The Daily Telegraph

Unlike Jenny, I can’t give up wine that easily

- Slimline: Jenny Agutter watches what she drinks

Sir Kingsley Amis, the great comic novelist, once offered the following pearl of wisdom. “Almost nothing,” he said, “is worth giving up for the sake of a few more years in a nursing home in Bournemout­h.”

I cannot endorse this dictum in its entirety. Bournemout­h is a lovely town, and I’m sure it’s a joy to live there at any age. That apart, however, Sir Kingsley’s thesis is sound.

For this reason, I was concerned to read that Jenny Agutter, star of Call the Midwife, maintains her figure by denying herself sugar and wine. “I do not want to change my clothes size,” she says. “So every time something gets tight, I just go, ‘Right, less cheese, no butter and cream, no sugar and sweets, no wine.’”

No doubt this regimen has saved Ms Agutter a considerab­le sum at clothing retailers. And I’m sure it’s done wonders for her health. My point is a purely philosophi­cal one. Without sugar and wine, what is life for?

As I never tire of saying: living healthily is a waste of time. It may add years to your life. But they’ll only be extra years of being old. You won’t get extra years of being young. So it’s better to lead a life that’s short and fun than long and dull.

And if that thought seems depressing, quick – drink some more wine.

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