Former Coronation Street star Amanda Barrie, 81 who's taking part in a new series, The Baby Boomers' Guide to Growing Old, reveals she’s delighted fans still remember her as Weatherfield's Alma Sedgewick…
What’s on TV chatted to Amanda Barrie about the new four-part series, The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Growing Old, which sees the popular actress and twelve other famous over-65s, including Johnny Ball, 79, Esther Rantzen, 76, ex-EastEnders star Laila Morse, 71, and comedian Roy Hudd, 81, explore different aspects of ageing, from cosmetic surgery to living the dream in retirement, from the physical to the romantic! Here Amanda talks hypnotism, dating and why she loves her loyal Corrie fans!
Tell us more about The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Growing Old?
“It’s about seeing how we all cope especially as the idea of what old age is like, has changed. Whether it’s food, health, or the way people live in general. I teamed up with radio cricket commentator Henry Blofeld and we had to help older singles find love. I laughed so much when were making it. Henry and I got on so well, we were like children. Never mind 80, we were eight!”
At 81, do you feel your age?
“I have a theory that, if we never knew how old we were and could scrap birthdays, we’d have a very different attitude to the way we behave and be a lot better off! I’ve often thought how I’d love to be hypnotised so I didn’t know how old I was.”
What’s the key to ageing well?
“The obvious things like not putting on too much weight, not smoking, or drinking yourself into the floor. But these apply no matter what age you are! A lot of the things you shouldn’t do when you’re older you shouldn’t do when you’re younger.”
Do you think attitude plays a part too?
“Yes, I remember feeling quite old in my thirties, and thinking I couldn’t wear or do certain things. But now I don’t take any notice of any of that! People can’t be happy all the time or energetic all the time. We’re a bit like the weather. We have seasons.”
Do you have any plans to retire?
“I don’t think we retire in this profession – the profession retires you! Somebody told me I’d retired years ago, but I hadn’t – I just took a gap year at 79. I always do everything backwards!”
Do you still get lots of attention from Coronation Street fans?
“Yes I do! I call it getting Alma-ed. I’ve had some really funny ones. I got recognised in India, would you believe? The funniest one was in Venice where some people were leaning over the famous Rialto Bridge yelling ‘Alma!’ I couldn’t believe it, but am always delighted when it happens!”
See Amanda in The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old on Tuesday, June 13, 10pm on More4