Tuesday 26 September 2017

Irish Bond Girl Alison Doody on the flip side of beauty: 'I don't think I have met my soul mate and maybe I never will'

Alison Doody talks love, loneliness and the flip-side of beauty

PLAYING HER CARDS: Former Bond girl Alison Doody would like to write a book
PLAYING HER CARDS: Former Bond girl Alison Doody would like to write a book
Alison Doody
Alison Doody was at the ISPCC ladies lunch at The InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge last friday
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Alison Doody has had it all.

Screen siren, classic beauty and married to one of Ireland's most handsome and eligible men.

But behind the fairy-tale, the statuesque blonde has come to realise all that glisters is not gold.

"I have had it all. I have flown on private jets.

"I have had the great fortune of being able to go to wonderful places and do lots of shopping in places like Brown Thomas but that it is not what it is all about," she said.

"I say it to my girls. It is not about wealth.

"You cannot buy happiness.

"And I know it is cliche to say it, I say it to my two children every single day, I would much rather them meet somebody who is going to look after them and mind them and be a friend to them and a great partner."

The former model and Bond girl, who was once married to millionaire businessman Gavin O'Reilly - and most recently split from fiance and business tycoon Tadhg Geary - said that turning 50 had left her happier and more in tune with what she wants.

"It has to be a friendship. I want to be able to spend time with someone and enjoy their company.

"I have been very fortunate as I have been with some very lovely men in my life and they have been great to me and I have had a very enjoyable time with them but for one reason or another it hasn't worked out."

But she said: "I have never really had my heart fully broken. I would like to have that great love. I don't think I have met my soul mate. And maybe I never will."

The mother of two beautiful daughters, Alanna and Lauren, said that while she is still open to marriage, she is now turning her attention to her career.

"I am going to start a webpage and, at the moment, I am looking at going into work in some way.

"I would like to work because I like to be busy. I don't like being idle. So I would love to be able to work. So if I can get work here I will stay here but if not and my two girls are away I will probably move away."

She said she is also contemplating putting pen to paper: "We all have had hurdles and, at my age, I have had lots. I might write a book.

"I would love to write a book. I wouldn't want to hurt anybody but it would be about my journey."

Often considered among the most beautiful Bond girls ever to grace the big screen, she played Jenny Flex in 1985's A View To A Kill.

Stealing the show at the ISPCC lunch in the Intercontinental Hotel on Friday - where Caroline Downey was announced as the new president of the charity - Alison said keeping her enviable looks and figure is a mixture of banishing bread from her diet, drinking plenty of water and going to the gym five times a week after she drops her daughter to school: "It's not easy. It's constant maintenance. It gets harder and harder all the time.

"Turning 50 is definitely a change in a lot of ways. I don't chase fashion anymore, I dress age-appropriate. I think I have experienced more, so definitely I start to care a little less.

"I don't think you can worry about getting older. You do the very best for yourself and after that you just have to let go.

"I made the big mistake once of googling myself. I came across comments where they were looking at me and saying that I had aged terribly and then I have been complimented.

"But I am older. There is no hiding it. I just try to look as best as I can for me. You can't sweat the small stuff or be in your head the whole time consumed by what other people say."

While single and looking for a companion she said at times she feels lonely: "Oh gosh yes. And I think a lot of women do. And that is something I am very mindful of with single friends.

"But I have been really blessed because a lot of people have been very kind to say that I have been looking well and there are an awful lot of partners that won't invite you out if you are a single woman. But my girlfriends are great and they have always asked me out."

Asked if she ever found her looks have gone against her in such a way, she explained: "Absolutely. I would hope that no one would ever think that I would stand on their toes or ever go for someone who wasn't single.

"I just wouldn't do it.

"You talk about loneliness but then there are a lot of people who are married and are very lonely.

"So I would rather be lonely and single. I have been very lucky with my ex husband. He is very happily married now. And I have been very lucky with past boyfriends.

"But I am very comfortable being on my own. It will probably be quite tough next year because my daughter is leaving school - my last girl - but I have really good friends around me and I would rather be in no relationship than if it wasn't with the right person."

On the future, she said: "I would like to have a companion. Especially when I have done all the school runs and that's all behind me."

Asked if she is still open to marriage, she said: "Definitely. But I certainly wouldn't do it if I wasn't 100pc because I think it would be disastrous for both parties.

"Tadhg is wonderful but it wasn't right for either of us. It's too hard."

Her engagement to the meat baron came to an amicable end in March, and she said she is more resilient as a result.

The advice she gives to her daughters is a sign of her robust spirit: "I always say to the girls no matter what, tomorrow will be better just pick yourself up and charge the mountain."

Sunday Independent

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