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Staying young

“Miss Perpetual Motion” at 90

Joan Collins in the 1950s. Getty

I once asked Joan Collins for the secrets of her success, says Gyles Brandreth in The Oldie. “How many do you want?” she replied, not batting an eyelid. “Five,” I replied, ambitiously. She nodded, “narrowing her eyes”, and began. “One, energy. Mine is God-given. My mother used to call me Miss Perpetual Motion because I never kept still. Two, exercise. Use it or lose it. That’s true of everything. If you stop talking for a week, your tongue would atrophy. Three, optimism. Cultivate it. Do you know the story of the twins who went into the shed full of horseshit? The first boy said, ‘Ugh, this place smells terrible.’ The second boy said, ‘Mmm, horse shit… There must be a pony here somewhere.’ Four, work, work, work. If you want to do something, do it for yourself. Nobody ain’t going to do it for you. Five, live for today. Remember yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” Her secrets have served her well: this week she turned 90. It’s hard to believe, “even when you look very closely – and I have”.

📽💋 Collins has rattled through four husbands and a “casting directory” of A-list lovers – James Dean, Terence Stamp and Ryan O’Neal, to name a few. None lasted. “You’re a fing bore,” one of them told her. “And you’re a boring f,” she replied. But so far, her fifth husband Percy Gibson has survived. He’s handsome, funny and 31 years her junior – after 21 years together, you can see it “clearly works”.