‘The tragic reason I watch my weight’ TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, soon to star in a new eight-part craft series on Channel Four, has an extra special reason to eat healthily YOURS
by Alison James
hat you see is what you get with Kirstie Allsopp. She’s rather posh (but lovely with it), voluptuous in an old-fashioned way, says what’s on her mind and doesn’t shy away from sensitive subjects. “I will never be skinny and that doesn’t bother me,” she says. “But that’s not to say I’m not careful about what I eat. On the contrary, I have to be, as breast cancer runs in my family. “My grandmother, my mother’s cousin and her daughter all had it. My mother’s had it twice, and now it has spread into bone cancer. Fortunately, she is still very much with us and a remarkable example of how you can ﬁght
y star chat y House Hunter, and become a spokesperson for B&Q and the Keep Britain Tidy campaign. She’s also involved with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, The Special Yoga Centre in London for children with special needs, Exeter Cathedral’s Third Millennium Campaign, Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres and the Changing Faces charity, which supports people with disﬁgurements. She has two homes to maintain – in London and north Devon – and her partner, Ben, their sons aged ﬁve and three, and two stepsons aged 11 and nine to look after. (Phew!) “I couldn’t do it if I didn’t have a fantastic support system,” she explains. “I’m ﬁlming for around 90 days a year, which means I’m either away or leaving the house extremely early and
Top to bottom: teenage Kirstie with her family; with partner Ben; ﬁlming her new TV craft show.
‘I will never be skinny and that doesn’t bother me’ not getting back until late. I don’t worry about the children, because Ben is a fantastic father, and their nanny, Heather, who they’ve known all their lives, looks after them incredibly well. “We cherish our time together as a family; at weekends and during the holidays, we’re together all the time. I put Ben and the children ﬁrst. I’d rather be having fun with them than going shopping or whatever. A happy, stable family life is the most important thing in the world.” It seems strange, then, that Kirstie and Ben, who’s a property developer, are not married. Kirstie explains: “Ben’s been married before. The divorce was such a horrible experience, it has rather put him off marriage. People assume I have a problem with this, but I honestly don’t. I met him ﬁve months after his marriage broke up and know what the divorce took out of him.
“Believe me, if I wasn’t happy about it, I wouldn’t put up with it! I’m not the kind of person who puts up with things. We are immensely committed to each other. When Ben suggested we had a baby, I knew that was the best proposal I was going to get. But I’m convinced that when the time is right we will be married and I will be absolutely thrilled to be his wife.” D Kirstie’s Crafty Britain starts on October 19 (Channel 4, 8pm) YOURS
PIC: EYEVINE/mIkE OwEN;CHaNNEl 4;THE PICTURE lIbRaRY;GETY ImaGES
cancer. She doesn’t touch alcohol, sugar or white bread and drinks loads of fruit and vegetable juices. “I have regular check-ups and can’t stress enough how important it is to check your breasts yourself. Early detection is key. I know ﬁrsthand what families of people with cancer go through, but I try not to dwell on it.” Keeping busy helps and making her new series, Kirstie’s Crafty Britain, has meant a serious amount of work. “I hope the viewers have as much fun watching it as I’ve had making it,” she says. “The premise is that I learn new crafts and then compete in country fairs and agricultural shows up and down the country – the ultimate test. “I have had to learn so many new things – embroidery, appliqué, paper sculpture, jewellery-making and every kind of baking imaginable. I really put in the work and you get to see everything – failures and mistakes as well as the successes – which is much better than the ‘here’s-one-I-made-earlier’ approach, where viewers have to take things on trust. People will realise just how bad my language can be when they see me icing a cake at one in the morning when I’m desperate for bed! Let’s just say there are quite a few ‘bleeps’.” Why does Kirstie (40) think traditional crafts are enjoying such a renaissance? “When manufactured items became so cheap, we lost the knack of being able to make things. Years ago, everyone made their own cakes. I’m not against shop-bought cakes, but we need to know that we’re as capable of making a cake as well as any shop.” In addition to Kirstie’s Crafty Britain (and its companion book, Kirstie Allsopp Craft), in the past year she’s made another series of Location, Location, Location and the holiday version, Vacation, Vacation, Vacation. She has launched a range of bed linen, a phone app entitled
BOOT CAMP – Put your best foot forward with our pick of this autumn’s most practical and attractive boots at a price to suit your budget By Michelle Nightingale
Longer styles ✤ Smart black boot, £165, 3-8, Isme
✤ Biker-style boot, £120, 3-8, Barratts
✤ Grey ﬂat ruche-detail boot, £55, 3-8, Barratts
✤ Knit top boot, £49, 3-8, Sophie Gray at Bhs
✤ Our model Francine wears: Boot, £89, 3-8, Autograph at Marks & Spencer; coat, £49, 8-20, Debenhams; stripe top, from £20, xs-xl, Long Tall Sally; jeans, £30, 6-18, H by Henry Holland at Debenhams.
