HELLO! DIGITAL COVER STORY

Carol Vorderman admits she's 'much happier being single' as she shares secrets to her fabulous figure

The Former Countdown star is feeling great at 60

In her 60th year, Carol Vorderman is looking and feeling more incredible than ever – and the former Countdown presenter's legion of Instagram followers are taking notice with her beautiful bikini snapshots and workout photos pulling in up to 25,000 likes a time.

READ: Carol Vorderman shows off incredible figure in skin-tight leggings

Although Carol may have lots of male attention, she admits she's "much happier being single" and loves her life filled with exercise and adventures. Starring on our Digital Cover from her stunning North Somerset home, the Welsh beauty tells HELLO! how she stays so positive, what the future holds and how she keeps that jaw-dropping figure

Carol Vorderman stars on our Digital Cover

Carol, you seem happier and more positive than ever. You have a real zest for life! What's your secret?

"I'm annoyingly positive. When people say, 'Is your glass half full?' I can say, 'Mine is overflowing.' I can wake up laughing. People say, 'You can't, you can't' but I do. I love my life and health has a lot to do with that. My priority is health and laughing."

You look fantastic and fans are loving your Instagram workout posts. What's your exercise regime?

"Health is my big thing. I like paddleboarding, hiking and walking. During the pandemic, I was driving everywhere, sometimes six hours a day and I'd end up with a Deliveroo and a glass of wine in the hotel just to get over the day. When we got to the long lockdown, I thought I can't do that again. I was feeling bloated and ill, so I switched it.

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WATCH: Carol Vorderman shares family memories as she shows us her album

"I started weights for the first time [this year], and I kitted out my lounge in my Bristol house and that was really good. I was doing three weights sessions online [per week] for months which is when I started to drop the weight. I am very happy with my weight. I'm now a small size eight to ten and that's my happy place.

"When you get to 60 there's a big difference in your life. I'm embracing 60. I'm going to live until I'm 95, and I'm going to be the same health-wise as I am now when I'm 85. I'm fit and healthy. I consider myself young. I feel young – I move well."

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Carol invited us into her North Somerset home

Looking back, are there any life or career regrets you have?

"There are things, people, jobs, places that I have stuck with and looking back on my life, I would change that in a heartbeat. I would get out of things much, much, much faster instead of listening to people saying just stick with it and see how it goes. If you know it's really not for you, drop it. I've written a whole book thesis on this. I've got all of these theories about life which I follow, and I know they work as I'm ridiculously happy 99 per cent of the time no matter what happens."

Is love something that's on the cards for you now?

"People say, 'She wants to be married again.' No, I don't! Who says I do? That's what society dictates. I've got loads of single, independent girlfriends who are much happier than many of their married counterparts. I'm much happier being single and I love my life.

"Women in our 60s, we have been at the bow wave of change. When I got into television, there were hardly any women. All of the generations above us had older views. My mother told me at the age of 18, if I wasn't married by the age of 24, I was on the shelf and a spinster for life."

READ: Carol Vorderman shares a peek inside her bedroom - and it's so chic

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"Health is my big thing," says Carol

Do you still get a lot of 'age-appropriate' comments about your fashion?

"I got to age 39 and I wore a blue dress to the BAFTAs and the world went mental. BBC made a Kilroy show and the topic was, 'Should a woman of 39 wear a dress above the knee?' People called me out because I dared to wear a dress above the knee. Then you get to 50 and you get, 'Oh a woman of 50 shouldn't be wearing jeans' – I've had that one as well.

"Now I'm 60, I still get slated by some of my own generation. I wore leggings the other day with some mesh in – I'd had them for years and I wore them with a tatty jumper. I had, 'She should know better at her age,' and 'What a ridiculous thing to do at 60.' But now there are many younger generations who stick up for me, they don't see a number in age as any reason to dictate what you 'should' do.  And they're right, those so-called rules are utter, utter nonsense.

"When you have that perspective of 60 years, you can look back and say, 'Hang on'. I just think what is this rule you've made up that someone aged 60 can't wear leggings? Because 30 years ago there were different rules. They aren't god-given or absolute rules, you've just made them up and you are restricting your own lives by living by them… Run and get out of that mindset now because you're only here once. Life isn't a rehearsal!"

READ: Carol Vorderman reveals heartbreak after TV appearance with son

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"What is this rule you've made up that someone aged 60 can't wear leggings?" Carol states

You contracted coronavirus quite early on in the pandemic. How are you feeling now?

"I went to the World Cup to follow Wales in October 2019, and no one had even heard of this illness. It was in Japan, but my friend and I travelled through Hong Kong. A week after we set off, I was coughing and coughing, I was thinking 'I've got really bad flu.' By the time I came home, I had to cancel a load of work. I couldn't speak, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't breathe. There were two times I was sitting at the kitchen table, and I thought 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe'. I reached for the phone to call an ambulance but then put myself into one of my sort of trances (I can fall fast asleep anywhere for even just five minutes - it's a skill I love) and managed to stay still and need less oxygen. I was ill for a long time, around six months. Every symptom of heavy COVID, I had."

READ: Carol Vorderman's daily diet: how she maintains her fabulous figure

"My cardio is still through the floor compared to my normal. I could normally march up a hill and not have to worry about breath, but now I have to. If I keep doing stuff every day, I can improve it but I'm going to have a lung test just to see as there could be scarring."

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The TV star has had some of the best parties at her home

We're here sitting in your beautiful home in Somerset. What are your biggest memories from this house?

"The parties we've had! The best one was my 50th – we all came in seventies gear. Alan Carr, Gok Wan and an Abba tribute band. I had astronauts and red arrows in attendance. Even Alan said that was the BEST party. The number of afro wigs I found on the floor was ridiculous. I love throwing parties!"

Where do you see yourself living long-term?

"I am a wanderer; I've always been a wanderer. I love making homes, but I don't want to be in them very much. I live between west Wales, a bit of Cardiff and Bristol. I think progressively that will become all Wales. Well, soon. I am Welsh, and I love it. I want to spend much less time in London working – that's a decision of mine. I'm only doing the things that I want to do.

READ: Carol Vorderman's Welsh home is a paradise retreat

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"I'm much happier being single and I love my life," Carol says

"I grew up looking at the Irish Sea and the Welsh coastal path is about 900 miles long, then there's Offa's Dyke, the old border between England and Wales, which goes from Chepstow to Prestatyn. I am going to walk the shape of my country. I'm going to start it next year and I'd like to do it as one big piece but that's a lot of miles – it would be a three-month commitment really. I never come back from a walk in Wales with anything but the biggest smile. Everything is amazing and the views are breathtaking."

What's your next adventure?

"I'm a Celebrity was the first time I slept under the stars for three whole weeks, no tent, just the sky and the air, and I became addicted to being outside. I've ordered a 4x4 van and working with a company to convert it. I've got a lot of farmer friends and I want to park up in their fields. I will go and see mates more, stop off in the Lake District. I might get myself a dog, get the campfire going. I'll be able to put my blow-up paddleboards in it and it will have a hot shower and tiny kitchen. I've got a list of people who want to come with me. And anyone who says: 'Women of 60 shouldn't be doing things like this.' Well, it is happening. I've never felt freer."

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Carol will be hitting the red carpet soon for Pride of Britain

What's your next work project?

"The Pride of Britain Awards are taking place on 30 October and then will air on ITV in early November. It's going to look a little different this year as this time I have a co-host. To be honest, I've been asking for someone to help me out for the last ten years – it's a big show to host for just one person. I can't say too much, but they'll be announced soon!"

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