Friday, 01 February 2013


ROSEMARY CONLEY CBE is an English health and fitness expert, and founder and president of Rosemary Conley Diet And Fitness Clubs. A bestselling author – her The Hip & Thigh Diet (published in 1988) sold more than 2 million copies

Written by Melonie
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m thinking about writing a business book for teenagers. I’m president of Young Enterprise in Leicestershire and I often give talks. When you’ve been in business for a very long time, you often don’t realise how much you’ve learnt, and I could point youngsters in the right direction and teach them some of the basics.

When were you at your happiest?
Doing Dancing On Ice in 2012. It was the most amazing experience. To do something new and outside of work for six months was like being in a lovely, beautiful dream.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing my voice. Communicating is such a big part of my life.

What is your earliest memory?
Writing the word ‘horse’. I must have been about three, and everybody went mad because, you know, it was so brilliant that I’d done it. It was so funny.

Who has been your greatest influence?
Dawn, my daughter, has been a huge influence and is always the person I go to for advice. My husband Mike has been too – he has huge wisdom. Between the two of them, they keep me on the straight and narrow.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
When I’m on a particular project, I can be very focused, and I imagine those around me would feel I was not giving them the attention they deserve. I like the pressure of something that’s imminent, so at those times, everybody leaves me to get on with it.

What is your most treasured possession?
My health and fitness. I am 66 now and I run around like a 25-year-old. I’m so fortunate that I can do that. I don’t have aches and pains.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

Do you have a fantasy address?
I can’t say that I do because where we live is just beautiful – an idyllic Leicestershire village that only has a pub, a cricket ground, a village hall and a church. And 80 residents! I couldn’t be happier than we are there.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I wish I had a longer neck, because then I could wear those elegant polo necks.

What is your favourite book?
I’m not a great reader. I love autobiographies and I only read on holiday. My favourite author, though, is Rob Parsons, who wrote The Sixty Minute Mother and The Sixty Minute Father. I love the way he writes.

What is your favourite film?
The Sound Of Music. I’ve never watched a film that totally enthralled me the way that did. As a result, I have a love affair with Austria. I go every year and have done for 28 years.

Q A-Feb01-02-590
What is your favourite record or piece of music?
All I Ask Of You by Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman from Phantom Of The Opera. I became a Christian in 1986 and on one particular day, this record made me feel that God was saying to me ‘all I ask of you is that you love me’. A beautiful song.

What is your favourite meal?
I love a medium rare, rump steak. I would have chips with it and probably some mushrooms and broccoli. My favourite dessert would be rum-and-raisin ice cream and vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce and chopped nuts and cream on top: dessert heaven.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
Nelson Mandela. I think he is so rich in grace and wisdom and he is such an inspirational character.

Which historical character do you most admire?
She’s not really a historical character, but I have huge admiration for the Queen. What impresses me is the fact that she is so fit and she’s in her mid-80s.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has said to you?
If someone says something nasty, there is more behind it than just a comment. Sometimes people have troubles in their lives and say something that can be harsh, so I tend not to take too much notice.

What is your secret vice?
Ice cream! Ice cream and Chardonnay. But they’re not secrets... I’m quite happy to go public on that.

Do you write thank-you notes?

Which phrase do you most overuse?
‘To be honest’.

What single thing would improve your quality of life?
To have an ice rink at home.

What would you like your epitaph to be?
‘She encouraged us to hold our stomachs in’.

The FAB (Fat Attack Booster) Diet, by Rosemary Conley, is published by Arrow, priced £6.99.

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