I’m 53 but mistaken for my 20-year-old daughter’s sister

FIFTY is the new 40. Or is it 30? Or even 20? Jenny Powell is 53 but gets told she seems decades younger – and it is easy to see why.

With her glossy mane and abs toned to perfection, she looks as good as ever and it is all down to hot yoga, clean eating — and toyboy fiance Martin Lowe, 47.


Jenny Powell looks, and feels, as good as everCredit: Emma Phillipson
The 53-year-old regularly gets mistaken for her daughter's sister


The 53-year-old regularly gets mistaken for her daughter’s sisterCredit: Instagram
Jenny credits clean eating for keeping her young - as well as her toyboy fiance Martin Lowe


Jenny credits clean eating for keeping her young – as well as her toyboy fiance Martin Lowe

Jenny, remembered for being the “glamorous assistant” on Wheel Of Fortune in the Nineties alongside hosts Nicky Campbell then Bradley Walsh and then John Leslie, met sports therapist Martin 11 years ago.

She says: “It’s funny because Martin is six years younger than me and I remember my daughter Connie saying, ‘Does that make you a cougar, then, Mum?’ — and I had to go and look it up.

“He has more energy and makes me do stuff I wouldn’t normally do — like wild cold-water swimming. He has been into it for years because of all the health benefits. I used to think he was mad but he has me doing it now. He has introduced me to clean eating too, so I am aware of refined sugars.

“He’s always said, ‘Your gut health is the core of everything, from appearing younger to feeling it’.”

As well as her secret weapon Martin, Jenny, who is mum to Connie, 20, and Pollyanna, 12, also praises hot yoga for keeping her in shape.

She says: “I don’t take my make-up off at night or drink as much water as I should but I look after myself with my food — and hot yoga four times a week.

“It’s great in your fifties — you know, around the middle bit where your oestrogen collects, it takes everything up a notch with keeping in shape. You are sweating and it affects your metabolism and hormones, making you feel great.”

All Jenny’s hard work pays off and she has been mistaken for being daughter Connie’s sister.

She says: “Connie loves it but hates it as well.

“We are best friends and exchange clothes. We have that sort of relationship where we text each other at the same time, saying the same thing.”

Connie shares Jenny’s long brunette hair — something Jenny says she will never change. She has framed her face with the same hair – long with a fringe – for more than three decades and swears by the timeless look.

She says: “The signature hairdo and fringe is staying for ever. I’d never change it, it’s low-maintenance.

“When I first appeared on TV (hosting BBC2 music series No Limits) it was the Eighties curly perm and me and (T’Pau singer) Carol Decker started that hairstyle.

“Ever since, I have been known for my hair. Then of course I stopped having it permed, but the fringe is part of me. I could never imagine it being different.”

Jenny of course has her vices – the odd Martini with dinner, and crisps.

She says: “We have a naughty draw, and I will buy crisps. If it’s something naughty, I eat it and just pretend it never happened.”

But it is remembering to smile that keeps her feeling good. She says: “You get to a certain age and all you do is scowl, so sometimes I will post a big, fat f***-off smile to my Instagram.

“I will wake up and force myself to smile before I have even got out of bed.

“I am spontaneous. I don’t like to be tied down, don’t like rules, don’t like routine. I jumped out of a plane once – Martin surprised me (with a skydive) and I did it.”

You get to a certain age and all you do is scowl, so sometimes I will post a big, fat f***-off smile to my Instagram.

Jenny was 16 when she began hosting No Limits, then in her twenties became a household name as a Top Of The Pops presenter, and on Wheel Of Fortune.

She also became a pin-up, modelling in lad mags Loaded, Maxim and FHM.

She says: “I did those and was a bit awkward about it but that’s what everyone was doing.

“I was a gameshow hostess. It was all very glamorous, and they played on my looks and directed me towards the lad mags.

“If I ever questioned anything, the response I’d get was: ‘Well, what do you expect?’”


At the height of her fame, she had romances with Bros singer Matt Goss and Take That’s Jason Orange.

Jenny, who now lives in Cheshire with Martin and Pollyanna – while Connie is studying at University College London – says: “Looking back, I can’t remember all the stuff (jobs) I have done, but it has been an incredible journey.

“The only people I really met were people who came to the studio, because I didn’t really have a social life.

“I remember Matt Goss came in and wooed me, then before I knew it I was going out with him.

“Then Take That were around, and I remember thinking, ‘Right, I have to remember the names of these guys’. I remember going, ‘That one is Robbie, he is quite confident, and the one with the dreads is Jason – or is that Howard? Then a few months later I got wooed by Jason.

“Matt Goss is still in Las Vegas, we have always been in touch. Jason is a bit more difficult to keep in touch with. I see his brothers and his mum, but not Jason.

“But up until a few years ago, when Connie was born, he always invited us to watch the shows. We have a friendship like that, that grows on together as we all grow old.

“More recently, he’d be like, ‘God, do you remember when we had no cares in the world? I was a pop star and you were a TV presenter? And bloody hell, look at us now.’”

But as well as the fond memories, Jenny has had her fair share of heartbreak.

In 2009, she discovered her now ex-husband, millionaire businessman Toby Baxendale, had started an affair while Jenny, with whom he already had Connie, was expecting Polly. Jenny says: “It was difficult but it’s more that I had a baby, and your hormones are every-where.

“What I tell my girls is, young love is something like a honeymoon, it’s amazing, it’s what everyone should do – even if you get your heart broken a couple of times, it is all part of it.

“As you get older, wise love is a good thing. There are different versions of love and you should sample a few.”

Jenny bumped into Martin at Christmas 2010, at London’s Euston station, and they got chatting.

She says: “Dating while being a mum is tricky, and it’s easy just to go, ‘Oh, I’ve got enough on my plate, I’m a single mum, and the admin is not worth it’.

“But you have to make a bold decision and give it a shot. Had I not, I wouldn’t be with Martin now.

“Everyone asks us about a wedding, but not yet – we are slow burners.

Maybe we can do a campervan one – there is nothing wrong with a wedding dress and wellies.”

For Jenny, the most important thing in a relationship is fun. Her late dad Les died five weeks ago from prostate cancer, aged 93, but was married to her mum Myra, 89, for 65 years – and always made her laugh.

Jenny says: “You have to have fun together – me and Martin do. My mum had been with my dad for 65 years, knew him for 70, and my dad was only apart from her for two weeks out of the whole 65 years.

“They were a one-off. My dad was besotted with my mum. Until his dying day, he had her laughing from her belly.”

As for the future, it’s all about keeping happy and healthy. Jenny says: “I am desperate to do a handstand and walk on my hands. I know that sounds pathetic but I am.

“When you get to this age, it’s not worth putting yourself down or thinking ‘I’m too old for this and that’. Go with it and do it.”

Jenny is remembered as the 'glamorous assistant' on Wheel of Fortune


Jenny is remembered as the ‘glamorous assistant’ on Wheel of FortuneCredit: Scottish Television
The star maintains her sculpted physique with hot yoga


The star maintains her sculpted physique with hot yogaCredit: Jam Press
First Dates Hotel fans convinced TV presenter Jenny Powell is on the show as contestant looks JUST like her

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