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Anne Diamond: My heroes are heading for The Big 100 in style

PUBLISHED: 15:48 16 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:48 16 February 2017

Kirk Douglas speaking to the US National Press Club about his book, 'My Stroke of Luck', covering his experiences and recovery from a stroke. Photo: Jim Wallace (Smithsonian Institution)

Kirk Douglas speaking to the US National Press Club about his book, 'My Stroke of Luck', covering his experiences and recovery from a stroke. Photo: Jim Wallace (Smithsonian Institution)

si.edu # 2002-12109.08a (Probably Public Domain)

Anne's looking at the calendar turning again, and realising her heroes and some noted figures are heading for, or even passing, The Big 100 in style

Good news or bad, we’re all supposedly living longer – and we know that the big questions facing us wannabe oldies is what quality of life we’ll have (and how on earth we’ll afford it), how we’ll keep ourselves busy and how to protect our health. When you’re the same age as the Queen (as my own mum is) you have a seriously classy role model to compare yourself with.

A bit harsh, as I often say. The Queen has never had to worry about where the next penny comes from – though as we all learned from her ‘annus horibillis’ speech in 1992, she does have the everyday human, family pressures we all suffer, too.

Just recently, I was delighted to see that one of the first celebrities I ever interviewed on breakfast television, the magnificent Kirk Douglas made it to 100! I remember being particularly thrilled to meet him. He starred in all of those blockbuster movies played out on the TV on those wet, windy Saturday afternoons of my childhood, biblical epics, the marvellous 1960 ‘Spartacus’ which won four Academy Awards, war stories and even high drama as Vincent Van Gogh in ‘Lust for Life’.

Dubbed a ‘one-man Hollywood Rushmore,’ he certainly displayed a lust for life in living so long and so well. (Happy long lasting marriage, too, to soul mate Ann with whom he credits his longevity. Talking of their nightly ‘golden hour’ chats!)

But I guess you’d expect my best hero, the one and only Buzz Aldrin, to live every minute to its fullest. We all know he went to the Moon, the second man to leave his footprint and the first ever person to take a selfie in space. He’s still a keen flyer, and sub aqua diver. But just recently, at the age of 86, he pledged to trek to the South Pole, and that’s no mean feat. I followed his every move on twitter (he’s a keen tweeter by the way @TheRealBuzz). He got there! But everyone got a bit of a fright when he collapsed, and was immediately evacuated from the South Pole to a hospital in Christchurch New Zealand. And by an amazing coincidence, this former Starman was treated by none other than, wait for it… Dr David Bowie. Yes, for real. The coincidence certainly tickled Christina Korp, Aldrin’s manager, who posted a photo on Twitter of Aldrin and Dr Bowie together in a Christchurch hospital.

“Thank heaven Buzz’s doctor is David Bowie! You can’t make this stuff up,” she gushed. Buzz recovered quickly and is no doubt thinking up his next quest. But the coincidences go on. He got to the Moon just days after the other David Bowie released Space Oddity. And of course, he was treated by Dr David Bowie in the year that the original sadly died. Old age, if you get there, ain’t what it used to be. You have to keep doing amazing stuff! Oh and by the way, my proudest moment was meeting Buzz myself a few months ago. Shook his hand. Didn’t want to wash it for ages.


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