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Birds of a Feather Actress, Lesley Joseph talks about her love of big parties and how she doesn't tolerate children with bad manners

Friday, October 10, 2008
Category: Daily Express
Come For Lunch and You’ll Cook
The Birds Of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph, 62, lives in Wandsworth
Food: Always the same or always game.
I always think I am going to try new dishes but when it comes to it somehow the same orders come out every time. I tend to order lamb in restaurants, and liver is another favourite, and smoked salmon is a must as a starter. I am permanently on a diet and never seem to eat potatoes in restaurants, but pile my plate with as many vegetables as I can. Creme Brulee is about the only desert I have regularly- and so I might as well have had the potatoes. 

Cooking: Experimental or tried and tested.Spending hours trying out a new recipe is my idea of hell. I hate everyday cooking - walking round food shops, feeling fruit, and choosing spices is not on my list of favourite pastimes A really good leg of lamb, a beautiful piece of delicately cooked beef, a succulent roast chicken, with chicken soup to start, all that I can cope with . I have been known to invite friends to lunch and ask them to come a little bit earlier and do the cooking. I have always thought that life is too short to spend too much time slaving in the kitchen, but I guess that is why I am an actress and not a chef.
Clothes :M &S or D& G.I love unusual clothes- clothes cut on the cross, layered clothes, one off dresses and suits and you can only really get those in boutiques, so I tend to buy occasional designer clothes and  wear them a lot. I have once or twice been to a function and seen someone else wearing the same dress so I try and make sure I keep circulating my clothes. There is nothing quite as lovely as wearing a beautifully tailored dress or suit, that makes you feel like a million dollars.
 Fashion:Victim or Setter. I wish I could say I was a setter. How many people can truly say that? I certainly can’t. But I’m not a victim either. I wear what I want to wear, when I want to wear it. I am never persuaded by the fashion magazines to wear something just because it’s  in vogue this year, if I don’t think it suits me. I am always  pleased when black comes into fashion, as I think I am a goth at heart, and my wardrobe is full of LBDs.
Shopping:'til you drop or avoid at all costs.
When I am in the mood I have been known to shop for hours. It’s a strange thing, but some days I love trying on clothes, and everything seems to fit and I look good,  and I can end up with bags full of clothes that have been a pleasure to buy. Other days, I try on one thing and somehow everything is wrong. On those days I accept defeat and just go home. 

Holidays: Beach or piste
Definitely not piste. Not that I have ever tried but it has just never appealed to me it looks too much like hard work and terrifying too- the thought of my small frame hurtling down a slippery slope fills me with dread. Beaches however have much to recommend them. I love a warm sea, a sun lounger, a good book, a big umbrella, and lots of sun tan lotion. It does however have to have an interesting town nearby, or a ruined castle, or somewhere to go, when boredom sets in. I can’t sunbathe anymore anyway. 

Approach to Life.:Manana  or right now.I like things done yesterday. I am quite impatient and if something has to be done I have to do it right away. I always arrive at places early rather than late and I hate it when someone says they will do something and then you wait for ages because they have forgotten or just put it off. I get it done and move on to the next thing. Life is too short to pile things up. 

Friends: Quantity or quality.Both really. Quantity does not necessarily mean you do not have quality. There are just more of them. Nothing ever replaces old friends, and having a few close friends you know are always there is wonderful. But meeting new people and expanding your group of acquaintances is also exciting. I love making new friends, and having lots of people to have merry times with is great. 

Entertainment.:Intimate dinner or big bashAn intimate dinner is always  lovely as long as I don’t have to cook it. Big bashes are fabulous if they are well organized and I enjoy catching up with a lot of people in one evening. I love dancing and really enjoy big glitzy parties. I really enjoy planning big functions -choosing colour schemes, designing invitations, deciding what to wear.-yes, I think the big bash wins it.
Drink..Beer or Bolli.Neither. I don’t drink. In the days when I did drink it would be Bolli every time, as I have never liked the taste of beer.  Now I am perfectly happy with a Virgin Mary with lots of tabasco, and horseradish and I don’t miss alcohol at all. Well, sometimes just a little...
Housekeeping:Aggie and Kim or Wayne and Waynetta
Aggie and Kim any time. I can’t stand a house that is dirty or untidy. I love to see a room with everything in its right place, with fresh flowers, and sunlight streaming through clean windows, and plumped cushions. I do however like a house to look lived in and not like a museum, so everyday mess I don’t mind, but I never go to bed with the washing up in the sink. I love piles of ironing airing on the drier, and cleaning is something I am quite happy to do.
Cars...Boy Racer or Sunday DriverCars don’t mean much to me. I have an old car that looks fine and gets me from A to B and that is all I want. I have never seen the point of spending a lot of money on something that loses value the second you drive it out of the garage. I also feel a bit guilty about something that uses a huge amount of petrol, and costs a lot of money to run. I use buses or try and cycle as much as I can.
Money:Rainy day or live for today.Rainy day. I don’t spends lots and don’t worry where the next pay cheque is coming from. I’m in such a precarious business that I never know where the next job is coming from, so I am always a bit careful. I am certainly not mean though, and will never put off doing something if I really want to do it. 

Property: Urban Chic or Rural Retreat.
There is something about a cottage in the country that I always love. Being surrounded by fields, in a house that has stood for hundreds of years is my idea of heaven. My work dictates that I live in the city, so I do try and combine the two, and get out of town as much as I can but my heart is definitely in the country. 

Décor: Minimal or cosy.I’m going through a minimalist phase at the moment which means throwing away all the clutter, and keeping everything very simple. My problem is that I don’t like modern furniture so mine is a sort of chintzy version of minimalism. I always think other people’s houses look more stylish than mine. I have a lifelong battle with the furniture and am always moving things around to look better.
Children...Mary Poppins or Cruella de Ville. I love children most of the time but I can’t bear small children with bad manners or who scream all the time but in the main I love the innocence of children. I love doing pantomime and watching children come backstage with wonder in their eyes as they see where the magic happened. I love listening to kids’ conversations as they discuss things so earnestly, and I love taking children to the theatre, to the world of make believe.
Health: Alternative or Aspirin.
I love alternative treatments like massage, reflexology, which all make you  feel better but if I was ill I know I would rather have conventional medicine to cure me.
Rubbish:Bin it or recycle it.
There is absolutely no excuse for not recycling everything you possibly can. Goodness knows where it ends up, but I feel guilty if I put a scrap of paper in the wrong bin. I separate paper, tins, rags, in fact everything. I just wish manufacturers would cut down on the packaging. 
Fitness...Jane Fonda or Jim Royle.I used to be Jane Fonda but the problem is I get bored very easily- I go to the gym for a few months and then I don’t go for a year. My boredom threshold is very low. I took up Pilates last year and was almost religious about it. I stopped nine months later and haven’t done any exercise for about six months. I do cycle and walk a lot though. I somehow I manage to keep fit – not Jim Royle yet.
Technology: Gadget Man or Technophobe.I am very proud of myself. I have mastered the computer, I can send attachments. I dragged myself into the 21st, Century, kicking and screaming. I was the person who took three years to learn how to take money out of a bank machine. I decided I could not live in the dark ages and now I love it. But I still love receiving a hand-written letter- nothing beats that.
The Underdog Show is on LIVING every Thursday at 8pm and repeated on Sundays at 6pm.

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