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Exclusive: Des O'Connor on the joys of being an older dad and why a sense of fun keeps him young

26 MARCH 2012

Des O'Connor has told how his seven year old boy keeps him feel young as he celebrates 50 years in showbiz.

The veteran entertainer says staying active with Adam helped him maintain a healthy mind and body – despite having recently turned 80.

"I'm happy doing anything with him," Des says of his son with second wife Jodie. "He's fun, he’s lovely and we never stop laughing."

 

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When Adam was born, Des vowed to play football with him as soon as he was old enough and good to his word they spend a lot of time on the pitch – and also playing tennis.

Des tells HELLO! "I don’t zip along like Arsenal's right winger but I get in goal and kick a ball around. I want to be with him for as long as I can, and that’s another reason to keep myself in good shape.

"I don't have a strict health regime but I do think you have to take care of yourself. I've never drunk heavily but I drink even less now. I exercise but nothing too strenuous. I try to keep myself in good nick."

In the interview, he says he remains unconcerned at criticism leveled at him about becoming an older father, as well as marrying a woman 37 years his junior.

"It's not something I worry about," he adds. "I think I’m more concerned that Adam might be concerned one day that his dad is a bit older than everybody else's. Happily, though, I’m not experiencing that at the moment.

 

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"I had people saying I was selfish. But what’s selfish about that? How can you say to a woman you've been with for 15-odd years, 'No, I've got four and we're not having any more?' That would be selfish.

He is equally unconcerned about the age gap between himself and Jodie. "There are no rules, no regulations no time limit on love," he says. "You either want to be with someone or you don't.

"No couple, irrespective of age, will always agree on what film to watch or read the same books. The most important thing is we laugh a lot and encourage each other. "It is, and always has been, a very strong relationship. There's never been any doubt or worry. The age gap never seems to bother either of us."

To read more of the interview with Des, including his thoughts on his childhood, how he views his lengthy showbusiness career and what he and Jodie think Adam will do when get gets older, read the latest copy of HELLO! out now.

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