With her washboard stomach and toned abs, Linda Barker became the pin-up girl for over 50s when she was a competitor on the Saturday night TV show, Splash!.
In an exclusive interview with HELLO! magazine, Linda, 51, says that she has no idea of the storm it would cause. "After the first live show, my neighbour texted me to look online at all the comments like, 'How does a 51-year-old woman get abs like that?'" says the former Changing Rooms presenter.
"My husband Chris [Short] and I were having a cup of tea in bed and were just astounded."
But how did she achieve such a look that has seen her land a new role as ambassador for lingerie giant Playtex?. "I'm a bit addicted to feeling good," says Linda. "Exercise makes me feel good and confident, which is hugely powerful."
She also revealed that she works out twice a week with a personal trainer including visits to the gym, cycling, running marathons and practicing yoga.
She tells HELLO! she originally did not plan to wear a bikini on the TV diving competition, opting instead for a black running top and bikini bottoms, until Sue from the wardrobe department intervened.
"She came over and said 'you've got to wear a bikini.' I went, 'Really? Do you think I’ll be all right?'" she recalls. "And she said, 'I think it will be fabulous. There'll be hair and make-up and glitter everywhere.' So I thought, 'Let’s do it.'"
For the full interview see this week's HELLO! magazine, issue 1268, available in stores and on the Apple Newsstand.