In an exclusive new photoshoot and interview in HELLO! magazine to celebrate her latest role in TV series, The Real Dirty Dancing, Anthea Turner tells how taking on new challenges is the secret to staying young.
"Of course, there was a little bit of no, no, no, I can't do it and felt it was a bit of a stretch to try to become Baby," says 61-year-old Anthea of joining the show based on the iconic 1987 movie starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.
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"I am the same age as Jennifer Grey is now, but I hope she is proud that someone who is 61 is channelling their inner Baby! I was the only person in the show who had actually queued up at a cinema to see the film when it first came out. Patrick Swayze was every girl's dream."
WATCH: Anthea Turner shows off her off-the-shoulder style
The star, who has also taken part in Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice, and Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, tells HELLO!: "I think the best way to stay young is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don't stay on the sofa all day, get out there and do something different, that's what matters and that's why I tend to say yes to these crazy challenges."
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Of her latest adventure on E4, she adds: "Recreating those scenes, we had the time of our lives and I hope that comes over on TV. We laughed so much!
Anthea is starring in The Real Dirty Dancing
"Whether you are 18 or 58, everyone relates to Baby. We have all been her, there is that person inside all of us. Even people like me who on the surface appear to be confident. I know very few people who actually really are, especially women. But I am more confident now than I have ever been in my life. Why didn't I realise I could feel like this!"
Bride-to-be Anthea has her own first dance and wedding to plan as she tells HELLO! how her and 55-year-old businessman Mark Armstrong's original wish for a wedding in Italy in September 2020, postponed due to lockdown, has now been replaced by a beautiful candlelit winter ceremony in the UK.
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"Everyone gets quite excited about winter glam, dressing up warm, all that gorgeous faux fur, and candles and fairy lights."
Her three step-daughters, Claudia, 25, Amelia, 27, and 29-year-old Lily, from her second marriage to Grant Bovey, will be bridesmaids.
"I think they are naturally assuming that to be so, and they are definitely correct," she says. There will also be a key role for the couple's French Bulldog, Soho. "I'd have even got him to Italy if that had happened. I am sure he will have an official position, with something dangling around his neck. He is so much part of our lives. We can't go anywhere without him."
To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.