Cliff, still a Young One at 72: Star shows off formidable physique for calendar… and insists it”s all his
AGE cannot wither him. If you look really closely, you can see it has had a try as there is a tiny crease about the biceps, clusters of laughter lines and a suspicious amount of tousle in his top-knot. (Can that hair really be his)
But Sir Cliff Richard, as these shots for his 2013 calendar show, does not for a moment look as if he is a month away from his 72nd birthday.
And there’s nothing sleazy or self-satisfied about him, no matter how ridiculously beefcake the poses. Even when attempting to look dangerous in his swimming trunks he remains the squeakiest of heart-throbs.
Outsold Bieber: Cliff”s 2013 calendar is bound to be popular after his 2012 one outsold Justin Bieber”s
Cliff, who sang The Young Ones in the year Barack Obama was born, mostly looks friendly and slightly surprised in the shots for the calendar – as if there’s something rather amusing happening just over the photographer’s shoulder.
Perhaps he’s thinking about the fact that his 2012 calendar outsold Justin Bieber’s or that he has sold well over 1.5million calendars in his lifetime.
Or maybe his regime of tennis three times a week and semi-retirement from the music business has just filledhim up to the brim with gnasher-baring joy.
His toothpaste-white dentition is enough to make a dentist weep in admiration.
And,at a point in his life when many of his contemporaries may find themselves grateful for slip on shoes and elasticated waistbands, Cliff has formidable abs – a proper six pack, revealed in its furry glory on the cover.
So what if he probably isn’t riding the jetski for real Just maintaining his looks is enough of a feat. Cynics will say that Cliff has used an airbrush.
Knight out: Sif Cliff dons some shiny evening wear for March
ButCliff is having none of it. ‘I always tell the photographer that I don’t want to be airbrushed,’ he said earlier this month. ‘I say: “You can just do it with lighting”.’
‘Idon’t really have a six-pack,’ he added. ‘I’m never going to be Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m now of an age when my testosterone doesn’t flow the way it used to.
‘When I know my calendar is coming up I go to the gym for about three months before, every other day.’
Thatastonishing discipline has surely paid off. The only other assistance he says that he has had is a dollop of hair dye – from the looks of it, the same exact shade favoured by Paul McCartney.
He once admitted using Botox to keep looking youthful but said he stopped after his eyebrows started to sag. These days the singer, who lives mostly in Portugal with former Catholicpriest Father John McElynn, his property manager, follows a strict dietwhich involves seldom eating lunch. He also takes regular supplements.
He told an interviewer: ‘Age is not an issue if you are lucky enough to have good health. I’ve never had anymajor problems and spent no time in hospital.
Almost his 72nd birthday: Sir Cliff made various outfit changes for the calendar after the 2012 edition
‘Iam making 70 the new 50. If you can prolong your life and hold off death for a while, why not I would like to play tennis for my 100th birthday and I will. My waist measures 30in, the same as 30 years ago. And my weight is 10st 7lb.’
A devout Christian, Sir Cliff has always avoided the hard-drinking lifestyle of some of his rock and roll contemporaries.
Hesaid: ‘I was the only one who didn’t spit or swear or sleep around. I didn’t do drugs. I didn’t get drunk. I didn’t indulge in soulless sex. And I’ve always felt comfortable with the decisions I’ve taken. I like being Cliff Richard.’
The star has sold 250million records in his 53-year pop career, and on a Graham Norton show last year he was given ten calendars and invited to try to put them in date order. It wassurprisingly tricky – but then he does seem to have aged at a differentpace from the rest of the world.
Asked how long he would continue bringing out a calendar he said: ‘The minute everything starts to drop too much, I’ll stop. But I’m happy to pose so long as people want to put me up on the wall.’
The official 2013 Cliff Richard Calendar is on sale in all good stationery stores, or buy online at www.danilo.com.