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Features

Choice is a thoroughly modern magazine but sometimes we look back at some of the events and ways of life that we all remember from our youth. There’s great features, too, on places, things to do and visit and interviews and profiles of women and men from our world.

Recent Articles

"We’re such country bumpkins”

It would be  easy to attribute Kate Humble’s television success to her wide, Julia Roberts smile and the glorious mane of unruly blonde curls that she constantly tosses back as we talk in her publisher’s London office. But it would also be unfair because Kate is a woman to be reckoned with.

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“I’m a restless person by nature”

David Essex arrives for our rendezvous in the lounge of a Covent Garden hotel, wrapped up against the icy December wind in a cashmere overcoat and peaked leather cap. As we start to talk, it seems almost incredible that this modest, quietly-spoken, 65 year-old is the same David Essex who, back in the Seventies, had to be protected from his adoring fans by policemen wielding dustbin lids.

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Hallowed hall of fame

Pictures: Clive Nicholls It's Eric Clapton’s favourite place to perform, the Queen actually owns the 20 seats in the Royal Box, and you’re just as likely to see John McEnroe playing tennis or 2000 people at a black-tie awards dinner as a rock concert, a symphony, opera or ballet.

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Still time for tearooms

Like an infusion of freshly brewed tea slowly permeating through the pot, the question gradually took shape on a visit to one of Britain’s great cities... Is the party over for the tearoom? All we had wanted was afternoon tea yet we couldn’t find a single tearoom in the city centre. Eventually we had to settle for the café in a well-known department store, where the food – but not the atmosphere – was a reasonable substitute.

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The Making of Les Mis

We're doing  a musical show... and it’s got Misérablés in the title. It’s got 29 onstage deaths... It’s largely about French history... there are no real dance routines, no tap shoes, no sequins, no fishnets, no staircase, no big stairs, no cowboys, no chimney sweeps, no witches, no wizards. Moreover, there’s virtually no advance at the box-office and it’s received thumbs-down reviews. How can it possibly succeed.”

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Toton Engineman Review

I first started to read Toton Engineman – The Autobiography of a Railwayman, published by our sister magazine Steam World, when I picked up a set of proofs in the office, writes Norman Wright. I was captivated. Then they were whisked away to the printer.

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Great garden getaways

One of spring’s greatest pleasures is a stroll around a beautiful garden. In a Choice special report, James Henry highlights some of the best to visit. Click Here to Continue Reading and Find out what they are Have you visited any of the gardens we mentioned? What's your favourite thing to do in Spring?  

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Dating in later Life

Addition Reporting by Kelleigh Bowen Dating can be invigorating and fun – whatever your age. However, it can also be a little daunting, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve done any. Things may have changed, the way people meet may have altered, but it’s never too late to give it a go.

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Stay at home mum and author re-ignite's her career

Overview Michelle Cunnah, 52, had been out of the workplace for 15 years after following her husband abroad and supporting his career which saw her living in the US and Netherlands for 15 years, bringing up their 2 young children. A part time author she was financially independent but when she recently returned to the UK she wanted to be a part of corporate life again and re-ignite her own career….

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Over 40s Named Most Successful Online Daters

New research by www.Older-Dating.co.uk , who analysed over 1 million online dating memberships, revealed that over 40s are 313% more committed to online dating than the under 40s, making time multiple times a day to log in to their dating site profile. Is it time for the Tinder Generation to take note of the Silver Surfers?  

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Scared to Shop!

More than a third (36%) of women over the age of 70 have stopped purchasing new clothes because they find the high street shopping experience ‘intimating'. 

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Men in Sheds

IT USUALLY starts off as a bit of a joke. “Where’s your dad?” “In his shed, of course.” The much-pummelled stereotype of the henpecked husband taking refuge in his shed – often fitted out with an easy chair, transistor radio and flask of tea – is as old as the hills.

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Getting older and disabled drivers behind the wheel

Since 1983 The Mobility Roadshow, organised by the charity Mobility Choice, has been helping to meet the nation’s mobility needs. From 26-28th May, this unmissable and popular event, incorporating Get Going Live! takes place for the first time at the iconic Silverstone Circuit.

