Stephanie Arnott says she’s been known to make grown men weep. Because, as she explains, that’s just what happens ‘when you are 58 with the face and figure of a 35-year-old.’ The grandmother puts her youthful looks down to ‘luck and good genes’. She’s also clearly blessed with incredible self-confidence.
The diva gran, who you may have spotted on Couples Come Dine With Me with her 66-year-old husband Ian earlier this year, also told MailOnline: ‘People think I’m a superstar and guess my age at 35. I always look like I’ve just walked off a movie set.
‘People are always surprised to see someone as glamorous as me walking around,’ she adds.
Stephanie says men are always approaching her. Once, when she had scaffolding outside her flat, she says one man climbed up and left her a note asking her to dinner.
She’s even caused car crashes because of her looks, apparently.
‘Until recently (when I’ve lost my looks slightly) I used to cause near-accidents on the streets. People would get distracted by me and have to slam their brakes on,’ she says.
‘I remember walking by a crossroad with a friend once. The man at the wheel took a double take at me and there was a very near crash.’
And she’s reduced grown men to tears. ‘I’ve also had men getting emotional on me. I can be talking to someone and then I’ll notice they are getting soppy and tearful – and trying to hold back tears,’ she explains.
‘I think it’s because they fall in love at first sight – but obviously they are not going to admit that,’ she muses.
Stephanie’s best quotes
‘I used to mow the lawn in a peach silk dress. If I get the fabric caught on a thorny rose, so what?’
‘I also like to clean the car in bikini, which gets me rather a lot of attention. If it’s a sunny day, I think “why not?”.’
‘I remember walking into a pub once, the day after Miss World had been on TV, and a guy stopped me and said: “Where the hell were you last night? You should have won Miss World”.’
‘I look better in real life than it photographs. Ian says the problem is that I’m too stiff. That’s why I don’t come over well.’
‘Now I can see Cher in myself – but I am a softer featured face than Cher so I think I am a better version.’
‘I could put on some high-quality white leggings and I would turn heads but I’m not looking for too much attention.
‘When I picked my granddaughter up from school one day I heard a bit mumbling from her seven-year-old friends. I couldn’t hear exactly but they were probably saying, “I can’t believe that’s your grandmother”.
The mum-of-one signed up for work as a mature model last year, and confesses she did have Botox for the first time before her appearance on Come Dine With Me. She sounds a little disappointed that the other contestants guessed her real age on the show.
‘People find it hard to believe my age, although when the other contestants on the show were asked to guess they did get it right – “Fifty plus VAT” as one of the contestants put it,’ she says, adding: ‘But I think they had been prepped by producers – and I have a mature voice, which is also a giveaway.’
Don’t worry, though, it hasn’t dented her confidence. She concludes: ‘I love getting attention and get bought drinks when I’m out. People often mistake Ian for my minder and chauffeur. It’s probably because I have film-star looks and I’m also well-spoken and glamorous.
‘Every day of my life I look elegant; it doesn’t matter what I am doing whether I am pruning roses, gardening, housework even cleaning our cars I would hate to look scruffy!’