Shorter styles ✤ Classic black ankle boot, £89.99, 3-8, Josef Seibel
✤ Classic brown ankle boot, £35, 3-8, Tu at Sainsbury’s
– 21 stylish choices! WEDGE HEEL
✤ Brown boot, £50, 3-8, M&Co
✤ Grey wedge boot, £95, 3-8, Marks & Spencer
✤ Wax suede boot, £95, 3-9, Hush Puppies at Isme
PRACTICA AND STYLISLH ✤ Tan ﬂeecedetail boot, £45, 3-8, Marks & Spencer
CLASSIC STYLE ✤ Buckle detail black boot, £75, 3-8, Sophie Gray at Bhs
✤ Classic black boot, £66, 3-8, Barratts
✤ Mid-length fur detail boot, £39.50, 3-8, Marks & Spencer
BARGAIN BUY! ✤ Flat boot, £19.50, 3-8, F&F at Tesco
✤ Suede boot, £89, 3-8, Marks & Spencer
✤ Grey heel boot, £45, 3-9, Fifty Plus
STOCKISTS: Bhs 0845 196 0000; Barratts 01274 893845; Debenhams 0844 561 6161; Evans 0844 984 0262; F&F at Tesco 0800 505 555; Fifty Plus 0871 231 2000; Hotter 0800 083 8490; Isme 0844 811 8112; Josef Seibel 01354 655606; Long Tall Sally 0844 573 6885; M&Co 0800 031 7200; Marisota 0871 231 2000; Marks & Spencer 0845 302 1234; Tu at Sainsbury’s 0800 636 262
✤ Chocolate tassel boot, £125, Hotter
Details correct at time of going
AV IN AILAB LE FITTWIDE ING S ✤ Lace-up ankle boot, £39.50, 4-11, Evans
AV IN WAILAB FITT IDE LE ING S ✤ Cowboystyle boot, £50, 4-9, Marisota
A BUDCJUST KLE ABLE S
NEXT ISSUE We show you how to layer in style
✤ Flat boot, £79, 3-9, Hotter
PHOTOGRAPHY RUTH JENKINSON; STYLIST DANIELLE ELMES; HAIR AND MAKE-UP LIZ KITCHINER AND OLIVIA FERRER.
GREAT COLOUR FOR AUTUMN
Style 18 ways to... notes
weather-proof your skin As the colder months approach, use this guide to give your skin an extra helping hand and keep it in tip-top condition By Michelle Nightingale
Swap your cleanser
Changing weather can aggravate sensitive skin, but harsh cleansers, toners and even some antiageing ingredients can strip the little oil left on the skin’s surface, leaving it dry. If you have sensitive skin, avoid harsh cleansers containing sodium lauryl sulfate and switch to an ultra-gentle one such as MÁDARA Delicate Cleansing Milk (£14/200ml).
Tackle sensitive skin
Sensitive skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are more likely to ﬂare up during the winter months when the weather is at its worst. “The skin’s delicate pH balance can easily be upset during this season, so it’s important to adjust your routine,” explains Jessica Palmer, skin care expert for Planet Health. “Avoid products containing artiﬁcial ingredients and perfumes, which can trigger reactions, and see your GP if symptoms persist.”
