‘There are so many great anti-ageing creams out today that have reduced my lines’ : Barbara Taylor Bradford under the microscope
Can you run up the stairs?
I can walk quickly up them, but not run. I developed tendonitis – inflammation of the tendon – in my left foot a few years ago after wearing flat shoes in Istanbul while researching a book. My doctor in New York gave me cortisone injections – anti-inflammatory medicine – over a few months, for the pain, which ran under my foot and around my ankle. He also gave me orthodontic inserts to wear, and the problem is more or less sorted out. I walk about two miles daily around Manhattan, where I live.
All the time! I have to be disciplined about what I eat as I do a sedentary job, and some foods, such as potatoes, make me gain weight. I am 5 feet, 6 inches and a size 16.
Not really. I smoked socially for ten years until I was 40, and I like the odd glass of champagne or red wine with a meal.
Any family ailments?
I’ve inherited my father’s tendency to have chest infections. He developed pneumonia at 81, had a terrible coughing attack and died in 1981. My mother just had a bit of rheumatism but died only five weeks after my father, aged 76. She just stopped eating and faded away. I have to be very careful if I get a cold and it goes on to my chest, as I can get bronchitis, which I had at the end of last year.
Cope well with pain?
I take painkillers when necessary but I’m generally quite stoical. I broke my right wrist in the mid-Eighties and my left shoulder in the early Nineties after falling at home. My wrist was plastered up but I still managed to type. My shoulder was broken in several places, which was very painful. I had to wear a sling, and it took several weeks to heal.
Get your five a day?
Yes. I eat steamed green vegetables most days, an apple in the afternoon and a banana last thing at night. I eat a varied diet – shellfish, haddock, plaice, sole, chicken, and not too much red meat.
Had anything removed?
Just teeth. I’ve had several dental implants, about ten or 12 years ago, before promoting a book in Australia.
Would you have plastic surgery?
If it was necessary, but there are so many great anti-ageing creams out today that have reduced my lines and wrinkles.
Tried alternative remedies?
Twenty years ago I had acupuncture when my right arm was tired after a lot of writing, which worked, and it has helped with the tendonitis, as has reflexology. When I’m writing a book, I have a weekly massage to boost circulation.
Ever been depressed?
No. I’m very positive and have a cheerful, upbeat personality. I’m lucky I’m made that way.
I dislike cockroaches and bugs. Luckily, I rarely come across any except on holidays, when I push them away.
Like to live for ever?
Only if my husband of 50 years, Bob, was with me and I could write books.
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Hidden is one of six new Galaxy Quick Reads available for £1 from major retailers and from quickreads.org.uk
Interview by ROZ LEWIS