Lorraine Kelly may be a top TV star but she wears her fame lightly and has the rare gift of making everyone feel happy and relaxed in her company. It’s why she is still top of her game after 30 years in television and last year she was honoured with a Scottish BAFTA for her 30 years in broadcasting.
But Lorraine (55) says that she feels the privileged one as she loves her job so much that it never feels like a chore going to work.
“I am so lucky. I never really wanted to be a presenter, it just happened. I was working as a reporter in Scotland and was only meant to come to London for a week,” she says. “All these years later I am still here. I had no desire to be on the sofa. It wasn’t something I wanted. Which is probably why I ended up doing it and it really is the best job in the world. I’m enjoying it more than I ever have.”
Professionally, she is as busy as ever. Her morning show Lorraine is a big ratings winner for ITV, she is a successful newspaper columnist - and even has her own fashion range. She has also recently become an Avon ambassador and the face of their new skin care range ANEW.
A poster girl for the over 50s, Lorraine is astonishingly youthful looking. “I’m lucky that I inherited my mum’s good skin. She always taught me to moisturise from an early age. Plus I don’t have many wrinkles – and the ones I do have, I don’t want to get rid of. I think Botox is mad,” she says.
“Some people are born old but to me, age is just a number and I don’t feel any different to how I felt in my 20s. I am a great believer that confidence comes from within and I feel more confident in my 50s than I have ever felt.
“I think women look better and better as they age. Particularly if it’s without cosmetic surgery. Look at Joan Collins and Helen Mirren. I interviewed Meryl Streep quite recently too and she was stunning. She has lived and she has a face that moves.”
Lorraine, who was born in East Kilbride, loves her career but also credits her close-knit family with keeping her grounded and happy. She has a long, successful marriage with husband Steve (55) a cameraman.The couple met in 1984 and married in 1992:“I just knew he was right for me the moment I met him. We never take each other for granted. Of course we have to work on it – anyone in a long-term relationship has to - but he’s a really good man and we just really fancy and like each other. He makes me laugh too.”
But motherhood has been one of her greatest joys. Her daughter Rosie, will be 21 in June: “She has always come first and everything else worked around it. Like every other mum, I just hope I am doing my best. It’s all you can do.
“We have got a really good relationship but I am very much her mum; I am not her friend. I think that it important. I would love to think my daughter tells me everything but of course she doesn’t, she has got her pals for that. But she knows she can talk to me about anything and she knows whatever happens, good or bad, I would be right at her back and would catch her if she falls. She’s great to go shopping with too. I tend to play it safe and she will go:No, that’s great. You can wear that - go for it!” she smiles.
“She doesn’t think anything about me being on telly. I’m just her daft, old mum! She’s grown up with it. But when she was tiny she met Westlife and that was a big deal. She was sitting in a corner of the studio and she toddled over to Brian McFadden and just attached herself to him. He did the whole interview with her clinging onto him. It was really adorable.”
She is quick to count her blessings - and never takes her health for granted. Particularly after her horrific riding accident three years ago.
“I had never been on a horse and I agree to ride one for a charity challenge but I fell off and the horse reared up and its hooves crashed down on my right thigh. I had to have a four-hour emergency surgery on my leg. They later told me the cut missed the main artery by millimetres. I still have a horrible scar but I feel lucky to be alive,” she says.
“It took me ages to get back to normal. I was off work for two months and I was left immobile and had to be taken to the toilet to start with. It was all a bit distressing but I got through it with humour - you have to laugh - but it was weird as it was the first time I have ever had to rely on other people. I felt vulnerable afterwards which surprised me.
“The only other time I had been in hospital was to have Rosie so it gave me a greater appreciation of what it must be like to cope with disability.
“I try and keep healthy and took up Zumba classes three times a week 18 months ago and my teacher has given me special exercises to strengthen my leg.
“I have competed in marathons in New York and London for charity but I prefer power walking and have taken part in the Moonwalk to raise money for breast cancer. I will do it again next year and I’m also doing 24-hour Highland Fling for charity for STV in September.”
When she is not working, Lorraine likes nothing more than heading back to the family home on the outskirts of Dundee. The family also holiday in Singapore at least once a year where her younger brother Graeme (49) works in advertising.
Lorraine loves visiting Singapore.“The culture and the way of life is amazing and you can visit so many different places from there. I could easily live there. The food is fantastic too!”
Although she keeps an eye on her weight, she says she is not obsessed:“I eat sensibly during the week and at the weekends, I fall off the wagon a bit. Life is too short and in the past I have done stupid diets. If I want a chocolate or a glass of wine, I will go for it. Also Steve is a brilliant cook and has no concept of portion control!”
- Lorraine Kelly is an Avon Ambassador and the face of Avon ANEW.
Photo: Rex Shutterstock