JANET STREET-PORTER: I box, swim and play tennis, but my toughest opponent is age

JANET STREET-PORTER: I box, swim and play tennis, but my toughest opponent is age

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 12 August 2012


Dream body: British athlete Jessica Ennis

Dream body: British athlete Jessica Ennis

Yesterday, I got up early to swim off the Kent coast. Couch potato Britain was still surfacing from gorging on Team GB’s victories the night before, washed down with jumbo bags of chips, buckets of nuts, a vat of vino and crates of beer.

A couple of bare-chested dog walkers loafed past, baggy shorts straining over rounded midriffs, bronzed moobs glistening in the early morning sun. A depressingly familiar sight.

Let’s be honest, these Olympics won’t change us into a nation of active go-getters overnight. The sport we excel in is that of spectator. We could win medals for flag-waving, cheering and partying. Forget discipline, denial and arduous training.

Most kids aren’t going to turn off TOWIE to spend hours getting a body like Jessica Ennis. Most young people don’t connect the euphoric atmosphere of winning and high achievement with early morning starts, restricted diets and punishing training routines.

Cameron’s big ‘new’ idea of reintroducing competitive sport at schools is another Tory pipedream. He went to a posh school where sport was compulsory, and where there were winners and losers.

Most of us just want to be winners, and sod the alternative.

A generation now exercises just one part of their body regularly: their thumbs, pressing a button on a phone or computer game.

I come from another era, when you could try all sorts of sports at school and we played rounders in the park every night. /08/13/article-2187487-148597CB000005DC-936_306x678.jpg” width=”306″ height=”678″ alt=”Laying down the law: Anthea Turner reportedly wants her husband Grant Bovey to apologise for cheating on her in a TV interview” class=”blkBorder” />

Laying down the law: Anthea Turner reportedly wants her husband Grant Bovey to apologise for cheating on her in a TV interview

Anthea Turner wants her cheating husband Grant Bovey to make amends by grovelling in a TV interview.

After being accused of having an affair with a 24-year-old, Grant, who is 50, left the family home to stay in their chalet in France, claiming he’s entirely innocent and that there’s been no hanky-panky with his young friend.

Whatever the truth, if Anthea wants to save her marriage, trial by telly won’t mend a relationship.
Mind you, this couple do seem to have some strange ideas about publicity.

Their wedding was sold to a gossip magazine for 250,000, and they were happy to be photo-graphed munching a Cadbury’s chocolate bar at the event — although they denied that they were paid to do so.

Since property speculator Grant was declared bankrupt in 2010, Andrea has been commuting to Canada to present a TV series and support the family.

Having appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, perhaps Anthea is devising a new reality show based on her current predicament.

Personally, I’d stick all his belongings in the garage and move on.

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Ninety MPs have never worked in the
real world outside politics — four times as many as 20 years ago. So
Louise Mensch seemed a breath of fresh air when she was elected MP for
Corby and East Northamptonshire in 2010.

A former music publicist and
successful chick-lit novelist, Louise quickly showed where her
real skills lay — promoting herself. Photographed in a prim blouse with a
big handbag for one magazine, and in a dominatrix leather skirt for
another, she claimed her role model was Margaret Thatcher — but would
Maggie have dumped her constituents after so short a time in order to
spend time with her family

Louise has announced she is stepping
down to live with her rock manager husband in New York, whereas Maggie
put her career before everything, and Denis and the kids had to fit in.

When I spoke at a meeting of women in
politics earlier this year, Louise was also on the panel. She didn’t
seem to have too many friends among the sisterhood.

Finally, youth unemployment in Corby,
her constituency, has risen by more than 80 per cent in the past year.
Clearly, Louise Mensch has more pressing issues on her mind.

Stepping down: Conservative Party politician Louise Mensch is moving to New York

Stepping down: Conservative Party politician Louise Mensch is moving to New York

Is it common to have a real suntan All the middle-class Brits on my plane home from Bologna this weekend were so white they were pale blue … which did nothing for their slightly chubby legs, squishy upper arms and the odd varicose vein. I might resemble an old leather handbag, but at least I look healthy.

For years now, we’ve been told tanning is sinful, and the only tan that’s acceptable is fake. Anyone who spends time on a sunbed is considered naff, and using a suntan lotion with a sun protection factor of less than 50 is completely unacceptable.

Pale chic is definitely a class thing.