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Guide for choosing clothes for older relatives

As women get older, our clothing needs change. Like it or not, we can’t slip into the same designs we grew up with and we need to find a greater balance of comfort and style. Unfortunately, many high street retailers get this wrong as their sizing and length proportions are skewed towards younger generations and there is a lack of choice in terms of attractive, yet comfortable styles.

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Martina Navratilova: "I Always Question Authority"

IT IS the afternoon of July 7, 1978 and, on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, the favourite, and world number one, Chris Evert is about to take on 21-year-old Martina Navratilova, a muscular, mousy-haired Czech who, just three years before, had defected to the United States, leaving behind her mother, sister and half-brother. For Martina it is the culmination of a childhood dream, of everything she has worked for, of everything she has sacrificed.

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Remembering the Heroic Olympians

When the Rio Olympics opens on August 5, it will be a glossy affair with plenty of millionaire, high-profile, professional athletes circling the track behind their national flags. There will be heaps of controversy, from the Zika virus to drug allegations, and most of us will be watching it all on pin-sharp high-definition TV.

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1966 and All That

What a wonderful year it was, to be young – or let’s be more specific, to be young and British. Of all the so-called Swinging Sixties, there’s surely no doubt which of them was the most colourful and creative and the one that brimmed over with sheer excitement at everything new. It has to be the year of 1966.

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"You never know what's round the corner"

HE MAY have published her first cookbook in 1970, and been on and off our television screens ever since, but Mary Berry had to wait until the age of 75 to be well and truly taken to the nation’s hearts.

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Thank you, Brewood

The year was 1939. It was Sunday, September 3 and I was eight years old. We had all been issued with gas masks, and each house was also given an Anderson shelter; this had to be partially buried in the garden, away from the house, and covered in soil. It had four slatted bunks, two either side, one above the other. The air-raid sirens had numerous tests, and were now silent. We knew that the next time they sounded it would be the signal that we were now at war with Nazi Germany. At 11am on this Sunday the sirens sounded – we were at war.

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Bradley Walsh "Variety is great for the soul"

Had the dice fallen rather differently Bradley Walsh could have carved out a career as a professional footballer. The actor, comedian and game show host is perhaps best-known for the long-running drama series Law & Order, for his stint in Coronation Street, and for hosting ITV1 quiz show The Chase, but at the age of 18 he had signed professional terms with Brentford FC. Ankle fracture injuries put paid to his dreams of soccer stardom, but Bradley already had his eyes on an alternative career.

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The Enduring Power of the Unknown Soldier

In the 11th month of every year, on Remembrance Sunday, the nation pays homage to its war dead. And rightly so… when even crowned heads are bowed, and thousands parade past in ever-greater numbers, then it’s an enduring and very public reaffirmation that sacrifices have not been forgotten across the generations.

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"Turning 60 can't be that bad!"Jennifer Saunders

IT IS the winter of 1980 and backstage at The Comic Strip, London’s trendiest hang-out, The Menopause Sisters are waiting to make their entrance.

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Make eating breakfast a resolution which sticks, with milk&more

The secret to turning a resolution into a habit lies in making it easy to maintain, and what could be more convenient than having your favourite breakfast essentials delivered directly to your door by your very own local milkman or woman? Experts agree that eating breakfast is an important part of a healthy lifestyle [1] , so adding it to your routine is definitely worthwhile.

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Peter Capaldi: "I like characters who are strange"

IT IS a mark of the extent Doctor Who has established itself at the heart of our national life that the announcement of a new actor to play the Time Lord now merits it’s own primetime show.

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Twiggy: "I thought the world had gone mad"

There are certain images that define an era, and Twiggy’s androgynous face, all short hair and eye lashes, peering out from the pages of Vogue in 1966, seemed to perfectly capture a time of personal liberation and sexual experimentation.

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All shook up...The day that Elvis died

Before there was Elvis Presley, there was nothing- so one of his ardent fans, John Lennon, once remarked. And after Elvis? When the King left the stage so abruptly, what did he leave behind? This summer it will be 40 years since he died and there's no questions, as the anniversary approaches, that Elvis in death is every bit the colossal star that he was in life. If anything, he's even bigger.

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I always think I'm going to get found out

TURNING ON your TV set in the early Eighties there was a good chance the first person you’d see was Peter Davison, be it as the ‘wet vet’ (Peter’s words) Tristram Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small, the bedsit dwelling Brian of Sink or Swim, or as the dashing fifth incarnation of Doctor Who. Such ubiquity has its drawbacks, however, and within ten years Peter was struggling to find work, mainly, he believes, because casting directors felt he had been over-exposed.

