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I SOME­TIMES FEEL as if Ruby Wax and I grew up to­gether. We’re the same vin­tage, and while Ruby has spent the past three decades blaz­ing a trail in front of the cam­eras, I’ve watched her ex­tra­or­di­nary jour­ney from the side­lines. Re­al­is­ing she wouldn’t make it as a clas­si­cal ac­tress, Ruby turned to com­edy and pi­o­neered a new ap­proach to the genre. Along the way, she rein­vented the TV in­ter­view when she fa­mously flung her­self on to Fergie’s bed while chat­ting to the re­cently di­vorced duchess, then ri­fled through her chest of draw­ers to re­veal – to the fas­ci­na­tion of 15 mil­lion view­ers – that Fergie colour-codes her T-shirts. But while she made suc­cess look easy, Ruby was pri­vately bat­tling crip­pling de­pres­sion. At the height of her fame, she with­drew to gain a master’s de­gree in mind­ful­ness-based cog­ni­tive ther­apy from Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity. Since then, she has raised aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues, pub­lish­ing sev­eral books on the sub­ject. We’re proud to present the first ex­tract from her lat­est, How to be Hu­man, on page 34, based on re­search into how the brain works and de­cod­ing the lan­guage of the mind. OC­CA­SION­ALLY, in my job, I get an un­ex­pected sur­prise. This hap­pened a few weeks ago when a lit­tle-known pho­tog­ra­pher, Ursula Daphne Aitchi­son, emailed me en­clos­ing a few of her snaps of women with their dogs, her pet project (ha ha). I loved them and thought you would, too. Have a look on page 40 – I prom­ise you, they will make you smile.

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