Update your moisturiser
Winter skin craves moisture, so swap your lighter face cream for a richer version. “The creams you used during the summer months won’t deliver the same results once the cold snap starts, so opt for more nourishing formulas,” suggests Simple skincare expert Caroline Frazer. “Look for creams containing humectants, such as glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids that attract moisture to the skin.” Try Simple Kind To Skin Moisture Boost Hydro Cream (£5.99/50ml).
As simple as it sounds wrapping up with a cosy coat, scarf, gloves and sensible footwear will not only ensure you keep warm, but will also minimise your skin’s exposure to the elements. That’s worthwhile, because the weather is a major culprit of the formation of wrinkles.
Love your lips
Your lips are constantly exposed to the elements and lip lines can be a big age giveaway. “Central heating, wind and freezing temperatures can all damage their delicate skin, so protect them with a good lip balm,” says Dr Jennifer Jones, consultant dermatologist. “Lips don’t produce natural oils, so are prone to drying and cracking.” To heal cracked and tender lips try Blistex Relief Cream (£2.30/5g). For daily care, try Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner (£2.30/7ml).
Step up your body care
It’s all very well giving your hands and face extra TLC, but don’t neglect the rest of your skin too. Apply a rich moisturising body lotion after your shower or bath to keep skin supple and help prevent wrinkles forming.
Say goodbye to redness
A red complexion can stop you looking your best, but there’s something on the market to suit every budget. Splash out on Dermalogica Redness Relief (£32.50/40ml) to help relieve both short and long-term redness with a slight tint and calming ingredients. Or save cash with Marks & Spencer Advanced Formula Solutions Anti Redness Serum (£9.50/30ml), great if you’re prone to ﬂare-ups.
Use eye cream
It’s extra important to use an eye cream in colder months. “The skin around the eyes can easily become dry and ﬂaky if not looked after during the winter and only enhance the look of ﬁne lines and wrinkles,” says Jessica Palmer, skin care expert for Planet Health. “Choose a rich eye cream with natural oils and hydrating ingredients to help nourish and ﬁrm.” Try Qsilica Replenish Wrinkles & Bags Eye Cream (£19.94/30ml), which tackles pufﬁness, repairs and protects the skin.”
Changing temperatures can leave skin dull and lacking that youthful glow. Exfoliate a few times a week to help slough away dead skin cells to reveal brighter skin.
Turn down the heat
Even when it’s really chilly don’t be tempted to crank up that shower heat. Hot baths and showers can really disturb the skin’s pH balance, so turn the heat down a notch. YOURS
Best buy Asda is offering four-packs of new Activia Intensely Creamy yogurt for just £1, saving £1.19 on the rrp until October 24. The ﬂavours include Smooth Caramel and Sumptuous Strawberry.
| IT’S A FACT | Fuel duty
While you’re there, you could also try the new Activia Greek Style four-packs, which come in three ﬂavours, for £1.50, saving 69p – this special offer runs until November 13.
is the tax the nation would most like to abolish, followed by council tax, TV licences and income tax. Source: unbiased.co.uk
pennies HOW TO...
inﬂation-proof your savings
Cash in the attic Mdina Glass was founded in Malta in 1968 by Michael Harris, a former Royal College of Art tutor. Harris adapted new studio techniques, which he’d learnt in the US, to the commercial production of art glass. His designs, often shallow dishes and bottle-shaped vases aimed at the tourist market, were made from thick glass and in seaside colours. Each piece was handmade, and therefore unique. Nowadays, large unusual designs and those signed by Harris are the most desirable. This Mdina Glass ‘Tiger’ vase from 1987 is valued at £50 to £70.
