No toyboy for me! Body confident Gillian Taylforth, 56, wants to fall in love again… but with a man her own age
15:24 GMT, 2 June 2012
At 56, Gillian Taylforth has a figure that most women half her age would envy.
Yet despite being body- confident, the star has said that following her break-up with her boyfriend of 23 years Geoff Knights she's not looking for a toyboy to pass the time with.
The actress, who is most recognised for her role as Kathy Beale in EastEnders, has made it clear that while she is open to romance, she would prefer that it was with someone her own age.
Looking for someone her own age: Stunning Gillian Taylforth, 56, has said that she isn't interested in a toyboy following her break-up with boyfriend of 23 years Geoff Knights
'I couldn’t date a younger guy in case he thought it was like his mum,' she joked in an interview with the Mirror.
'I definitely haven’t given up on men.
I’d love to fall in love again. Why not You’re never too old for
romance but it would have to be someone very special.'
It seems Gilliam prefers to rely on strength in numbers on her nights out, and enjoys spending time with the girls.
'I can’t just go into a bar on my own like a man can and have a pint – I’d look like the Happy Hooker!' she quipped.
18-year engagement: Gillian and Geoff, who have two children together, broke up in 2009 after being engaged for 18 years
Gillian broke up with Geoff three years ago after an 18 year engagement. The pair have two children, Jessica, 20, and Harrison, 13, and despite a couple of arguments towards the end of their relationship had a quiet and civilised break-up in 2009.
Clearly the idea of marriage hasn't lost its appeal, as Gillian added: 'I find myself looking at dresses in bridal shops window and getting wistful. My friends keep teasing me about it.'
Gillian obviously does not share the same mindset as Melanie Sykes, 41, who was recently caught out sending a series of sexually explicit messages and pictures to her 26-year-old boyfriend Jack Cockings on Twitter.
Familiar face: Gillian is most-recognised for her role as Kathy Beale in EastEnders
The actress , who is currently touring the country with her new stage production Girls' Night, alongside her sister Kim, spoke to Closer magazine about how she stays in such incredible shape.
Gillian, who is 5ft 6in and weights 8st 6lb, says she credits the Zumba dance craze with helping her to stay slim.
Not for me: Melanie Sykes, 41, was recently caught out sending a series of sexually explicit messages and pictures to her 26-year-old boyfriend Jack Cockings on Twitter
She said: 'My weight used to hover around 9st, but since getting into Zumba, I’ve lost half a stone. I absolutely love it and do three or four classes a week.
'If I don’t exercise, I feel lethargic. I have a gym over my garage and, when the weather’s nice, I power walk in the park.'
But it's not all working out and healthy eating because she believes that a little of what you fancy does you good.
She said: 'I enjoy a tipple, but I don’t drink much during the week so I can enjoy a few glasses of wine over the weekend. And when I eat out I only have two courses.
'Sometimes, I’ll have a starter as a main so I can tuck into cheese and biscuits afterwards with a glass of port. I don’t believe in depriving myself!'
She added: 'When I became single it gave me the push to start looking after my body and get fitter. I wanted to look good for myself and boost my confidence.
'I wasn’t being myself and, as scary as it was, I knew it was time to move on. I’ve been out on a couple of dates and if I meet someone special, that’ll be lovely. But I’m loving doing my own thing.
'I’m having fun with the girls in the cast. And if I meet a guy on one of our nights out and he asks for my number, great. I’d go on a date – life’s too short not to!'