October 27, 2016

Presenter Gloria Hunniford: Attitude keeps me young

PRESENTER Gloria started her broadcasting career in local radio and television, and has since become a much-loved fixture on national TV.

It’s about people’s attitudes towards ageing in this country. Its survey found that the British public think people are old at 67, which shocked me.

I certainly don’t feel old and with 80 being the new 60, and the way people are living longer, I was surprised to hear it.

What keeps you a spring chicken yourself?

Attitude and energy. Having been brought up in Northern Ireland, I have that work ethic and my job has always been my mainstay.

I’m still working and loving it, but I’m lucky to be in a business I enjoy.

Does ageism annoy you?

It absolutely does. That said, I work in a very young industry and I don’t know what they say behind my back, but I don’t have a sense of people going, “God, what’s she still doing here in her seventies?” And when it comes to doing Rip Off Britain that’s where age and experience count. If you had 23 year olds doing it, it wouldn’t have the same credibility.

What are your greatest pleasures in life?

Having time together with family and friends, and I love it when we get to go to the place we have in France. I enjoy meals out and my garden brings me great pleasure.

What’s been your proudest career moment?

I did a radio chat show called Sunday Sunday when I was newly over from Ireland and trying to get my feet under the Radio 2 desk. It ran for nine series and when I look back we had all the Hollywood greats on it.

Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Sean Connery, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart – they all came on the show.

What’s the one talent you wish you had?

I wish I could play the piano. Any party I ever go, the pianist is always the person everyone loves and I do enjoy a sing-song.

What’s the best showbiz party you’ve ever been to?

I went to a brilliant one at Sting’s house. It was his and Trudie’s wedding anniversary and the place was done out so beautifully – everything looked gorgeous, everything in the garden smelled gorgeous, there was an outdoor fireplace with a fire roaring. Dawn French was there and Bob Geldof and a lot of musicians. It was magical.

Is there anything about getting older you don’t like?

The one thing I don’t like is the dread that things will fall apart a bit. But retirement isn’t in my vocabulary at all.

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