Sunday, 17 December 2017

Author Glynis, gives us all food for thought

She shot to fame 30 years ago as aristocratic TV detective Sgt (Lady) Harriet Makepeace in

She shot to fame 30 years ago as aristocratic TV detective Sgt (Lady) Harriet Makepeace in

Dempsey and Makepeace
. More recently,

EastEnders
fans were treated to her portrayal of Glenda Mitchell. But today Glynis Barber is relishing a brand new role: as the co-author of a revolutionary new diet book. She spoke to MATTHEW WILSON about her forthcoming appearance at the Henley Literary Festival

GLYNIS Barber is having a busy year. Her role as the title character’s mother in West End hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has seen her cramming in eight shows a week, including two matinees, with only Sundays off.

Her stint at the Aldwych Theatre got under way in February — though rehearsals began the previous month — and Glynis, 59, is set to continue in the role until the end of November.



So what’s her secret, you may ask. As well you might, because back in April the actress added another string to her bow by becoming the co-author, with nutritional therapist Fleur Borelli, of The In-Sync Diet (Indie, £14.99).

Now in it’s third edition, the book has been proving a success. So much so that on Sunday, October 4, the authors will be at the Henley Literary Festival to talk about it, with Glynis also set to field questions about her acting career.

As she explains, the road to writing the book began almost three years ago when, as a yoga practitioner of long standing, she released a DVD: Glynis Barber’s Anti-Aging Yoga Secrets.

“The first thing I did was make [the DVD],” says Glynis. “And then I went on Twitter around that time, and I don’t quite know how but people started tweeting me and asking me lots of anti-ageing questions. And then they knew I had the yoga DVD coming out and they started asking me health questions.

“I mean, I’m not a doctor, obviously, but I’ve always been very interested in health and nutrition and exercise and everything. I read a lot about it and it’s very much part of my life. And people were just asking me so many questions and then I think I just said, well, should I start a website? And they said yes, yes, start a website. So I thought, well, you know, maybe I should. So I did. It’s an anti-ageing website, and I do talk about products and things, but actually it’s mostly a lifestyle website.

“It’s all about trying to gain optimum health and how to be healthy, and so, really, writing this kind of book was very much the next step.”

In her foreword to the book, Glynis says she first became interested in health and lifestyle in her late twenties.

“It was round about the time or just before I went into Dempsey and Makepeace,” she says today.

“Having had no interest in it at all before then, I suddenly became this sort of person who became quite passionate about all things healthy. It’s something I’ve always been interested in since then — I started yoga about that time as well.

“But I have to say that for most of my twenties I ws a terrible eater. I mean, I just ate junk food most of the time, really, until I had this sort of epiphany.”

Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and Glynis has maintained her exercise, yoga and healthy-eating regime.

But as she explains in her book, bouts of unexplained joint pain eventually led an osteopath to recommend she make an appointment to see Fleur Borelli. For Glynis, it was to prove a somewhat revolutionary meeting of minds.

“I thought I was already a really healthy eater, but Fleur’s a very interesting nutritionist. She’s a psycho-neuro-immunologist and she looks at food from an evolutionary viewpoint.

“I thought I was eating very healthily and then she made radical changes to how I ate that took me a while to get my head around.

“Now it’s become more mainstream because it’s much more in the press. If you take out certain food groups it’s all about not just what you eat but when you eat it and how you eat it. And when you drink water and how you drink water and when you exercise.

“All these things are very important. That’s why we called it The In-Sync Diet, because it’s all about getting your body in sync and aiming towards optimal health. And obviously you’re going to look good and you’re going to lose weight, but it’s really about maximising your health.”

Glynis’s busy year in Beautiful has been a case in point. She says that out of a cast of 26, she is the only one who has not had a day off sick or missed a performance through ill health.

When she appears in Henley on October 4, the actress will be 21 days shy of her 60th birthday. So will this be her first literary festival?

“It will, it will. They invited us to come with our book and we were absolutely thrilled. It’s very exciting. It sounds like it’s going to be amazing. You’ve got such great people coming to it, so we’re very flattered to be included in that company.”

Glynis Barber and Fleur Borelli will be appearing at Phyllis Court at 11am on Sunday, October 4, as part of the Henley Literary Festival. Tickets are priced £10. To book call (01491) 575948 or visit www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk



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