AGONY CAN'T! NO SEX, NO GAYS, NO DRUGS; Questions TV's New Problem Guru Refuses to Answer

The People (London, England), February 13, 2005 | Go to article overview

AGONY CAN'T! NO SEX, NO GAYS, NO DRUGS; Questions TV's New Problem Guru Refuses to Answer


Byline: CAROLINE BARRETT

TV'S newest Agony Aunt doesn't exactly have the background for helping other people tackle tricky problems.

Tough Tory MP Ann Widdecombe has NEVER had a sexual relationship, NEVER been married and NEVER had children.

So how can she hand out advice when most problem pages are full of questions from people struggling with failing love affairs, sexual hang-ups and misbehaving kids?

Easy, she says, she just won't go anywhere near problems like THAT...

In fact, she has ruled out topics from sex to drugs and homosexuality to abortion.

"I don't do the usual agony advice stuff. I'm not a therapist," says a defiant Ann, 57, whose new show Widdecombe To The Rescue starts on BBC2 in the spring.

"I don't do sex - I won't even go there. I simply won't.

"I don't do illegal drugs. My only advice would be to head straight to the police station."

The MP for Maidstone and The Weald - who shot to fame when she lost two stone on Celebrity Fit Club in 2002 - goes on: "I don't do homosexuality, either. And if you're thinking of having an abortion - don't."

So which questions WILL Ann handle on her new show?

"What I do is bring common sense to the table," she explains.

"My line is unless a person is very emotionally disturbed to the point where they need medical intervention, a problem can be solved with the common sense approach."

Ann has already recorded the series which sees her visit the homes of people asking for her help.

They include a mother and daughter who are always arguing, a man who can't get a job, a father who struggles to get his kids to bed, and brothers and sisters who don't get on.

And Aunty Ann insists that her advice was a great help.

Ann herself lives a rather sheltered life with her mother, Rita, in south east London. She says she was in love just once with a fellow student at Oxford University. I ask her what insight she can give when 70 per cent of letters to problem pages are about sex.

"It does strike me as the most amazing question," she protests. "How many murders has Ruth Rendall done to write about murder? None.

"The idea that you have to have been in a situation or done something to take a view on it is nonsense.

"I have a mother, a brother, I have nephews and nieces and I've absorbed a huge amount through common sense."

Ann meets me at the reception of her office overlooking the Houses of Parliament. She's far smaller than she appears on TV and a lot thinner. When she plonks down she is so small her feet barely touch the floor.

"I'm 5ft 1in - the 1in is incredibly important. Don't forget it," she says and bursts into laughter.

Ann admits that appearing on Louis Theroux Meets... in 2001 and then a few months later Celebrity Fit Club has made her an unlikely celebrity.

"If I am a celebrity, I am I imagine it's E-list," she laughs.

Ann's ability to keep off the pounds - she slimmed down from 11st 12lb to 9st 4lb over eight months - has earned her a place on the panel of the new series of Celebrity Fit Club. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

AGONY CAN'T! NO SEX, NO GAYS, NO DRUGS; Questions TV's New Problem Guru Refuses to Answer
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.