women

Motherhood

As a mother, I’d describe myself as very relaxed. But I think I can be like that, as I laid the boundaries when the kids were young – they were very clear about what they could and couldn’t do, and the importance of being polite. But within the boundaries, there has always been a lot of love and laughter.

The two of them are so different. Cameron is very funny. He wants to be a comedian, and is very engaging and tries to make you laugh. Even walking into the room he’ll do it in a funny way

Description: Carol Vorderman and her daughter Katie King

Carol Vorderman and her daughter Katie King

Katie is much more academic and is studying physics at Cambridge. I think it’s quite hard for her generation. She’s obviously going to be a carrer woman and we have discussions about when it’s right to have children and that sort of thing. It’s so difficult for them to know if they should have their kids young and go back to their carrer – but will it be there for them? – or whether to wait until later, which has its own difficulties. I think there’s a tremendous pressure on woman rising up the carrer ladder now, in a way there wasn’t in the past.

I’m careful not to overindulge the children. Yes, I can provide well for them but I don’t give to them endlessly – money or gifts or whatever. I don’t think that’s helpful. It’s my belief that happiness comes from appreciating things and working for things.

I have never lived on my own and wouldn’t want to. I must say, I’m not looking forward to the empty nest the day Cameron moves out. Luckily, they do tend to stay with you a bit longer these days, don’t they? I’m happy by myself for a day and can just about stretch to 36 hours but no more.

Working Life

 

Description: Carol Vorderman showed off her enviable curves

Carol Vorderman showed off her enviable curves

I’ve always had a strong work ethic, though the reasons why I work have changed. In my twenties I had to work, we had no money. My mum left my stepfather and was living in digs in Windsor, and I was living in digs, so we bought this house together in Leeds. I had to work because I had to pay the mortgage.

Now, working hard is just part of me and who I am, though I’m not doing the crazy hours as I used to. 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 – more so now than ever before. I’m not talking about wild parties, but about spending time with friends. In the past I used to just work, and now I think I’ve found a balance.

When I got booted off Countdown, I didn’t like not working. I had a couple of years when I was sitting in my office – I set up The Maths Factor business and was working on books, but I didn’t have the telly thing going on. I was so lucky to have been at Countdown with Richard Whiteley for so many brilliant years, and I really missed the buzz of it.

I’m so thrilled that Loose Woman is working because it’s the only show that I have loved in that same way that I loved Countdown with Richard. I feel completely alive when I’m doing it. The format of the show allows you to get excited and be yourself, and I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to do it.

The name of the show is ironic, so I had no concerns about that. My only qualms before I joined were the fact that I hadn’t done a show like it before. But I’d met Denise Welch and Sally  Lindsay before and knew I’d get on with them.

We don’t all have the same opinions, but we all get on. We all say a topic is boring and bland if we all have the same opinion. It’s good when we feel strongly about things and then we can have a right old ding-dong. But it’s never personal – we come away from the table and it’s fine.

Loose Woman is really like a second family – and that is what I missed terribly after Countdown. I’d be very disappointed if I wasn’t on it for some time – at least a few years. We have such a laugh with the crew – a lot of northerners work on it, people who used to work at Granada and Yorkshire TV who are now in London, so there’s that same sense that I felt for 26 years at Countdown in Leeds, which is lovely.

I still love learning new things, and that’s why I have so enjoyed working with the Government over the past couple of years. It was very flattering to be asked to lead the maths task force, and I’m so pleased our report has been formally welcomed. We took a new look at the maths education system in the UK and a lot of our recommendations are now being seriously considered.

It’s so important to get this right and it’s likely that our key recommendations will come to pass: compulsory maths to the age of 18 in some form or another and the introduction of two different maths GCSEs to meet the needs of different children. I’m still actively involved with it all and am looking forward to seeing it through.

Downtime

 

Description: Carol Vorderman - Arse Compilation - Loose Women Jan/Feb 2012

Carol Vorderman - Arse Compilation - Loose Women Jan/Feb 2012

My favourite way to relax? That’s easy: I will always watch Coronation Street. I don’t watch much telly but I watch the news and Coronation Street, and love it.

I also get enormous pleasure from where I live. Every day I get a sense of unbounded joy when I walk out of my house and see the Clifton Suspension Bridge with all the lights on – it’ll be slightly drizzly but I just think “oh man, that is amazing”.

“I’m so thrilled that Loose Women is working because it’s the only show I’ve loved in the way that I loved Countdown with Richard”

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