Sandie Shaw takes Saga Magazine’s Grown-Up Test

Paula Kerr / 29 April 2013

Famously barefooted singer Sandie Shaw, born February 1947, was the first UK winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, with Puppet on a String, in 1967. She practises as a psychotherapist and lives in Oxfordshire with her third husband. How old is she in her head and does she act her age?

Naughtiest thing you did in the Sixties

Oh, goodness! I really couldn’t confess to it. It wasn’t legal.

Singer you admire from that era?
Dusty Springfield. She was strong enough to stand up for herself and was always true to herself. She inspired me to be the same.

Remember the lyrics of the first record you bought?
Oh, yeah! Dream Baby by Roy Orbison. He’s my favourite songwriter ever. His songs are audio dreamscapes. I was into The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli, The Shirelles and the Everly Brothers, too.

Most treasured keepsake?
My first radio. I remember listening to my records on it, for the first time, in the kitchen, with my mum. It’s covered in blue leather with a cream dial. It’s really cute. I now keep it in my office.

Fashion important to you?
A couple of years ago, I wore sequined hot pants on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. My legs still look good, so I thought I’d show them off.

Biggest fashion mistake?
Marrying Jeff Banks, the fashion designer. Our marriage lasted 11 years – far longer than it should have.

Ever been star struck?
By Frank Sinatra. I was on the same bill in Paris. We chatted and he was cool as a cucumber, with big blue eyes you could swim in.

Flats or heels?
Oh, flats, with heels in my bag. Mostly, I’m a big fan of the low wedge. I always go barefoot indoors.

Eurovision now or Eurovision then?
Crap both times. But I like the idea behind it, of European nations doing something creative rather than destructive, after the Second World War. It would be really nice if someone updated that idea to make it relevant to today.

Fitness freak?
I don’t do any kind of fitness. I’m more interested in maintaining good mental health.

As a psychotherapist, give us one piece of life advice?
Every minute is precious, so don’t waste it.

Oldest piece of clothing?
A hat belonging to my father and my mother’s jewellery.

Most clicked iPod track?
I never use my iPod. I prefer to listen to music thrashing round the walls of my home – Mumford & Sons, The Mamas and The Papas, The Beach Boys.

Personal mood lifter?
I’m a Buddhist, so I chant. It puts me in a position where I can think about things that are upsetting me and maybe take some action.

Live for today or worry about tomorrow?
If you live completely in the moment, then all the actions you take will make a fantastic future.

Embracing grannyhood?
My four lovely grandchildren all have different interests. I get involved with what they like. We go to the theatre, dance together, do jigsaws.

Minimalist or hoarder?
Dreadful hoarder. Absolutely all the artwork my kids have ever done is in a huge trunk.

Two things you do to conceal your age?
My 60th birthday present to myself was having surgery on my size 7 feet. They were the ugliest part of me and they are now beautiful. I had bunions and misshapen toes. I also use make-up to make myself look better.

Life goals?
So far, I’m on target. My goals this year were to finish off a handful of professional projects, so I can spend the last lap of my life in a really productive, celebratory manner.

Sandie, you Shaw (apologies for that!) don’t look your age. We’re going to put you at 47, which is roughly when you qualified as a psychotherapist and stepped onto a new path in life.

Read more on Sandie. Visit her official website

This article originally appeared in Saga Magazine . For more fascinating articles like this, delivered direct to your doorstep each month, subscribe today.

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