Woman in­ter­view

Carol Vor­der­man on why grow­ing older is the best thing that’s hap­pened to her

Woman (UK) - - Contents -

Carol Vor­der­man

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

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