice YOURS
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PICS: ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES
oR Roy o Hudd
r tes just for you r wri The all-round entertainer and Yours columnist pays tribute to Corrie’s best-loved harridan, Blanche
I saw just how much Maggie herself was loved when, back in February, Debbie and I went up to Manchester for a thanksgiving service for her life. The beautiful Salford Cathedral was packed to the gargoyles not only with friends, the cast and production team of The Street, but with hundreds of people who just knew her from the telly. It was the most perfect tribute – a close-knit family of fellow workers joining together in salute to a very special lady. Anne Kirkbride, Sue Nicholls, Anthony Cotton, Graeme Proctor and William Roache all read, as only friends can. Bill’s tribute was a collection of the great one-liners Blanche had delivered over the years. To her daughter: “Good looks are a curse – you and Ken should count yourselves lucky.” On her childhood: “Oh yes, rickets, TB, rationing – those were the days!” How fond everyone was of Maggie was summed up by almost the youngest person there in a poem written and spoken by Brooke Vincent, who plays Sophie Webster. Brooke told me I could Roy makes a welcome share it with you, return to the Corrie cast at Blanche’s funeral so here it is…
Roy, aka Archie, on the Corrie set with the late Maggie Jones, who played Blanche
My poem to Maggie: What do I say, where do I start? The fact is you were very close to my heart. Whenever I saw you, whenever we talked, Whenever we sat or whenever we walked You always made me smile, we always had a joke, We always shared a laugh whilst having a smoke. I loved the time the iPod was introduced to Blanche, I said that I would get you one so you could have a dance. The next was when I said Primark was where my top was from, You said to me that next time you deffo wanted to come. The one thing I loved was that you were like my Nana, You didn’t have a clue who was Hannah Montana. You didn’t know about the iPhone, You didn’t know JLS, In your own head the Beatles were always the best. The only thing I wanted to say is that you are missed so much By so many people whose hearts you have touched. Thanks Brooke – no one could have put it better. YOURS
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T AE DFDD PICS: XDE R D N NN ITV NNVAA AND ND R REX EX F FEATURES E ATU E RES
inally someone has persuaded the powers that be at Coronation Street that Archie Shuttleworth is needed back in Weatherﬁeld. I was so thrilled to be asked back. What would be my story this time? I had visions of having a hot affair with Sally – after marrying and divorcing Carla, taking Becky for a naughty weekend in Bolton and winning Strictly Come Dancing with Norris. What a jolly time I would have had. But I’ve been asked back – to bury Blanche! My sparring partner from The News Huddlines, June Whitﬁeld, will be there with me (playing an old friend of Blanche’s). That’s good news because I always feel happy when I’m with June and I, and everyone else in the cast, will need a bit of cheering up when we ﬁlm the scene. So many of us will be thinking of the late Maggie Jones, who played the vitriol-tongued harridan so marvellously. She made Blanche a real and greatly loved character.