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The things these 10 celebrities would like to tell their younger selves...

Not comparing yourself to others, living your own life and starting a family earlier are just some of them. Gabrielle Fagan finds out more

Julia Bradbury
Julia Bradbury
Mariella Frostrup
Ollie Ollerton
Professor Green
Gemma Atkinson

A New Year is a time for looking back as well as looking forward - to reflect on past experiences and on those yet to come. We asked 10 celebrities to tell us the wisdom they have learnt and the advice they would like to have given themselves when they were growing up ...

Julia Bradbury (49), TV presenter

"I would say to my younger self, 'Don't dye your hair when you're a teenager!' Why on earth do we all want to bleach our hair when we're young?

"It's so crazy, because we have the best hair we're ever going to have, thick, silky and shiny, which definitely doesn't need dying, but you do.

"Me and my best friend at school, Abbie, bleached one another's hair.

"We got one of those hair caps and pulled the strands through, and we ended up looking like leopards with peroxide."

Deborah Meaden (60), entrepreneur and investor on BBC Two's Dragon's Den

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"Do what you did all over again. Do the same things, make the same mistakes, get the same things right, have the highs, have the lows. I'd tell myself to 'live your own life' because that's pretty much what I have done - that's my independence. I've just got on with it, lived my life and that's all you can do."

Mariella Frostrup (57), TV and radio presenter

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Mariella Frostrup
 

"Just relax and it will all work out in the end. I think there's a huge pressure, especially on young people today, and the world can feel like a negative environment when you're young, but actually, it's really not as bad as it's made out to be.

"I'd say, 'Recognise life is full of possibility' - so have resilience and a bit of courage to make the most of it."

Anna Williamson (38), TV presenter and relationship coach on E4's Celebs Go Dating

"Don't worry - it will all be alright. I spent far too much time worrying.

"Also, don't feel you have to be anyone or anything you're not. Don't measure yourself against anyone else, don't compare yourself, just find your own path in life, and that will be enough. I think I'd tell myself not to have worn a couple of things - I made some very questionable fashion choices - but I've hidden the photos, so that's alright!"

Ollie Ollerton (48), former UK Special Forces soldier and presenter on Channel 4's SAS: Who Dares Wins

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Ollie Ollerton
 

"Believe in yourself, follow your dreams and don't allow the naysayers to put you off with negativity.

"Go for what you want, take action to make those hopes and aims come true, and never stop dreaming."

Natasha Kaplinsky (47), TV presenter

"Have babies earlier. I was so focused on my career, I almost forgot to have children, and obviously they are the best thing that's ever happened to me. If I'd realised how amazing it was to be a mum, I might've been tempted to have more, but regard myself as so lucky to have my children Arlo (11), and Angelica (9)."

Professor Green (36), musician and TV personality

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Professor Green
 

"Nothing really, because if I'd known the things I know now, it would have robbed me of all the experiences I've had, even the hardest lessons and the worst mistakes I've made, which I think were necessary to learn and grow through.

"I think I'd just say, 'Carry on and do your best', that's all anyone can do at the end of the day."

John Challis (77), actor, who's touring in 2020 with one-man theatre show, Only Fools And Boycie, based on his role in Only Fools And Horses

"Concentrate more, particularly at school. I only focused on the subjects I liked, like drama and English, and ignored the rest. I would have gained a lot of knowledge that I've had to pick up randomly as I've gone through life."

Gemma Atkinson (35), actress

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Gemma Atkinson
 

"Don't worry so much about things you can't change. In life, bad things will happen to you, but if you aren't responsible for them and can't change them, don't waste time on them. I used to worry about things that had passed or things I'd said, and I think 'I shouldn't have said that or I shouldn't have done this'. Now, I think 'Just move on'."

Pam Ayres (72), poet and comedian, whose new book Up In The Attic is published by Ebury Press

"Goodness, the list of things I'd tell myself would be as long as your arm! The main thing would be to 'recognise and value how creative you are, and look for a job and ways to develop that'.

"When I was young, I assumed everyone was just like me and didn't appreciate that being able to write, paint, draw and cook were gifts not shared by everyone. A lot of those talents lay dormant for too long, as I did jobs that didn't allow that creativity to flourish."

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