When it comes to glamour modelling, Linda Lusardi is one of the originals. Having kick-started her career at the age of 18, some 30 years later the Page 3 star went on to land a role on ITV soap Emmerdale before turning her hand to TV presenting as a guest panellist on Loose Women.
It’s hard to believe the mum-of-two, who’s married to toyboy Sam Kane, 49, turns 60 this month, and here she tells us why their age gap doesn’t worry her and just how she keeps those wrinkles at bay…
For me, 60 is the new 40. I’m still dressing for my age but I’m wearing more slim-fitting stuff these days. I love Spanx – there’s nothing worse than a knicker line. This year I’ve embraced the fact I’m older and I don’t care as much what other people think. I’m just going to enjoy the 25 years I’ve got left.
My secret to looking fabulous at 60 is to do with my weight loss. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do pictures in my underwear three months ago because I was a stone overweight and I just didn’t feel very good about myself. I was 9st 10lb and that was too big for my frame, plus I had excess fat, which I didn’t like. I got myself back in shape by doing more exercise and using SlimFast as my slimming aid. I got rid of the stone I’ve been carrying for three years in about three weeks. As well as the shakes we’ve been having salmon salad or chicken salad, or maybe a small pasta. I’ve felt so much more energised.
My cancer scare changed my whole outlook on life. I thought, ‘I am going to live my life as healthy as I can.’ I had to wait four weeks not knowing what this great big lump was inside me. I went to the doctors to find out and Sam and I had said to each other, ‘In the next three minutes our whole lives could change completely.’ But, thank goodness, the lump was completely benign and I had it removed, along with a hysterectomy and everything is fine. However, it made me appreciate all those poor women and men that have cancer – it must be awful. None of us ever know what’s in the future but at the moment I’m fit and healthy and enjoying life.
Being nice to each other is how you keep a marriage going. We enjoy each other’s company – we’re the best of friends. We adore our children and we’re looking forward to getting really old and grey together. He’s the best man in the world. [Sam adds, ‘She’s perfect from head to toe. I’m the lucky one. I got the bonus in this relationship – I get to look at her all day!’]
I worried more about the age gap when we first got together because he was 26 and I was 36. I used to think, ‘Will he still fancy me when I’m 60 and he’s 50?’ and now that day has come and he does. [Sam adds, ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m her Dorian Gray portrait because she doesn’t change and I just keep getting older.’]
I’m overprotective and a worrier but I’m also an embarrassment to my children [Lucy, 22 and Jack, 19]. I don’t act my age – I’m always saying inappropriate things in front of their friends. They both still live at home and if they have friends round for a sing-song and a drink, I do have a few too many sometimes. Plus I’m always embarrassing them with stories from when they were young but then when I apologise they say to me, ‘We wouldn’t have you any other way!’
I often get asked for a selfie when I’m in the supermarket, but the strangest time I was sat on a public toilet. A piece of paper was pushed underneath the toilet door and someone said, ‘Can you sign that for me? I’m sorry to bother you while you’re on the loo but my train’s coming.’ It wasn’t toilet paper, it was proper paper. But they pushed a pen underneath too so I was able to sign it and push it back!
Strictly Come Dancing is definitely something that’s on my bucket list. Every time that there have been talks about me doing it, I’ve already been signed up for panto! I’m in Weston-Super-Mare this year. It always collides but should they come in early one year and ask. I would absolutely do it.