JENNI MURRAY: Emma may be happy to strip at 62, but I'll never do it again

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Dame Emma Thompson said she couldn't do nude performances when youngerUK columnist Jenni Murray says she's yet to meet a woman that confidentWhen interviewing famous women on Women's Hour, they pointed to their flaws 

Dame Emma Thompson has shot up in my estimation by stripping off for her latest role in the film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.

She plays a widowed teacher who hires a young escort in the hope of experiencing better sex than she had in her marriage.

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Her co-star, Daryl McCormack, also got his kit off as did the director, Sophie Hyde, and not only did they perform in the nude, they rehearsed without clothes, too.

She formed a bond with McCormack, sharing muddy walks on Hampstead Heath, laughing and holding on to each other. (Hope her lovely husband, Greg Wise, hasn’t had his nose put out of joint!)

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The experience was, the star admits, challenging but, at age 62, she says she doesn’t think she would have been able to do such revealing scenes when younger.

JENNI MURRAY: Dame Emma Thompson has shot up in my estimation by stripping off for her latest role in the film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

Global Tech News Daily

JENNI MURRAY: Dame Emma Thompson has shot up in my estimation by stripping off for her latest role in the film Good Luck To You, Leo Grande

Emma Thompson, pictured right with her co-star, Daryl McCormack, plays a widowed teacher who hires a young escort in the hope of experiencing better sex than she had in her marriage

Emma Thompson, pictured right with her co-star, Daryl McCormack, plays a widowed teacher who hires a young escort in the hope of experiencing better sex than she had in her marriage

Is she saying women grow more confident with their bodies as they grow older? If so, I’m sorry, Emma, I just don’t believe you. I have yet to meet the woman, however beautiful, slender and toned, of whatever age, who feels truly confident about the way she looks.

I have never been more terrified and embarrassed than the day I summoned up the guts to strip off, aged 70, for the Full Monty On Ice in 2020. I had agreed to do the TV show, which involved a final reveal of the upper half of our bodies, for the very best of reasons.

The idea was to have fun while delivering a very important message — early diagnosis of cancer leads to a better chance of life-saving treatment.

Unlike Emma, we did not have to be semi-naked during the weeks of rehearsal, but the terror of what was to come filled us with deep anxiety about the inevitable.

We had promised to do it, but I thought about developing an unfortunate illness to give me a chance to opt out.

Even Linda Lusardi, not short, as a former Page 3 girl, of experience exposing her breasts, was as nervous as the rest of us. She still has beautiful breasts. I couldn’t compare, having only the one remaining after a mastectomy in my 50s.

My professionalism wouldn’t allow me to duck out. I did it, hated the few seconds during which I was exposed and couldn’t get into a dressing gown fast enough.

So no, Emma, I don’t believe body confidence improves as you get older. I never stripped off as a young woman and would never, ever consider it again.

Black is the new black: Jenni says she used to always wear black - 'I thought it elegant and slimming, but was persuaded by friends to add a little colour to my life. I did and now find those at this week¿s Dior show, like Claire Foy, left, and Rosamund Pike, wearing nothing but black. Here I am ¿ out of fashion again!'

Black is the new black: Jenni says she used to always wear black – ‘I thought it elegant and slimming, but was persuaded by friends to add a little colour to my life. I did and now find those at this week’s Dior show, like Claire Foy, left, and Rosamund Pike, wearing nothing but black. Here I am — out of fashion again!’

Why are so many of us unsure about the way we look no matter how many compliments we get?

During my time on Woman’s Hour, I interviewed some beautiful women — Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Simone Signoret, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall and Angelina Jolie, to name a few.

Often, they wore dark glasses, maybe a wig and each one pointed to her faults rather than her assets. A nose that was too big, eyes that were not big enough, a body that was considered too tall, too short or ungainly. Not one was prepared to accept that in every sense she was simply stunning.

It’s not a trait I’ve ever observed in a man. My suspicion is that the trend to embrace body positivity has touched very few of us. From when we’re little girls, the emphasis on looking good is overwhelming.

