Lesley’s stay young secrets!
What does Lesley Joseph listen to before a big night out? Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell of course! She stole the show as Dorian on TV’s Birds of A Feather and continues to do so now the girls have reunited over 15 years later for another series. She’s also playing one of my all time favourite characters – song-belting, gin-swigging Miss Hannigan in the theatre tour of Annie, The Musical. And those legs! Have you seen those legs? At 69, just how does she do it? Well that’s exactly what I asked her of course.
Lesley’s tricks for turning back the clock…
1. Grab a chair
‘There’s “Lesley fit” and there’s “Dorian fit” so when I’m filming for Birds of a Feather I exercise three or four times a week. I play a part that requires I look in shape so I hired a Personal Trainer to get me ready for the new series. She gave me exercises I can do at home or in a hotel room. All I need is a chair (the edge of a bed or a chez lounge will do!) to hold on to for leg swings. There’s arm exercises too and sit ups. Over six months I lost a stone and a half and toned my legs.’
2. Stick with the stairs
‘But of course you don’t need a trainer to keep in shape. I also get off the bus one stop early and walk. And when I can I take the stairs instead of the lift – I really do this! It’s great for the buttocks!’
3. Learn to breathe
‘I do yoga every week. It’s great for the mind – for calming and balancing you, especially if you lead a hectic life. Also it teaches you how to breathe properly. When I’m on stage playing Miss Hannigan in Annie, dancing and belting out Easy Street it helps to be fit and have some semblance of control over my lungs!’
4. Enjoy a Bounce ball
‘You know – those Bounce Energy Balls – the little high energy snacks. They are packed with protein and they really keep you going. My favourite is the Almond Protein Hit variety – it totally smashes my mid-afternoon slump!’
5. Friday night fizz
‘We all need to let our hair down once in a while and I do like my Champers. But I’m also just has happy with Prosecco or a decent dessert wine if the moment is right. I’m definitely not a total saint!’
6. Style it out with stilettos
‘A lot has been written about my legs. That’s only really because mine are on show and my character is always in heels – now take Joanna LumIey – those are good legs! I am 5ft 2in, so I love my stilettos. I feel confident walking into a room wearing heels. Looking good is all about feeling confident.’
7. Music for the soul
‘Music is good for the soul and lifts the spirts, whatever genre you’re into. I was brought up on classical music and still adore it. Every time I hear it my heart lifts and I feel like I’ve come home. However if I’m en route to an event I always play Meatloaf’s Bat Out of hell in the car. It’s the best album ever – and by the time I arrive at a function, I am flying high!’
8. Tweezers are a must
‘None of The Birds (the cast of Birds of A Feather) have had anything done, not Botox or anything like that. I can’t imagine anyone putting a needle anywhere near my face! But I could not live without a pair of tweezers. I dread to think how the world looked before they were invented. There must have been swarms of bearded ladies parading the planet, a terrifying thought!’
9. A little of what you fancy
‘And by that I mean cake. Everyone deserves the occasional sweet treat! Personally, I don’t follow any specific diet. But if I did something like the 5:2 makes sense to me (eating normally for five days and really watching what you eat on the other two). You have to be realistic. I’m so looking forward to performing at the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells and I happen to know there are some excellent tea rooms that sell excellent cake in that town!’
Lesley Joseph is performing in Annie at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tues 1 Mar to Sat 5 Mar 2016. Tickets are on sale now!