Carol Vorderman talks to Gaby Huddart about friends, family and being judged for wearing tight-fitting frocks.

Carol, 51, best known for co-hosting Countdown for 26 years, is now a co-anchor of ITV1 chat show Loose Woman, as well as the presenter of The Pride of Britain Awards. Away from TV, Carol runs themathsfactor.com, an online maths school  for primary school-age children. She has also written maths, Sudoku and detox diet books. Twice divorced and recently out of a long-term relationship, Carol lives in Bristol with her children, Katie, 19, and Cameron, 15.

Description: Carol vorderman

“Since I turned 50, I’ve had the best year of my life, and I now throw as much effort into the social side of my life as I do work”

My Style, My Way


Description: Carol Vorderman looks stunning at the Pride of Britain Awards

Carol Vorderman looks stunning at the Pride of Britain Awards

I have always been pigeonholed, right from when I was first on TV. When I was on Countdown, I was seen as the “nerdy” one, and the way I had to dress was quite conservative – that was the style of the show.

Now the pigeonhole I’m put into has changed, and I sometimes get absolutedly slated, particularly for what I wear. It’s like when I recently wore a tight-fitting dress to The National Television Adwards, the reaction in the press was quite hysterical.

To be honest, I can’t help thinking, if I can cause that much fuss at my age for wearing a dress, well, fabulous! But I didn’t wear it to create a stir – I chose that dress because I think it’s a nice dress. In my private life, I’ve always liked tight-fitting outfits. I’ve never felt the need to conform in what I wear – or anything else.

Some of the things I’ve worn look great and some don’t, but does it matter? I’m not harming anybody, I’m not doing anything wrong, I’m not stripping off – I’m just going out and having a good time. How can that be a bad thing?

I’m way past the point of caring what anyone says about me. But I do think people can be quite judgemental. I find it quite funny because I would never judge anybody else for what they wear. I thought “I don’t like that dress”, I wouldn’t suddently draw conclusions about that person’s morality.

I don’t work really hard with my looks, but I do try to eat well. I’ve just done a three-week detox to shed a bit of weight, My problem is that I’ve been socializing quite a lot with friends recently. And then what happens, when I get tired, is that I start eating things that I wouldn’t normally crave, like biscuits, because they’ll give me a bit of energy to keep going.

I haven’t weighed myself for 12 years, but I know from my clothes I’ve gone up a dress size. It’s so easy to do – and I don’t regret it because I’ve been having a great time! But I do know it’s time to take myself in hand now.

I’m planning a little rejuvenation for myself this year. I want to fix the things that need fixing, I’m quite lazy, but I do want to get fit and start going to the gym. And I’m about to have my eyes lasered because I’m fed up with wearing glasses.

There’s all this stuff out there, so I’m thinking go for it! There are machines that can get rid of your cellulite, so I want to do that. And my friend has just had a machine that has worked on her neck and tightened the elasticity of the skin. You just need a day off work afterwards, so I’m thinking, why not?

I’m a bit frightened of the idea of a full facelift because, when you look in the mirror, you want to look like yourself. But I’ll get little things done; I might have an eyelift if I feel I need one in the future, and the lasers that smooth your skin – I’m comfortable with the idea of trying all that.

HRT and me don’t get on. About two years ago, I had a form of HRT and went up a whole dress size in a week, so I stopped it immediately. It’s all about finding what works for you. I take a lot of supplements – fish oil and other things – and they keep me felling good.

I’m a Fan of W&H

I love the way w&h celebrates woman and their diversity. It doesn’t criticize women for not fitting a particular pigeonhole. It’s full of new experiences and things to do – I’m all for that. A magazine that embraces and encourages women – bravo!

Single Life


Description: Carol Vorderman, Woman & Home

Carol Vorderman, Woman & Home

I am now single – firmly single – and loving it. I’ve found it suits me. I don’t know if I’ll ever settle down again; I certainly can’t envisage ever getting married again. It’s quite funny, people’s reactions to you when you’re single. I think some people think “poor thing, she must be looking for someone”. Er, no – I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

My track record with relationships isn’t great. I got married for the first time when I was 24 and, really, I knew from before we got married that it wouldn’t work. We were too young.       

I had a very good second marriage. We loved each other very much, and for a long time were happy. I suppose we had outgrown each other. It happens, sadly, but life moves on. It’s so important to work at being civil to each other afterwards, though, for the sake of the children and for your own inner peace.

If I could change anything, I wish I could live my forties again because I’d have done somethings very differently, which would have had a big effect. If I had my time again, I wouldn’t spend the time that I did with certain people.

My girlfriends are so important. There are about ten of us who hang out together in Bristol. We go walking a lot, drink coffee, do lots of talking. Sometimes we have a bit of booze and just laugh our drawers off! Particularly when my mum’s with us round the table, we can end up crying with laughter – she’ll forget to wear her hearing aid and misinterpret some of the things we’re talking about, which is very funny.

My best friend Mandy and her two teenage boys are about to move in with me. It’ll make life easier for her because she lives out of town and her husband is away with the army in Afghanistan. I’ve known her for five years – we met when I moved to Bristol, as our boys are at the same school. She’s an extraordinary person and I’m so proud of her – she’s just had her first novel, Poppy Day, published.

I’m with my mother everyday and we’re very close. She’s 84 now and living in a flat near me in Bristol. She’s a great role model – her positive outlook on life is amazing. Even when I was a child – my father left us when I was three weeks old – and we were very, very poor, she was always happy; the glass was haft full.

We’re ridiculously close as a family. My sister Trixie, who’s ten years older than me, live in north Wales but comes down to stay about a week each month, and we text and email all the time.

I’m very proud of my brother Anton, who’s seven yeas older than me and lives in Holland. He was born with a cleft palate and double cleft lip, and has had to endure 24 operations over the years. He has never once complained and has put his time and knowledge into helping others. He established the European Cleft Organisation and puts money into it, providing so much help to those in Eastern European countries. It’s because of Anton that I support the Cleft Lip & Palate Association here – it’s a tiny charity but so important.

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