'I don't bother about what I look like… I only wear make-up on TV': Under the microscope with Margaret Mountford
00:52 GMT, 3 April 2012
The former Apprentice star, 60, on dealing with stress and suffering from toxoplasmosis – a bacterial infection caused by parasites found in cat faeces
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS 'I've no idea because I was adopted as a baby,' said Margaret Mountford
EVER GET STRESSED
I used to joke I didn’t suffer from stress because I passed it on to other people, but now I’m retired I’m not sure I can say that. There’s no point worrying because you can’t change anything.
I don’t like spiders and moths. I don’t shriek but will leave the room.
WHAT ABOUT VICES
I’ve got a sweet tooth and grew up with my mother’s home-baked cakes for afternoon tea. Cupcakes are amazing creations.
DO YOU GET YOUR FIVE A DAY
Yes, being a girl from Northern Ireland I love old-fashioned vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and carrots. I also love potatoes, especially mash — do they count
Yes, I’ve tried most diets including calorie-counting, low-fat, low-carb and an awful diet in the Seventies that involved eating grapefruits and hard-boiled eggs. Of course, none work because they are just quick fixes. I could do with losing weight, but I enjoy eating out, so it can be difficult.
Nothing major, just chicken pox as a child and measles in my 20s. However, a recent heart scan found a slight constriction in an artery. It doesn’t warrant an operation, but I’m now on aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
WOULD YOU HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY 'Only for medical reasons. I never wear make-up unless I'm on TV,' said Margaret
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS
I’ve no idea because I was adopted as a baby. I have no interest in tracing my birth mother.
WOULD YOU HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY
Only for medical reasons. I don’t bother about what I look like and never wear make-up unless I’m on TV. I spent most of my life working in the City as a lawyer where people value you for your professional opinion rather than what you look like.
ANY VICES 'I've got a sweet tooth,' said Margaret
DO YOU KEEP FIT
Yes, I walk, play golf, ski and in summer I swim in the Mediterranean near my holiday home in Gozo, which I love. But I’ve got a knee injury after someone ran into me on the ski slopes and I’m having physiotherapy. My lower back isn’t brilliant either: most of the time it’s just a niggling pain, but sometimes it can be agony.
HAD ANYTHING REMOVED
In my 30s, I had benign lumps cut out of my neck. They were a symptom of an illness I wasn’t aware I’d had called toxoplasmosis — a bacterial infection caused by parasites found in under-cooked meat and cat faeces. I couldn’t understand how I’d picked it up as I hadn’t eaten raw meat and didn’t have a cat at the time (I now have two).
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER
No, definitely not. I think we all have a natural life span and I wouldn’t want to go beyond that.
Margaret MOUNTFORD is a trustee of CORDA, which pioneers research into early diagnosis of stroke and heart disease.