Dame Joan Bakewell

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

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’

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