As she prepares to take control of the four-seater Cessna 172 in a private airfileld in San Diego where she has spent Christmas. The former Countdown host says she is passionate about learning to fly - something she has set her heart on since first seeing Concorde take to the skies.
“I’m getting properly hooked as I’m flying most days. I should go solo this week,” she tells HELLO! “As for soaring above the clouds: “You don’t worry about things. The rest of the world just disappears.”
The 52-year-old took her first flying lesson in Leeds in 1982 but was so frustrated by often being grounded by bad weather she let it drift. Now if she gets 40-plus hours’ flying time under her belt and passes the test, she hopes to have her private pilot’s licence by Easter – around the time her daughter Katie 20 hopes to get hers. Katie is studying physics at Cambridge and is now an officer cadet in the university’s air squadron.
Carol's life is hitting new heights too with 37-year-old "Duffy", as she calls him, although she is fiercely independent. She thinks many people get stuck in relationships they shouldn’t be in because they’re afraid to leave. “I can’t be that person,” she says. “That’s why every decade I’ve moved on. I’d never like to be tied down or tie anybody else down. I have no fear about being single.”
On the work front too she has lots lined up, as well as Loose Women which is back on TV this week, she is presenting ITV1’s upcoming Food, Glorious Food, which searches for the home cook with the best recipe.
A well-known mathematics whizz she is also renowned for her actual figure. Carol tells HELLO!: “You get to an age where you think, ‘Whatever. That’s nice. Thank you.’ If you’re in your 60s and look good enough to wear a miniskirt, wear one. It’s got sod all to do with your age. There are women in their 20s who shouldn’t be wearing them.”