It’s a habit I doubt has changed much since the days before feminism made us challenge the old expectation that you have to look gorgeous to catch a man.

Plenty of mothers still want their girls to be slim and pretty — mine certainly did. We are on show, selling our wares while, at the same time, warned of the wrong messages we might be sending out and the dangers of giving the wrong idea to any passing fella.

No wonder so many of us hate our bodies — because we don’t really know what we’re supposed to do with them.

Lesley Manville, pictured, went over to noisy teenagers at the theatre and 'terrifies them into respectful silence'

Lesley Manville, pictured, went over to noisy teenagers at the theatre and ‘terrifies them into respectful silence’

Oh no, black’s the new black

 I used to always wear black. I thought it elegant and slimming, but was persuaded by friends to add a little colour to my life. I did and now find those at this week’s Dior show, like Claire Foy, left, and Rosamund Pike, wearing nothing but black. Here I am — out of fashion again!

It takes two to tango, chaps

For so long it’s women who’ve been blamed if a couple fail to conceive.

She waited too long. Her career was more important than a family. Didn’t she know how quickly fertility falls as you get older? Wasn’t she aware each woman has a certain number of eggs and they run out?

Women know all that. We’ve been told it enough, but the blame should not lie uniquely on the female side. What is usually ignored is the problem often lies with the man.

Jenni Murray (pictured) said she is yet to meet the woman, however beautiful, slender and toned, of whatever age, who feels truly confident about the way she looks

Jenni Murray (pictured) said she is yet to meet the woman, however beautiful, slender and toned, of whatever age, who feels truly confident about the way she looks

At the Fertility 2022 conference, Stuart Lavery, a consultant in reproductive medicine at University College London, said: ‘In 40 per cent of cases, couples can’t conceive because of a male fertility issue.’

The result is that women who want to have tests, and maybe IVF, are held back by partners who refuse to accept there is a problem and want to keep trying to conceive naturally.

It’s deeply unfair to have a partner who is afraid his masculinity may be put into question if found to be ‘firing blanks’. That expression needs to go. It’s insulting.

Men need to be reassured that infertility is a problem to be shared, investigated and dealt with by the science that’s improving all the time. There’s no shame in a low sperm count. It does not mean you’re less of a man. Denying your partner the chance to become a mother does.

 

 Two long train journeys this week, to Liverpool and Cambridge. But no let-up yet on the endless Tannoy announcements the Government has pledged to end. No one needs to hear ‘See it. Say it. Sorted’ quite so many times.

 

Adele’s become a diva – and a pain

goodness, what’s happened to Adele, that plump, sweary, supremely talented singer-songwriter we knew of old?

What sort of self-obsessed narcissist leans her chin on her perfectly manicured hands to sob her ‘sorrys’ to fans who’ve paid a fortune for tickets, flights and hotels to see her perform in Vegas? She’s a diva and a pain.

The sound system wasn’t good enough, she didn’t like the sets, she’s fallen out with her team. apparently. With Adele, professionalism seems in short supply. Her ‘the show need not go on’ philosophy is an outrage.

Adele, either use a few millions to reimburse the disappointed fans or just get up there and sing. It’s all they want you to do! 

My shame at failing to tackle teen yobs

Lesley Manville is such a piece of work. Noisy teenagers at the theatre, so she goes over and terrifies them into respectful silence.

Wish I’d taken a leaf out of her book on Saturday night watching Kenneth Branagh’s beautiful film, Belfast. A similar group of yobs spoiled it with their rowdy stupidity. I was too cowardly to tackle them. 

 

Bless Jamie Oliver, doing his best, yet again, to end the obesity crisis.

Fast-food deliveries are the chef’s new target and he’s right. It’s never been easier to have unhealthy fare delivered to your door.

Order by phone and you don’t even have to walk to collect it. As Jamie says: ‘Even cheap takeaways are expensive when you compare them to cooking.

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