Letter from the editor

Over-50s have more to worry about than pensions and wrinkles these days – lovers and lambadas are a high priority, too

When the beautiful actress Cherie Lunghi appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in her mid-50s, she attracted attention as much for her age as for her ballroom prowess.

Columnists marvelled at how she could “keep pace with the younger competitors” and match her 30-something partner for “agility”. But the subtext was clear: isn’t she a bit, you know, old for the sequins-and-splits show?

Cherie batted away the snide comments with just as much grace as she executed the samba rolls and botafogos while going backwards in high heels. As she tells Maureen Paton in our interview this month, she has reached that point in her life where she feels comfortable in her own skin. And if other people don’t approve, then so what?

What is and what isn’t age-appropriate behaviour seems to tax the brains of some commentators beyond all reason.

But one of the major advantages of ageing – celebrity or not – must be the confidence to choose your own way in life without reference to what other people think.

Which isn’t to say that age brings all the answers. As writer and former editor of Cosmopolitan, Marcelle D’Argy Smith explores on page 11 what it feels like to hit the dreaded 60s, and how a template for relationships in later life would be very handy indeed.

Even with the wisdom conferred by age, love it turns out is as confusing a game as ever.