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Older and Bolder: My A-Z of surviving almost everything

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Los Angeles-based skydivers Pat and Alicia both hold multiple skydiving world records and between them have made almost 10,000 jumps.

He recently joined Leap, a San Francisco-based tech start-up which has just released a conversation app, set to transform the way people socialise online. Her quote “Remember that history is written by the survivors, be bolder as you grow older and make sure you float above any challenges that threaten to overwhelm you,” will resonate with all those who have had the privilege of meeting or working with her and the audiences of tens of millions who avidly placed their trust in her during a career spanning five decades.She has recently written her autobiography, which details her earlier life as an actress and dancer – and her first novel, In the Fast Lane, is shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize. In this easy to access A-Z, drawing on her own life experience and hard-earned wisdom, Dame Esther uses her combination of cheery humour, empathetic advice and frank taboo-breaking to provide a trusty handbook for all her fellow golden agers, who enjoy being the life the soul. Part of it is because from birth, society or people have expectations of how you should ‘be’ at a certain age.

Luck finding a husband who was my soulmate and then yet more luck having three children who are funny and loving and caring. In her regular contributions to political and news programmes, including The One Show, she especially advocates protecting vulnerable people and growing old ungracefully. It’s because there isn’t enough appropriate housing for them so that they can go home from hospital and stay safe. Rantzen is best known for being the presenter of the BBC’s That’s Life, a topical entertainment show, from 1973 to 1994.

It’s quite fun having children later in life – you’ve got your work ambitions out of the way and you don’t wish you could go out to dinner more often – you’ve done all of that. What to chuck and what to cherish as time goes by Dame Esther is a tireless campaigner for older people, and has been particularly vocal on the subject of loneliness. When you lose people that matter so much to you, you realise that loneliness is actually about loss. At their age, I was so very fortunate to shadow Esther Rantzen from her green room to live broadcast on BBC That’s Life and Hearts of Gold. Lotte began her writing career age 70 and has since written more than 20 children’s books, including the best-selling Lotte’s War.

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