John Gibson: Forever a woman of substance!

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Still gets up to write at five in the morning. Barbara Taylor Bradford broadcasting her lifestyle at 78. So do I, Barbara, so do I.

Reportedly she is worth £180 million but money doesn’t faze me at all. Like my dear old mum used to say, what’s money without your health? You can’t take it with you.

Her husband Bob – they met on a blind date – keeps telling her she’s only as good as her last book. I know where he’s coming from. I’m only as good as my last column and you know how magnetic that was.

Barbara’s adding: “I want to look good . . . I really don’t care what people think because it’s nobody’s business but mine, and that’s what I feel about the money, the success and everything I am. Too bad. If you don’t like me, you don’t have to see me.’’

Ever the woman of substance, the early riser.

Worthy cause?

Sweet charity? No wish to sound uncharitable but in 1964 there were 64,OOO charities in the UK. Today 160,000 are registered and in some there appears to be no foundation.

Now we have the family of Amy Winehouse founding a charity in her name, with Tony Bennett getting involved. And in Sunday’s Great North Run, 270 charities benefited.

Can there be too much of a good thing?

Afterwords . .

. . .How tall the world’s highest mountain? They’ve settled on 29,028ft for Everest for decades. Now the Nepali Government has ordered its own measurement, thereby ending the arguments. While Edmund Hillary, first to conquer Everest in 1953, never challenged Arthur’s Seat, some adventurer in his socks registered 823 feet for our sleeping volcano. You wouldn’t dare try it without a shower of sherpas.