Carol Vorderman on why growing older is the best thing that’s happened to her
It’s been a year of mixed emotions for Pride of Britain host Carol Vorderman. In may, the star, 56, confessed that the menopause had plunged her into a dark depression. June saw more heartache, as the presenter lost her beloved mum, Jean, to cancer. However, when Woman caught up with Carol, just as she returned from a recent trip to america, it was clear she’s now in a much better place – albeit a little jet-lagged! Happily chatting away, the former Loose Women star – who lives in Bristol and is mum to Katie, 26, and Cameron, 20 – soon opened up about family, fame, and why she’s not fazed by growing older!
‘I have a life I could never have dreamt of
‘Historically, people say you get “past your sell-by date” but I’m happy to tell you that it’s quite the opposite!
Life is much more interesting now than it ever has been before. I love my life. I have the most interesting, amazing friends and consequently have a life that I could never have dreamt of. I was working like a bat out of hell in my 20s, 30s and 40s, so this is a whole new period now.’
‘one winner I particular love from this year’s Pride of Britain is called Dilys Price.
Dilys is 84 and goes skydiving freefall, not strapped to anything. I’ve seen footage and it’s just her on the back of the plane. She dives out headfirst and spirals down. Over the past 30 years she’s done 1,100 jumps, which is almost one a week! One of the reasons I love her so much is because Dilys did her first jump aged 54, and I didn’t get my first flying pilot’s license until I was 53. It’s that message that it’s never too late to start.’
‘I saw Lorraine Kelly recently and she said that me being so frank about the menopause on her show got a massive response. That’s why she also opened up about her experience. I’d never been depressed in my life until this menopausal depression came across me. It was a double whammy really, because I’m one of the most positive people you could imagine. That’s how I’ve always been, so when it floored me, I couldn’t comprehend it. But once I’d recognised what it was, I went to a hormonal specialist. So I was more than happy to talk about it and I was happily astonished by the response – there was nothing negative.’
‘at the time of losing my mum, it was horrible to see someone so ill and know that you can’t make them better. When it’s terminal, all you can do is to make them comfortable, and that’s hard to watch. But I’m doing OK. We got to say everything that we wanted to say, we were together all of the time. You also have to be the lead for your children, because obviously they’ve lost a grandparent. In my children’s case, they were really close to my mum because she lived with us. But the three of us are very happy because we know we did our best.’
‘me, Katie and Cameron are so close.
Katie is studying at Cambridge and Cameron is at university, but he still lives at home. We have a different relationship now they’re older. I don’t have to rush home from the studio to make tea – Cameron is 20, so he can do that himself and cook for me at the same time! Both of them are coming to Pride of Britain for the first time this year too, and I’m going to do the red carpet with them. Katie’s been once before, but nobody’s really seen Cameron – he’s 6ft 5in now!’
‘I call the different parts of my life “chapters” – and you have to make the most of every one.
Some are shorter and others longer, but just because one chapter comes to an end, it doesn’t negate what you did in it. That’s why I always tell the children I had a very happy marriage. People say, “But you got divorced?” But it doesn’t change the fact that we had 12 years of utter joy. I’m not going to say the marriage was a bad marriage – it wasn’t, it was an excellent marriage – it just wasn’t at the end. Rather than looking back and thinking something has to last forever, I appreciate it for what it was at the time.’
‘my advice for this year’s I’m a Celebrity contestants?
Don’t argue, and just enjoy it! I’m going back out there this year as a guest on the Extra Camp and it will be lovely as it’s Scarlett Moffatt and Joel Dommett from my year presenting it. Because we’d been off booze for about four weeks last year, one of the best nights of the show was when we had the jungle pub. It was the best thing! We’re all still in touch now. I loved it.’
‘I did Strictly a million years ago. It’s changed now, though.
It’s not a sideline any more – it’s a full-time commitment. Would I go on Dancing on Ice? No! I’m out of all of that. I’m too old to do those things because they don’t have a handicap system, so if you’re a certain age you get a certain number of points. You’re up against a 21-year-old Olympic athlete or something, so that’s going nowhere fast.’
The Pride of Britain Awards with TSB will air on 7 november on ITV
carol and her children were very close to her mum she’ll return to the jungle to appear on Extra Camp carol says she wouldn’t go on Strictly again