Exclusive: Jo Whiley says she's 'grateful' to be ageing as she reflects on how loss changed her outlook - 'life can change so quickly'

In our exclusive interview, Jo Whiley admitted she 'thanks God' she's alive and well instead of worrying about getting older

Jo Whiley for the June 2024 issue of woman&home
(Image credit: David Venni)

Jo Whiley spoke to woman&home about feeling grateful for growing older and reflected on how the loss she has suffered in her life has given her a new outlook, in an exclusive interview for our June issue. 

The TV and radio icon, who is turning 59 this year, admitted that she doesn't worry about ageing and instead channels gratitude for the privilege of getting older. 

Jo shares children, India, 31, Jude, 25, Cassius, 22, and Coco, 15, with husband, Steve Morton, and has a "life is for living" mentality after lots of loss in her life. 

Jo Whiley for the June 2024 issue of woman&home

(Image credit: David Venni)

"I don’t think age is a barrier to anything. It’s a transition and there’s nothing you can do about it," Jo declared.

"If I ever worry about getting older, I think, 'Thank God you’re alive,' and I’m so grateful. There’s a lot to get your head around because visually and physically, things change with age, so you have to address them," she added. 

Jo Whiley for the June 2024 issue of woman&home

(Image credit: David Venni)

Jo also detailed how her and her family's life has been tinged with sadness after the loss of several friends, making her realise that things can change in an instant. 

"Life can change so quickly. Often when you’re not expecting it...It’s shocking because they’re people you thought you would be sitting on a park bench laughing with when you’re old. Suddenly you know there will be an empty space next to you on that bench.

"Two of Steve’s best friends died very close together. Our kids grew up together, and we used to go on holiday and spend weekends with them."

The BBC star added that the deaths of various loved ones gave her the realisation that looking after her health is vital. 

Jo said, "I’ve overhauled my lifestyle since losing loved ones. One of our friends died of a brain tumour, one died from COVID-19, another died from epilepsy and one passed away from stomach cancer. They are things that can happen to anybody, at any point, so I decided I had to bulletproof my life.

"I don’t want to check out early and I need to do whatever I can to keep this body going for as long as possible," she added, revealing that exercise, a healthy diet, plenty of vitamins and routine health checks are now a priority, along with keeping an eye on her moles. 

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"I get a mole check every year because I’m quite moley, and I wasn’t as careful as I could have been with tanning and sunbathing in the past.

"I have arthritis in my hands, which is frustrating, but I’m doing everything I can to help it. I feel in really good health but the arthritis is my biggest problem," Jo added. 

You can read Jo's full exclusive interview with woman&home in the June issue of the magazine, on shelves from April 25th. 

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.