50 Shades of Grey Matter: Age is just a number when it comes to these TV personalities

(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

As 77-year-old Prue Leith gets cooking on her role as the new judge of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off, we look at other broadcasting titans who are still at the top of their game and only associate old age with good cheese or wine.

Prue Leith, 77

prue leith,

A youngster compared to some of the others, Prue is no stranger to cookery shows having been a regular on My Kitchen Rules UK, Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen and MasterChef in her native South Africa.

Mary Berry, 82

Mary Berry

The food writer and TV presenter may have left Bake Off but she’s not hanging up her pinny anytime soon. Having recently finished the first series of BBC2’s Mary Berry Everyday, what’s next for the octogenarian?

David Attenborough, 90

Sir David Attenborough, Planet Earth

(Image credit: BBC NHU/Ruth Peacey)

The prolific naturalist, writer and presenter has been making natural history programmes for the past fifty years, making him the most travelled person in human history (apart from astronaut Tim Peake). He is one of our 50 Shades favourites for his hushed, seductive tones (even if he is hiding in the undergrowth).

The Real Marigold Hotel team (combined age 596!)

As the group come to the end of their stay in Kochi, The Real Marigold Hotel, have they discovered if it’s the perfect place to retire?

(Image credit: BBC/Twofour/Ali Harshad/Papaya M)

Proving that you may have to grow old but you don't have to grow up, series two saw dancer Lionel Blair, 88, actress Amanda Barrie, 81, snooker champion Dennis Taylor, 68, cook Rustie Lee, 64, agony aunt Miriam Stoppard, 79, presenter Bill Oddie, 75, singer Sheila Ferguson, 69, and actor Paul Nicholas, 72, having fun in the sun in India.

David Dimbleby, 78

The Question Time presenter proved he was down with the kids when he got his first tattoo three years ago - at the tender age of 75. 'You're only old once,' he commented about the scorpion on his right shoulder. Showing no sign of slowing down he's anchored the BBC's coverage of every general election since 1979, as well as programmes on architecture and history.

Angela Rippon, 74

When she was just 50, one of our first female newsreaders was told she should give up TV to make way for younger women. Luckily, she ignored that advice and claims never to worry about ageing. 'I don’t think about it. I don’t even consider my birth date; I just get on with it,' she says.

Trevor McDonald, 77

(Image credit: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The former ITN icon thought about retiring in 2005, but the allure of pottering about the garden proved no competition for a primetime slot on the box. Since 2009, he’s forged a new career as a doyen of documentaries: making travelogues and, more recently, turning to a life of crime by reporting on the American Mafia.

Bill Roache, 84

Bill Roache: 'Boring Ken? He's far from boring!'

Bill Roache: 'Boring Ken? He's far from boring!'

The man behind Corrie’s Ken Barlow - the longest-running soap character in the world – admits learning his lines has become harder with the march of time, but insists acting has kept him sprightly. ‘It’s a real stimulus and keeps me sharp,’ he says. ‘I’ll be there until the end if the producers will have me!’

Joanna Lumley, 70

(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

The national treasure more than lives up to the title of her best-loved show, Absolutely Fabulous. She puts her youthful looks down to keeping herself busy. ‘I don’t do gyms, but I do rush about. I do stuff with vigour, such as housework, gardening and going up the stairs two at a time.’ Of course, being a former catwalk model probably helps…



Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.