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Staffordshire Day

It’s a love of Staffordshire – and both have shared their top tips on the county as part of Staffordshire Day, an annual celebration of the county's greatness. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of these two famous sons of Staffordshire by discovering just why they love the county so much. Now in its second year, Staffordshire Day, which this year falls on 1 May 2017, features events, special offers and competitions.

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Monty Python: Something completely different

FOUR YEARS ago the Monty Python comedy troupe lost a legal case regarding royalties from the musical Spamalot, leaving them with in excess of £800,000 in legal fees. However, their loss turned out to be a dream come true for comedy fans. To foot the bill the remaining Pythons decided to reunite for a live one-off show (later extended to ten) at the O2 arena in 2014.

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The world of Parry Ray

Parry Ray is a singer-songwriter and interpreter with an incredibly varied musical palette.

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Nicole Kidman "Children are the joy of my life"

for Eleven years, as one half of Hollywood's foremost golden couple, Nicole Kid,an lived in the eye of the storm. She handled it better than most, but becoming one of the most famous women in the world came at the rice of her privacy. Today, moments away from the glare of the spotlight are precious, and Nicole's idea of a perfect weekend is a sing song round the piano with friends, or spending time at home with her young family.

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Hank Marvin: “Meeting Cliff changed my life”

Hank Marvin has always been the most unlikely of rock guitar heroes.

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The Beatles: It was 50 years ago...

It is the Christmas of 1966, and The Beatles are assembling at the Abbey Road recording studios in North London the work on their next LP.

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Queen Elizabeth: Happy and Glorious

It is a sobering thought that many people reaching retirement age this year were not even born when the Queen ascended the throne on February 6, 1952. Quite simply, for most of us, she has always been there, a reassuring presence through times of personal and national joy and tragedy.

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Death of a Princess

In those strange days after Princess Diana died, while the shock of her death still engulfed and stunned the country, and unfathomable question was already being asked... What memories of her would remain, in the years to come? It had been a short and turbulent public life, roller-soaring towards its dramatic end on that summer night in Paris, and she had been cast in so many different roles.

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"I feel like the unluckiest person in the world."

Mum in her 30s speaks out about realities of life with a 75% chance of Alzheimer's With odds of over one in 600 million, Sarah's parents have both been struck down with Alzheimer's due to a rare gene The average person stands a higher chance of winning the lottery 48 times than having two parents with the familial Alzheimer's gene

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Worried about being worried?

If there's one thing we post 50s do better than the young, it's worry. If anxiety was an Olympic Sport, the UK team would almost certainly comprise 50 to 54 year olds (22 percent feel anxious/depressed) and over 80s (20 percent feel anxious/depressed) This is no laughing matter, of course, as anxiety not only diminishes enjoyment of life, but is strongly linked to a wide range of health problems. Crossing the line

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What a Carry On!

Last year it was announced that two new Carry On films were in the pipeline, Carry On Campus and Carry On Doctors; neither, however , seems to have progressed beyond the 'wouldn't be a good idea if...' stage. And that is probably for the best, since the Carry Ons were very much of their time- as the makers of the abysmal 1992 Carry On Columbus discovered to their cost.

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Do you remember? Apple Records

By the middle of 1967, The Beatles were at a creative and commercial peak, with the Sgt Pepper album topping the album chart, and All You Need is Love perfectly capturing the spirit of the Summer of Love.

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Craig Revel Horwood: "I don't care what people say about me"

He is Strictly’s pantomime villain, the judge the audiences love to hate, and was once memorably described, by Julian Clary, as “a vindictive old queen”, but Craig Revel Horwood rather enjoys playing the baddie in the long-running Saturday night staple.

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Puffin photos help to tackle decline of the 'clowns of the sea'

The RSPB's Project Puffin has taken the first steps in solving the mystery of why some puffin colonies in the UK are in dramatic decline after scientists analysed more than 1400 photos sent in by the public, helping them to build a better picture of what these seabirds are feeding their chicks.

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Love Your Gut Week Recipes

Nutritionist and cook Dr Joan Ransley has created four delicious gut healthy recipes so you can re-set your gut health for the rest of the year and beyond.

