Belfast Telegraph

I love my job and have no intention of retiring, says Gloria Hunniford (79)

Gloria Hunniford has no plans to retire just yet
Gloria Hunniford has no plans to retire just yet

By David O'Dornan

Television presenter Gloria Hunniford has said she has no intention of retiring, even though she is approaching 80.

And the Portadown-born star added that she will never stop talking about late daughter Caron as it keeps her memory alive and said her love for her grandkids helps keep her going.

Gloria (79), said: "What's my secret? I love to keep busy. I enjoy pretty good health, too, and that is everything as you get older.

"Yes, of course, I'd rather be 50. Who wouldn't? But I don't dwell on it and I don't feel or act the age I am. I'm lucky that I've always had lots of natural energy.

"Retiring is not even at the bottom of the agenda. I do understand women wanting to retire if they have a boring or difficult job, but I love it.

"I have worked since I was seven and I've always had a strong work ethic. I think I inherited it from my parents growing up in Northern Ireland.

"Every day I see different things and meet a huge variety of people. I feel like I learn something new every day. I am very fortunate.

"I love being on Loose Women. I love all the girls and the differences in our ages and opinions. That's the strength of the programme."

Gloria, who also hosts BBC1 series Rip Off Britain, lost her daughter Caron to breast cancer aged 41 in 2004.

She said: "I love to talk about her and I think of her constantly. I love the expression, 'People never die if they live on the lips of the living.'

"My dad used to say, 'Enjoy your life one day at a time,' so I try and appreciate every moment."

She and second husband Stephen Wray have 10 grandchildren between them and she revealed that she is particularly close to Caron's sons Charlie (25) and Gabriel (22).

She explained: "Being a grandmother is one of the most joyous things that could have happened to me. I just adore them.

"I see so much of Caron in them. My granny used to say, 'You see the spirit, and it travels with you', and I used to think, 'What is she talking about?' But I see it now in the boys, in their sense of humour and wickedness when playing pranks, all of that.

"When Caron died, Gabriel was like a little scared rabbit in the headlights, bless him, he was only seven, and Charlie was 10.

"Now Gabriel is six foot five and full of it. Charlie is just as tall and marvellous. I'm at my best when I see them, because they are such great fun.

"I think they like it when we get them tickets to events and things like that, but they just take it as read. All their family - their mum, their dad - everybody's been involved in the business one way or another."

Gloria was awarded an OBE for her charity work through The Caron Keating Foundation she set up in memory of her daughter, which helps breast-screening services nationwide.

Belfast Telegraph


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