At a time when older women such as Joan Collins and Jane Fonda are telling us sex keeps them young and flawless, it’s refreshing to meet a glamour girl who admits the odd bit of machinery is wearing out.
Nina Carter, 59 — once half of 1970s pop duo Blonde On Blonde with model Jilly Johnson, and former wife of rock star Rick Wakeman — has skin as smooth as a sheet.
She’s had a dab of Botox around the mouth, perhaps, but no facelifts. Even though her new husband Douglas Harrison is a plastic surgeon.
Taking a glance behind her ears for tell-tale scars, all I can see are two hearing aids.
‘The other day I heard this roaring sound and I rushed out because it sounded like a plane was landing in the garden,’ she says.
‘And do you know what it was? My kettle was boiling. I realised I had my hearing aids turned up too loud.’
Then there’s failing eyesight. ‘I’ve got 20 pairs of reading glasses all over the house, but I still lose them — I usually find they’re round my neck,’ she says.
Nina was originally a glamour model. She appeared in Vogue and toured the world in Blonde On Blonde.
‘It was a wild time,’ she says. ‘All sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. I was lucky to survive it. In the end, I hungered for reality.’
She married Wakeman in 1984, with whom she has two children, Jemma, 28, and Oscar, 25. They acrimoniously divorced seven years ago.
Then, three years ago, Nina met divorcee Douglas. They were married last June.
‘We have a fantastic sex life. He is a very sensitive, sympathetic and soft-hearted person,’ says Nina.
But of Rick, Nina says, ‘He doesn’t have a normal side. He’s a sort of Basil Fawlty figure. My job was to keep the children’s feet on the ground.’
Douglas, meanwhile, has a surgeon’s eye for detail. He takes a lively interest in Nina — and her friends.
‘He’s a real romantic,’ she says. ‘He notices everything, from the beauty of a sunset to the changing leaves. And if friends come round, he notices them, too.
‘He’ll say, “You need your eyes doing,” or “You could do with a bit of liposuction.” ’
Nina says age shouldn’t matter, ‘Why are we so afraid of the body? I still wear a bikini — although it takes three gym sessions a week, to stay in shape.’
So she is not filled with dread about turning 60 in October?
‘I’m looking forward to it! Dougie is taking me to Las Vegas.
‘When I looked at the Royal Wedding entourage and saw all those vintage cars, I thought: “If I take care of myself, I’ll still be a good runner when I’m 80.” ’
by Debbie Dot