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Emilia Fox: "I've learnt to find my own voice"

Born into an acting dynasty, it seemed predestined that Emilia Fox would also enter the profession.

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Gary Oldman: "Acting is an antidote to self hatred"

It is surely a testament to his versatility that Gary Oldman's cinema career is bookended by his portrayal of two very different British icons, Sid Vicious and Winston Churchill. His role as Churchill in the recent film Darkest Hour has rightly earned him plaudits and multiple awards, and he won an Oscar for best actor at last month's award ceremony. Not bad for the son of a welder whose first job, after leaving school at 16, was to work in a Peckham sports shop.

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Blue Peter: Here's one they made earlier

For 60 years the distinctive strains of Barnacle Bill have meant only one thing for children across the generations, it’s time for Blue Peter.

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London's other underground

Once you're inside the new battery-powered train- one or two based on original designs- a transparent canopy is secured over your head. It's a bit like boarding a fairground roller-coaster and there's a similar sense of anticipation. As you set off at a maximum speed of 7.5mph, the tunnel walls with their limescale stalactites re within touching distance. (It;s much slower than the original trains, which averaged 40mph and could get from Paddington to Whitechapel in 20 minutes.)

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Petula Clark: "I make the most of every moment"

At the age of 85 you would think Petula Clark had earned the right to take life easy. Not so. Last year she embarked on her first solo tour of the United States and released a new album, Living for Today, that reunited her with composer tony Hatch, It was Hatch who, more than 50 years ago, supplied Petula with perhaps her most recognisable hit, Downtown.

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Headphones with a built in hearing test

Following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in March 2017 where the funding goal was reached in just 15 hours, stretch goals were exceeded, and more than $460,000 was raised, Audeara is pleased to announce the availability of the world’s first full fidelity headphones with an in-built hearing test. The Audeara headphones not only protect users’ ears but they deliver a supreme, catered sound like no other headphone on the market.

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Ringo Starr "I'm learning to handle life"

When John Lennon was murdered, on December 8, 1980 Ringo Starr took the first available flight to New York so taht he oculd comfort his old friend's widow, Yoko Ono, and their young son, Sean.

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How to get the best night's sleep, every night

Getting a good night’s sleep is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Assuming that you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night, you spend a whopping 229,961 hours (roughly 1/3 of your life) tucked up in bed. In countless studies of humans and animals, researchers have identified that sleep plays a critical role in the body’s immune system, metabolism, memory, learning, heart rate and other vital functions, in order to support an active and healthy lifestyle.

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How to Earn Money by Working from Home

Making money has long been associated with leaving the house. In recent years, digitalization has allowed make working from home possible. You may be wondering, "Is it really possible to make money from home?" Whether you are a stay-at-home mum or a recent retiree, there is an opportunity for everyone to earn an income without leaving the house. Tutoring

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Nana Mouskouri "Music brings me peace, love and hope"

Eleven years ago Choice interviewed the international singing star Nana Mouskouri as she prepared for the final stages of what had been a three-year farewell tour.

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Bill roache "It's a real privilege to make people happy"

At the age of 86, Bill Roache could be forgiven for thinking he’d earned the right to swap the daily traumas of the longest-running soap character in history for some armchair and slippers downtime at his home in Cheshire.

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John Lennon & Yoko Ono: 'Imagine'

Official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ThIhgBloqN0 Music fans will be celebrating this September, as John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Imagine hits the big screen. Including previously unreleased cinema-exclusive bonus material, restored footage, remixed, remastered and immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack mix, it’s a unique opportunity to witness Imagine like you’ve never seen or heard it before!

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Bognor and other Regises

Written in an amusing, accessible style, Bognor and Other Regisesputs the spotlight on some of Britain’s quirkiest royals and uncovers fascinating facts and anecdotes about them all. Right through from Ethelred the Unready to Elizabeth II, from the Isle of Skye to Glastonbury Abby, Caroline taps into the nation’s fascination with royalty past and present.

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Do you remember? UFO

Although had made his name with a string of successful puppet-based shows, including Fireball XL5, Stingray and the iconic Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson had always wanted to work with real actors, emulating the Hollywood directors he had admired ever since he was a boy.

