Anthea Turner is determined not to let her forthcoming milestone birthday hold her back – and, if anything, she’s going all out to keep life interesting.
But the 59-year-old TV presenter, who is 60 at the end of May, insists the answer doesn’t lie at the bottom of a pot of face cream.
She claims, ‘As you get older, you tend to become safer, you don’t try things in the same way. But it’s not about lotions and potions and creams that are supposed to keep you looking young. I think if you want to keep yourself vital and young, it’s actually about doing things, getting out there and frightening yourself a bit, because, oh, my goodness, you’ll feel euphoric.’
It’s this positive outlook on life that led to Anthea to join a collection of stars who all wanted to be put through their paces by former British special forces soldier Ant Middleton and his colleagues on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, currently airing on Channel 4.
She explains, ‘Every year, I try and do something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, and I’m 60 this year, so I had to go big.’
Anthea got engaged for the third time, to businessman Mark Armstrong, 55, in September last year, after just five months of dating.
It will be the third trip down the aisle for the former Blue Peter star, who was married to DJ Peter Powell from 1990 to 1998, and to businessman Grant Bovey from 2000 to 2015.
While Anthea doesn’t have children, she sees Grant’s daughters Lily, Amelia and Claudia as her own, even confessing, ‘I’m not a grandma yet, but I can’t wait to be one!’
Despite having ‘grandma’ yelled at her in a derogatory way on numerous occasions by Ant and his team during her time on SAS, Anthea didn’t bat an eyelid! She insists she ‘never rose to it’, but thinks it would have been a different story if she was younger.
Despite being the oldest in the group – which also consisted of former Strictly Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole and former glamour model Katie Price – Anthea believes her age helped her cope better with the mental challenges than physical ones.
She adds, ‘My age would let me down physically in some sections but, on the other hand, I think my maturity meant I had a lot of life experiences I could pull from.
‘I think people forget that even just looking after other people, looking after kids, is a big deal.
‘We should never stand still and forget what we know. We know more than we think we do, but we’ve just never been tested. This is the ultimate test.’
As well as her mental strength, Anthea was surprised at how well she dealt with the lack of glamour.
‘I’m a girlie girl and I do love my comforts in life,’ she admits. ‘But, honestly, the fact that I wasn’t wearing make-up came bottom of the pile of worries for me. I didn’t even think about it once – and that shocked me.
‘You don’t look in the mirror at all when you’re there – of course, there wasn’t one, and it probably wasn’t worth looking anyway because the sight would have shocked me,’ she laughs.
So has Anthea now developed a new love for the great outdoors? ‘The thing is, underneath it all, I actually am such a good camper,’ she enthuses. ‘I get really organised about it, really sorted.’
Anthea finishes by revealing what’s left on her bucket list: ‘My real secret passion is to go off and do a real trail somewhere in one of those RVs. I haven’t done it yet, but one day I will!’