Sheila Hancock: How I still lift weights at 89

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The sprightly star has become “addicted” to weight-lifting and enjoys being fit. Sheila said: “I am fit, but I work at it. It doesn’t come easily. It’s not natural. “I’m still recovering from a broken wrist, and I have a fracture in my back, too. But thanks to the physio at Charing Cross Hospital, I can still do weights, and I can still drive. Don’t let them tell you you’re old. ‘You’ve had a fall,’ people say, as if that’s it.”

The veteran stage star said her weight-lifting has improved over the years.

She once boasted she could bench press “the same size as the ones the men do”.

Sheila said: “Before, I could barely lift just the pole. There’s lots of medical evidence to support the fact that it’s incredibly good for bones and strength and all sorts of age-related problems.

“I feel so strong now. I was beginning to notice I couldn’t put my hand luggage above my seat on a plane, and that sort of thing.

“It was all muscle wastage to do with getting older.

“Lifting weights has restored muscle that had gone.

“My bicep is back now. My lower arms are strong. Some people do weights to look toned, but I just want to stay strong as I get older. You don’t have to get weak as you get older. I’ve proved that.”

She admitted the lockdowns aged her, adding: “I wasn’t as frivolous or as bouncy when I came out.”

And she joked she and late husband John Thaw “would have murdered one another” had they had to endure being locked down together during the pandemic.

The veteran actress has just published a new memoir, Old Rage.

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