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Women in WW1

60% of women and 53% of men think women did not contribute as industrial workers in WW1, when in fact women played an essential role in keeping factories (and the country!) running during the war. This is what research from Ancestry, the world’s largest family history site, found recently. We want to help change that stereotype and raise awareness of the inspiring stories about women that carried out remarkable duties on the home front

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Suzi Quatro: "I've always been a rocker at heart"

Even down a telephone line from her home in deepest Essex Suzi Quatro fairly crackles with energy. At the age of 68, and with her Detroit accent intact, despite living in England for more than 40 years, she is buzzing with life, eager to tell me about her latest project – writing an album with KT Tunstall – and forthcoming Legends Live tour, headlining a bill that also includes David Essex, Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, Smokie and Showaddywaddy.

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Rabble: The Movement keeping you fit and making you money!

Jason Grant is 32 and a Rabble Instructor in Dundee. Previously a successful account manager working for a large corporation and running a sales team of twelve reps he’s now swapped the board room and nights in four star hotels for working running life changing group exercise sessions which make participants happy and fit.

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Oldie of the Year 2019

The Oldie Magazine’s annual awards - The Oldie of the Year (or ‘TOOTY’ for short) - returned on Tuesday 29th January in a lunch time ceremony which celebrated the best of the older generation. Celebrity guests gathered for a three-course lunch at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand followed by a tongue in-cheek ceremony during which the nation’s favourite Oldies received an eclectic array of awards ranging from reverent to ridiculous. 

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Steve Coogan"The most radical thing I can do is talk about love"

It is a perennial curse of comedians that making people laugh is somehow not enough for them; that they need to be ‘taken seriously’ as actors or directors. Woody Allen is an obvious case in point.

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Pressures of the sandwich generation

We speak to Carolyn Knight, whose mother Marlin was struggling to cope in her own home. A nasty fall forced them to make a difficult decision about Marlin’s future – something they both feel has been incredibly positive and has given them that precious mother and daughter time back. Marlin now lives at Sanctuary Care’s Watlington and District Nursing Home in Oxfordshire and Carolyn talks about her experience of moving a loved one into a nursing home.

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Want to live the (Feel)Good Life? Move to Watford

• Burnham has the most amount of daredevils, whilst Exeter’s residents are most safety conscious according to statistics analysed by behavioural scientist Ivo Vlaev from Warwick Business School • Zopa has created a personality test to see which UK town would be best for you to live in dependent on the level of risk you take

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1969: The Year The Dream Died

1969 was the hangover after the Sixties party, a time to reflect on where the decade had taken us, but also to retrench and acknowledge that many of the hopes and ideals of the previous few years had come to nothing.

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Ruth Wilson "Audience's don't know who I really am"

She may be one of our most gifted actresses but Ruth Wilson can be a nightmare for would-be profile writers She has rarely spoken about rumoured relationships with co-stars Jude Law, Jake Gyllenhaal or Joshua Jackson and spurns social media, which is actually rather refreshing in our media-saturated age, when the very definition of celebrity has become so debased as to be almost meaningless.

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How to Maintain Your Independence in the Kitchen

Photo credit: Shutterstock - https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/happy-senior-husband-wife-prepare-healthy-1207104181

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Cosyfeet Community Award 2019

Tom (16), showing Chris, a retired local resident, how to use a tablet Cosyfeet, the company that makes extra roomy footwear for swollen feet, offers an annual Community Project Award of £750. It’s available to registered charities or not-for-profit organisations working on community projects within Britain that support and enrich older people’s lives.

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Alexander Armstong: "My family is my priority"

Almost by accident Alexander Armstrong and his ‘Pointless friend’ Richard Osman have become kings of teatime TV. Their quiz show, Pointless, has become a ratings success almost despite itself, and has been running since 2009, with more than 1200 editions screened to date. Even the Queen is a fan.

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Claire Foy "I didn't get life until I was 32"

It is quite a leap from playing the much-loved Queen of England to a paranoid mentally-ill patient or a ruthless dysfunctional assassin, but Claire Foy, an actress whose time seems to have come at last, was anything but phased by these recent abrupt changes of role; quite the reverse in fact.

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Current Issue

November 2019

Profile: Graham Nash

Special: Cheltenham and the Royal Forest

Your Money and Your Rights

Nostalgia: 50 years of Tommy

Keep your data safe

Natural pain relief

Palace of the printed word

Countdown to retirement

Gourmet bangers and mash

SAVE on luxury winter breaks