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She might be approaching her 60th birthday, but Carol Vorderman is in the prime of her life.
Throughout our chat, the star tells us how happy she is, saying, “I love every second of my life.”
And anyone who has seen a recent picture of her will know that she’s never looked better.
So what’s her secret? And how has she managed to achieve a figure that Kim Kardashian would kill for?
When we gently probe Carol about the fact that she’s admitted to having Botox in the past, she politely tells us, “Oh, I’m not going down that route!”
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But she does tell us she keeps fit by hiking in the Pembrokeshire hills, where she now lives.
The TV and radio presenter’s love life is also off limits, sadly, but she’s good humoured about it and laughs as she tells us she’s “fine” in that department.
She is, however, happy to open up about lots of other topics, such as how she kept busy during lockdown by launching The Maths Factor website, which was designed to help kids (and parents) during the school closures.
She also hosted the 21st Pride of Britain Awards. Here, the inspiring star, who is a proud mum to Katie, 29, and Cameron, 24, reveals her tactics for preserving her mental health in these uncertain times, why her healthy eating habits have gone out of the window and why she loves nothing more than laughing with her mates…
How will this year’s Pride Of Britain Awards differ from previous years, Carol?
Fundamentally, instead of inviting all these amazing winners down to London and spoiling them for a few days, we have to take the awards to them. It’ll start with a James Bond sequence with me in a helicopter. I basically go around giving the awards to celebrities, then they deliver them to the winners. There will be lots of tears and surprises, but it will be a wonderful 90 minutes. It will give everyone hope after the year we’ve had.
Sounds great! How did you find lockdown personally?
I was in Bristol with my son Cameron as he was still living with me then, but I was working seven days a week because of my maths school. I also had my radio show and a BBC series as well. I was busy! But I was helping a lot of kids and therefore their parents while the schools were closed. That was my contribution.
A lot of teachers said they found it hard to teach their own kids during lockdown. What would you have been like with your kids if they were younger?
Well, Katie is hugely well-educated and super bright academically. She’s just finishing her PhD in nanotech at Cambridge. My son Cameron is very different and has massive learning difficulties, to the point where he was refused entry to most schools in our area by the age of six. So children with special educational needs have always held a place in my heart. I got him into a special school and he was one of the lucky ones, because it was private and I had the money. Had he been born into the circumstances I was, it would’ve been hell.
What’s he doing now?
He’s worked hard. He was bullied badly at school, but this summer he got a first-class honours degree in animation. And he’s now doing a master’s degree. It’s fantastic that this child who really struggled is so happy and doing what he loves. I miss him now he’s away from home, but overriding that is my happiness that he loves what he does. As a parent it’s all about what makes them happy, not what makes you happy.
You clearly have a very positive outlook on life…
I’ve got two mottos in life. One is, “you’re a long time dead” – which I used before coronavirus, but not now. It basically means if there’s mischief to be had, I’m first in the queue! It’s quite funny because the Carol people see on the telly is not the Carol in the real world at all. A lot of that comes from the roles I’ve had on telly, which have generally been about maths and science. When my friends see me they go, “Oh my God, here she is!” Another rule I live by is ‘find what makes you happy and do more of it’.
What makes you happy?
My life is very Wales-based, and pre-lockdown I’d been hanging out with new friends in Cardiff and I would scream laughing.Even thinking about it now, I could make myself cry laughing. I don’t really care what anyone thinks of me.I know who I am and my mates know who I am.Life’s great and I have absolutely not a single complaint.I couldn’t have dreamt that in this stage of my life I would be living the outrageous life I live.
You admitted on your BBC Radio Wales show that you’re a terrible girlfriend…
[Laughs] I don’t talk about that. I’m fine.
We can’t believe you’re nearly 60. How do you stay in shape? Is it all that hiking?
In my head I’m 47!I did a beautiful hike a couple of days ago and it was only about seven miles, but it was so up and down and cliffy that it was like climbing Snowdon.
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You were ahead of your time with your Detox For Life book back in 2009. Do you still watch what you eat now?
My diet wasn’t great during lockdown, I have to say.I generally don’t eat sugary things or wheaty things, but I was so tired with working so hard.Also, since we were released from lockdown, I’ve been on the road a lot and in hotels.I’ve been living that service station life, which isn’t great.
Have you managed to avoid getting Covid so far?
I had something with identical symptoms in November last year after I’d travelled to Japan and Hong Kong to watch Wales in the Rugby World Cup.But I’ve had the antibody test and it was negative. So nobody can say whether I’ve had it or not. But at last year’s Pride Of Britain I was really ill. I couldn’t speak!I’d been coughing for weeks and weeks and I nearly called an ambulance twice at home as I couldn’t breathe.It was worrying, but I can’t say whether I’ve had it or not.
Well, we’re very glad that you’re feeling better for this year’s show!
Thank you! Please watch it. It’ll cheer everybody up.
Pride of Britain airs on Sunday 1st November at 9pm on ITV
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