“To keep up with inﬂation (currently 4.5 per cent) you need a savings rate of 5.63 per cent before tax or 4.50 per cent tax free,” says Andrew Hagger of Moneynet.co.uk. “To get anywhere close to this at the moment, it means putting your cash into a taxfree cash ISA for a ﬁve-year ﬁxed term.” However, if you choose a ﬁxed term you could miss out if interest rates rise. Another option is to consider a speciﬁc inﬂation-beating saving product, such the Post Ofﬁce’s Inﬂation Linked Bond (call 0800 169 7500 for information).
| IT’S A FACT | Half of Brits feel taken for a ride by theme parks. Aside from the pricey admission charges, we feel stung by the high cost of food and drink. Source: Gocompare.com
The Yours money expert Michael Wilson answers your questions
| DID YOU KNOW? | We love a bargain! Four out of ﬁve consumers are signed up to a supermarket loyalty scheme, and two-thirds say they regularly seek out discounts before making a purchase. Source: Halifax
Aldi’s Magnum Premium Original is the best-value washing-up liquid – and at just 59p it is half the price of the equivalent-sized Fairy Liquid. Tests found that the Aldi and Fairy products were equally good at removing fat from dishes, but Aldi’s foam lasted longer in the bowl. Source: Which?
Yours Cash Saver All high street banks should allow customers full access to their personal bank accounts through the Post Ofﬁce, says consumer group Consumer Focus. Currently, only those with a basic account with a high street bank can withdraw money at a Post Ofﬁce.
GREENWATCH We’re used to complaints about blunt razors from partners… Now, shaving our legs, we’re told, is bad for the environment. Research has shown that one in three women leave the shower running while they shave their legs, wasting around 50 billion litres of water a year. Thames Water, which commissioned the study, said the amount wasted would be enough to supply the whole of London for 25 days. The study also found one in four people leave the tap running while brushing their teeth.
I wonder if you can advise me about Premium Bonds. I have held some for a few years but never seem to hear anything about them these days. Is it best to cash them in? Michael says: For once, you have asked a question it is impossible for me to answer. Who is to say whether or not Ernie, the National Savings computer, will select one of your bonds for a major win? If I could answer this, I could answer your question. Rather, if only we knew! Premium Bonds simply distribute ‘interest’ in the form of random luck-of-thedraw prizes, rather than at a guaranteed steady rate. On average, it works out as a 1.5 per cent return, but any ‘interest’ you win is tax free. If, instead, you choose to deposit the money in a building society account, you can be sure of regular interest payments and a guaranteed rate (let’s say 3 per cent) – but then this interest is taxed. And it means, of course, that, by no longer having any Bonds, you’ve ruled yourself out of any chance of winning a big cash prize. Should you sell? Perhaps not if you like the thrill of a possible win. But if you prefer to play things safe, it makes better sense to ﬁnd a good savings account. As for Ernie: did you know this is an acronym? It stands for Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment. Turn the page for more advice YOURS
PICS: ALAMY; THINKSTOCK; GETTY IMAGES. WORDS: SARAH JAGGER
❙ creative fun ❙
A tooth fairy pillow
Sew this pretty fabric holder ready for the tooth fairy’s visit, complete with an embroidered pocket for its precious cargo! Compiled by Sheena Correa You will need:
✤ 24x12cm (9x4½in) cotton fabric, or material remnants ✤ Fabric scissors ✤ 6x6cm (2½x2½in) felt ✤ Pinking shears ✤ Disappearing fabric pen, or pencil ✤ Embroidery threads (your choice of colour) ✤ Embroidery needle ✤ Pins ✤ Padding material
Instructions: Cut the cotton fabric into two equal squares for the pillow. For the front pocket, trim the felt square around the edge with the pinking shears.
Draw the tooth design and lettering (as in the picture) onto the felt with the fabric pen or pencil. With the embroidery thread, back-stitch over the outline. Using running stitch, sew the pocket to the pillow front on the side and the bottom edges only.
Pin the front and back pieces of the pillow together, right sides facing, and machine or hand-stitch along three sides and halfway along the fourth. Turn the cushion the right side out and stuff with a generous amount of NEXT ISSUE padding. Make sure it reaches well into Make a bag out the corners. Then fold the edges of the of an old opening inward, pin, and slip-stitch to pillowcase seal closed.
TOP TIP: This miniature pillow is simple to make so grandchildren with very basic sewing skills can help to make one.
✤ Yours readers can get Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts for £7.99 + free p&p (rrp £19.99) by calling RUCraft on 0844 8805 852 or visit www.rucraft.co.uk quoting R11380. YOURS