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Booze, ciggies and sun? Smokin' Jerry might have the right idea after all

GOD bless Jerry Hall. In a world where everyone in the public eye seems to be competing to live the cleanest, healthiest and, let's face it, most po-faced lifestyle possible, it was a breath of fresh air to hear the veteran model reveal the secrets to her fabulous looks.

"I smoke, I drink, I like wine, I love suntanning, I drink coffee. I am doing all sorts of things I shouldn't do," she said.

"I am 58. That is pretty old, for God's sake. I look pretty good for my age, and I am enjoying that."

I'm quite sure that these remarks caused Gwyneth Paltrow to choke over her lunch of coconut water, raw kale and seaweed salad.

I was actually thrilled to hear someone finally admitting to a lifestyle that sounds like, well, quite a lot of fun actually.

I am so over hearing people banging on about fitting a triathlon in between a hot yoga class at dawn, and their evening meal of chia seeds, balsamic miso root and wilted spinach salad.

It's not only celebrities who have been inducted into the cult of the clean-living brigade - every second accountant and civil servant is also spiralising their courgettes like a demon these days, and pretending it tastes likes pasta.

As a fat, unfit, 45-year-old couch potato, I am hardly in a position to judge other people on their lifestyles, but it seems to me that some of the people who throw caution to the wind are the ones having a ball.

There's party queen Kate Moss, for example, regularly pictured puffing on the fags and livin' it large, in between modelling for the biggest cosmetic and fashion brands.

Then there's music mogul, Simon Cowell. I've a feeling that he'd get on great with Jerry Hall, given that Si is regularly pictured partying on his yacht around Barbados, quaffing champagne and topping up his tan.

Many moons ago, in the days before you'd find yourself hauled before an employment tribunal for even suggesting it, I worked in an office where a 'group dieting exercise' was decreed.

The (female) manager weighed the girls on a Friday, herself included, and put the results on a wallchart.

Those who were dieting braved the December chills with a standard lunch of Bovril, bowls of chopped fruit and pinched faces, and then took a brisk walk around the neighbouring streets to burn off the 'calories'.

They seemed permanently stressed and miserable.

Meanwhile, the rest of us drank gallons of coffee, ate hot chicken rolls, and lolled on the sofas, while we had a laugh together, poked fun at the rest of them and took a break from the stresses of the working day.

Who felt better mentally? I'd like to think it was us.


Jerry Hall would probably have been horrified by my former colleagues as she claims that she doesn't exercise and that her preferred physical activities are sex, gardening and housework.

Given that she is currently dating a college professor eight years her junior, maybe part of her glow comes from being what she calls "really, really happy".

Then again, Jerry also knows that life is fragile, as her former husband Mick Jagger lost his partner, L'Wren Scott, to suicide earlier this year.

Maybe Jerry Hall knows what the rest of us who haven't joined the church of the fitness freaks have long suspected.

Being stressed and miserable is the most damaging and ageing thing of all.