Cherie Lunghi

Actress Cherie Lunghi, 56, lives in Chelsea. Her daughter lives nearby.

“There was lots made of my age during Strictly Come Dancing, but us women aren’t like we used to be. I’m not ‘preserving’, I’m just living and trying to live my life positively.

When I was first asked to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, I was overjoyed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit my love of dance.

I’ve been amazed at how accessible it’s made me to viewers, and apparently, women over 40 especially related to me. But if I could encourage anyone I’d want to say, ‘If you’ve been bringing up kids, running the house, supportive of your husband and probably working yourself, it’s now time for you.’

For now, I’m in the Strictly tour until the end of February, and when we’re in Manchester I’ll also be filming for Casualty 1909. Then in the spring we start a second series of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl. This is a high point in my career, but nothing lasts forever and you can’t expect eternal youth.

I suddenly noticed creases under my eyes when I was about 45, but as you get older so does your eyesight and so you can’t see the lines so well.

Its nature’s way of sorting everything out and leaving us to exist in a happy, soft focus.”

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