June We’re addicted. Thalidomide is a hard subject. The news was just breaking when I was pregnant with my first child, so that hit really hard with us.
How do you keep fit if you are watching telly all the time?
J I do t’ai chi on a Monday, swim on a Tuesday, swim again on a Thursday. And run after Leon.
L I play bridge twice a week.
Does filming intrude on your viewing habits?
J We carry on as normal. I’ll say I’m going to make a cup of tea, and that’s fine. We used to drink more but Leon had a really bad attack of gout, so we were advised not to drink red wine. Though since Christmas he’s been having the odd drink.
Does watching Simon Cowell make it worse?
L Oh yes. Don’t laugh, it’s very painful. [June laughs.] It’s terrible.
J He’s been advised to get up and walk around every half an hour. And keep his legs bent. The crew are very kind and lift him out of the chair. Leon mobility’s not brilliant.
Perhaps your famous reclining chairs don’t help?
J They are too low. We were going to buy new seats when we signed up for the show. We thought it was for four weeks and then it took off and we didn’t have time. We never really thought we were going to be part of the show. Who’d want to watch people in their 70s watch TV? So we decided we’d have them re-covered, and Channel 4 said, “Oh no! Everybody likes your chairs. They’re all talking about your chairs.” Leon loves that chair.
Do you have a second TV?
J In the living room. It’s supposed to be Leon’s television. He has his own leather chair in there.
L Sky Sports in the front room!
J He has a sort of leather swivel chair. He can turn and wave to people through the window.
If you were to die watching television, what programme would you like to be on?
L Match of the Day: Everton beating Liverpool 6–0. I’d go happy.
How often do you abandon June and watch telly on your own?
L Every morning, I take her breakfast in bed most mornings and go downstairs and watch Frasier.
J He allows me to have some of his marmalade.
L Shredless, I don’t like it with bits.
We’re talking just before Valentine’s Day: any advice on maintaining the fizz in a relationship, Leon?
L You’ve got to love her more than anybody. You’ve got to be une grande passion. She shouts at me a lot. I’m taking her out for Valentine’s. It’ll be a nice meal. I’m 81 and still mad about her. At 78 she’s got a better figure than anybody.