Dame Joan Bakewell
D The journalist and television presenter, 84, co-presents Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year with comic Frank Skinner and her play Keeping in Touch – a response to Harold Pinter’s 1978 play Betrayal, which used details of the couple’s seven-year affair – premiered on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year.
How do you take your tea?
I drink a nice cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk and piece of dark chocolate. I eat chocolate every day, it has to be dark, though. Cups of tea are always good for having long chats over.
Who would you most like to have a cup of tea with?
I’d have to say Frank [Skinner], he’s just the most interesting man. Even though we work together, we socialise together and often go to the opera.
What is Frank like to work with?
He is fabulous, there are a lot of things about Frank that people don’t know, and he is also very clever. On the shows we present together (Landscape Artist of the Year and Portrait
Artist of the Year), we see lots of talented artists who are extraordinary and Frank knows so much about art, I sometimes learn from him.
How do you keep working and staying in shape?
Pilates, it is a fabulous way to keep fit, I have been going to my regular classes for over 25 years. I even carried on going after my hip replacement, it keeps me from old age. I also eat a very balanced diet, but I do like to indulge on a regular basis.
Is it true you also like to dance?
I learnt to dance when I was younger and I think that the tango is wonderful. I admire people who can do it. Nowadays, many of my friends go to afternoon tea dances, but they are not for me. I prefer my Pilates.
How do you spend the little spare time you have?
I have six wonderful grandchildren from my children Matthew and Harriet, who hold my time and attention. Reading books is also one of my greatest pleasures. It saddens me that we don’t read books nearly enough these days.
Would you ever retire?
Never. I enjoy my work and making the most of my time while I still have the brains, energy and experience to do it. Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 is on Sky Arts
‘I think the tango is wonderful and admire people who d oit’