New Tricks star Amanda Redman turns 50 on August 12. Here, she reveals what it takes to be fabulous at 50!

How do you feel about turning 50?
“I think it might be overstating it to say that 50 is the new 30 but I’d definitely settle for the new 40. But, seriously, I dread that feeling of invisibility that women in their Fifties talk about all the time. My great friend, Sheila Hancock wrote about it brilliantly. She said: ‘You go into a cafe and whereas before the guys would at least look, now it’s as though a spectre has walked in.'”

And what about professionally?
“Let’s be honest. The Fifties are not an easy time for any actress, and very few actually work. Yes, of course, Helen Mirren probably started playing Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect in her Fifties, but she’s an exception. Mostly the Fifties are a decade in which actresses are put out to grass until they hit 60 and then they can be brought out again to play old hags and dying grandmothers. Those roles are marvellous in themselves of course – but what are we meant to do in between?'”

How do you stay in shape?
“Every day I spend an hour with my personal trainer doing weights, for example, and later I’ll do an hour or two of, say, cardio work in the gym that I have at home. Even on holiday I keep up the regime in the hotel gym.”

Does it get harder?
“Very much so but I see it as part of my job description to stay looking as good as I possibly can. Although, of course, there are days when I really don’t feel like it. I’m only human.”

Your partner Damian is 12 years your junior. Do you think about that at all?
“The truth is that I always think of Damian as the grown up in the relationship. He’s so much more calm and mature than I am. My only regret is that I didn’t meet him in my Twenties or Thirties. It would have been great to feel as emotionally settled then as I do now, thanks to him.”

What has been the most important job in your life?
“Motherhood [Amanda has one grown-up daughter]. I’d have loved more children. But it wasn’t to be.”

That must have been hard? [Amanda suffered two ectopic pregnancies and nine miscarriages, including one in the early days of her relationship with Damian]
“It was, because Damian didn’t have children and would be such a brilliant father. But he told me immediately that he wasn’t going anywhere and that he would continue to be there – with or without the babies. I think I needed to hear that.”

Are you planning anything for the big day?
“I’ll be away for the weekend in a romantic European city with Damian. On the day after my birthday I hope I wake up and think: ‘What was all that about? I don’t feel any different at all… Wish me luck with that!'”