My haven: Rosemary Conley, the fitness queen, recovers from the rigours of Dancing On Ice in the lounge of her Georgian home
Home sweet home: Rosemary Conley in the elegant drawing room of her Georgian mansion in Leicestershire
1 PRAISE THE LORD
In 1986 I saw this Christian book called Power For Living being
promoted by Sir Cliff Richard in a magazine, so I sent off for it. I was
at a very low point – ill in hospital, winding up a business, with a
failed marriage and a broken engagement. I read it and became a
Christian – and my life changed.
Two days later I proposed to my husband
Mike, and my career took off. I've met Cliff since and even taught
workouts at his charity tennis days.
2 AUNTIE'S JUG
When I was eight I was so ill with asthma I wasn't expected to reach
ten. So my mother took me to South Africa to live with my Auntie Gwyn
for a few weeks in the hope the climate would help.
I loved it there,
but I still ended up in hospital for three months when I came back to
In 1989, I went back to see my aunt when I was on a book tour,
and she gave me this little jug as a memento. I've treasured it ever
3 TO THE RESCUE
Mike and I found our lovely lurcher whippet cross starving and wandering
the streets near the canal at Melton Mowbray several years ago. We
think she was an abandoned traveller's dog.
As soon as I called her she
jumped into my car. We were in Austria for my 60th when Mike said we
could keep her, so we called her Waise, which is Austrian for 'orphan'.
Now she comes to work with me every day and sleeps on the sofa.
4 BEST BIRTHDAY
This photo album brings back memories of my 60th five years ago. I was
dreading it, but it was the best birthday ever.
Mike and my daughter
Dawn took me to see The Sound Of Music with Connie Fisher, where we sat
in the Royal Box. Then they took me on a surprise trip to Salzburg to
tour all the places where the film was made. I'm 65 now, but doing
Dancing On Ice has made me feel like I'm 25 again!
5 DAD'S LESSON
This is a picture of my dad, taken when
he was in his 80s and already had Alzheimer's.
He passed away several
years ago now, but I learned a lot about business from him. He was a
hosiery manufacturer who lost everything when people went bankrupt on
him. But he took a loan to pay off his debts rather than go bankrupt
Now I never buy anything unless I can afford it. It's too easy
for people to go bankrupt.
6 PRINCE CHARMING
I keep my CBE here to remind me of one of
the most nerve-racking but incredible days of my life when I met Prince
You have to walk backwards after you've received it, which is
really difficult in high heels. But the Prince has this terrific knack
of making you feel you're the only person in the room.
I told him
everyone should be as active as him, and he revealed he only ate one
meal a day… in the evening.
Rosemary’s book The Secrets Of Staying Young, Century Hardback, 20. Dancing On Ice, ITV1, tomorrow, 6.10pm.