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Actress Celia Imrie on embracing catcalling and learning to lighten up

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Actress Celia Imrie has said that we should stop moaning about wolf whistles and enjoy it. 

In an interview with Glamour magazine, the 62-year-old said that she's thrilled if she's whistled at, saying “Of course I am. We should be so lucky”.

“People have become so moany. I mean, I’m not mad about being called ‘love’ or ‘dear’ but I quite like ‘darling’. And, really – lighten up, everyone. There’s enough horribleness in the world. Let’s just have a nice time, shall we?”

Celia in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Celia in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Promoting her new film The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which she stars with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Richard Gere, she revealed that she went to LA following the success of Calendar Girls but that she was told she would have to have plastic surgery if she were to get any roles: 

“I had all these meetings in LA and they said, ‘You know, you’re going to have to have some work done.’ But where do you start – or stop? Not that I would consider it anyway, because I’m too much of a coward. But, you know, the screen can be very cruel.”

However, she claims the UK film industry is more accepting of ageing actors: “You know, those films could never be made in America, because nobody has any wrinkles. And actually I’m lucky to be the age that I am, simply because I get to be in great films, so I can’t complain.”

In the Calendar Girls

In the Calendar Girls

But she conceded that she's still struggled to come to terms with her age, as she still feels much younger than her years. 

“I absolutely hate being the age I am, because I feel 26. That’s the age I’m stuck at,” said the star, “sometimes when my faces is up there in HD I’ll just think, ‘Oh, lord – how embarrassing’.”

However, while she praises Britain for its approach to older actors, she expressed her disdain for the TV industry and revealed that she thought Broadchurch was boring.

“Quite frankly, I think English television is rather boring in general these days. I’ll sit there shouting, ‘Get on with it!’ at the TV, because things just move so slowly. American TV, on the other hand, is absolutely brilliant at the moment.”

Celia has worked across theatre, film and television since she began her acting career in 1973. She's starred in films such as Bridget Jones's Diary, Wimbledon and Nanny McPhee. However, she is probably best known for her work with Victoria Wood on the show Acorn Antiques, in which she played the infamous role of Miss Babs. 

She currently lives in London and the Isle of Wight, and has a son Angus with the actor Benjamin Whitrow.

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