Fab Over 50: My Life In Pix

'I don't lie about how old I am. I think I look good for my age'

The singer and actress on how it was so important for her to have a face lift, never wanting to have kids, and always being a free spirit...

If I was going to be a mum I'd be Billie Piper's. In the last series of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl Billie kept kissing me on top of my head. She is such a giggle and I love her work, she oozes talent. We've both been singers, and that helped me to get into the role of her mother for the series. I play mothers quite well, because I am not conventional. mothers aren't conventional. They have to be able to wear many faces. I'm perfect playing a mother, but I wouldn't be a perfect mother, I'd be awful. I'd be off travelling and the week's food would be in the freezer with a note saying 'Feed yourself' on it. I'm not interested in family life at all. I don't like being told what to do, there's very little compromise with me.

This looks very funny because Princess Diana was very tall and I'm very short. We were both speakers at the Woman Of The Year lunch. Dame Judi Dench was there as well, and Di didn't shy away from pointing out we were both considerably smaller than her. She said to us, "Would you like me to kneel or bend over?" At the lunch, Di told me she wanted her boys to be happy and for them to have a life, choices and freedom of their own. I was devastated when she passed away, but I like talking about her. I'm one of the many who don't want her to be forgotten.

When he came out of the jungle, David Guest called to invite me to a party he was having at Madame Tussauds. I'd never spoken to him before, but he's kind of like that. He made such an effort to get to know lots of British celebrities after I'm A Celebrity... We had supper then went to the bash. After this photo was taken I didn't see him again, he was off with all of his friends. But he was a marvellous host and I laughed my head off chatting to him.

My one regret in life is that I didn't throw whopping great handfuls of this cess pit at Ant and Dec. They were laughing and taking the piss. They'd have deserved it. The pit was full of rat poo, spiders and insects. I smelt awful for five days after. No one would come near me. I ate alone for two days. I lost 10 pounds on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, which I loved, but it didn't last long. Psychologically, being on the show changes you. The whole thing is set up to alter you, so I can understand why people act strangely in there.

I've been very open about having a facelift. It was important for my career to have it done. The cliché for an actress is that you hit 50 and you're only offered the role of a mother, and it's true. I don't lie about my age. I think I look good for 51, but I don't think I look 30. The thing is, virtually everyone else is doing it. I admire women who admit to it, like Sharon Osbourne. The surgery has given me confidence. I feel I've invested in myself, and I see surgery as a form of empowerment. What I've done is a natural thing, a basic procedure, and I hope I look my age. But I think young girls having massive breast implants aren't doing themselves any favours for the future.

This was one of the happiest moments of my life. I'd just won Best Female Singer at the 1982 Rock & Pop Awards and I was on cloud nine. I'm with Kim Wilde and Hazel O'Connor. In the 80s we weren't very friendly, the press used to create a rivalry between me and Kim, but now Hazel is a close friend and I work with Kim all the time. Kim's a mother but Hazel, like me, doesn't have children. Back then I had a hectic lifestyle. I did 14 interviews a day and toured non-stop. I always thought if I played too hard I'd lose everything. I slightly regret that, as I didn't have any down time, I just worked. It isn't all rock 'n roll, groupies and parties. People like us work incredibly hard. Sometimes we could do with being told to have a bit more fun.

At this shoot in 1993, my husband Robert (Fripp) liked the way I looked and he wanted to be involved. I don't dress like that at home. Like me, he's in a band, King Crimson. But we have a very normal, romantic relationship. My persona as a singer is far more out there than it is at home. Robert's not the jealous type, we wouldn't have been together for 23 years if he was. I did a play once where I had to pretend to make love to someone on stage. I could hear him in the audience saying, 'That's my wife. isn't she good?' We both like our freedom and completely trust each other. I couldn't have married a man who wants to be fed by me three times a say. I want to go off and do my own thing.

Me, Cilla Black, Shirley Bassey and Lorraine Chase all go on nights out at a club called Tramp in London. We have girlie dinners and go dancing. me and Cilla always gossip about film stars and footballers, the usual things. When Shirley comes over she holds court, so we usually sit back and listen to her. The guy in the photo is John Wain, he's my good friend and a Toyah impersonator. I love his shows, and sometimes go on stage with him. There's another boy who impersonates me who's 19, he's got brilliant legs.

NB: To view a larger version of the feature please click on the scan above (Thanks to Paul Lomas).

Sunday Mirror/Celebs on Sunday
5th July 2009