Doreen Tipton: Growing old disgracefully. . .

By Lisa Harrison | Weekend | Published:

I’ve been asked to do a special show this August in a 1,000 seater marquee.

Doreen Tipton writes every week in the Express & Star and Shropshire Star

It’s to celebrate Telford’s 50th Birthday. I said yes, and at first was quite pleased about it. But then a really depressing thought overwhelmed me.

I suddenly realised I was actually older than Telford.

How can that be? I think of that Thomas Telford statue – all that history – surely nobody can be older than a whole town? But apparently I am.

It could be worse, of course. I could be older than Tipton. Tipton was actually recorded in the Domesday book in 1086, which I’m pretty sure was before my time.

Anyway, I wish Telford well, because 50 is a tricky age.

The Thomas Telford statue

That’s the age when bits of your body start dropping off and going wrong.

It’s when your knees feel like they’re made out of twigs – these days I can’t even touch my toes when I’m sitting down.


It’s when your hair turns the colour of bacofoil and starts dropping out.

It’s when blokes notice that they need a wee every 15 seconds, and their ears seem to be getting quieter, despite the fact that they’m actually getting much bigger.

It’s when your teeth and your gums seem to want to go in opposite directions, until eventually they end up in a glass next to your bed.

And when your eyes can no longer focus on anything, unless you’ve got arms like a gibbon.


It’s when you start to spend a third of your life on the sofa, a third in bed, and the other third trying to make doctor’s appointments.

And, most depressing of all, it’s when you magically start getting insurance and holiday offers from Saga.

And yes, to drown our sorrows, I have to admit that some of us also take refuge in an occasional drink.

But even that’s frowned on nowadays. The latest health studies have shown without doubt that Government watchdogs are boring gits that try and spoil what bit of fun us old folk have got left.

The latest guidelines suggest we have no more than 14 units a week.

And I had yet another shock yesterday, when my doctor, who looks about 11, pointed out that a unit wasn’t a bottle.

I did take his advice though about trying a bit of gentle sport to stay supple. So now, every night without fail, I sit down and watch the football.

Anyway, I can’t lie – getting older has its drawbacks. But time waits for no woman – so we might as well start growing old disgracefully.

I intend to start at the Telford show, which I’ve called ‘Doreen’s Naughty Bits’ – it’s a collection of some of my favourite moments, sketches and videos from the past four years, and yes, some of them are quite naughty. Not for the young.

In a recent interview, Theresa May was asked what was the naughtiest thing she’d ever done.

Her answer was very vicar’s daughtery. Is there such a word as ‘daughtery’? Anyway, there is now. She said: “Running through fields of wheat as a child.” I’d argue she’s done far worse than that since, like totally botching Brexit and leaving the country rudderless – but that’s just me.

Anyway, my Telford show is happening in a Big Top, but I’m told that camping has come on a bit since I was a kid.

And this week I’m running a little competition to give two of you the chance of free tickets (it’s quicker and almost as cheap to buy them, but never mind).

All you have to do is email me. At first I was going to make the competition quite creative, posing the Theresa May question: “What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?” but then I realised that could land me in big trouble. What if somebody answered: “The Great Train Robbery” or “I’m a serial killer”? It’d give me a moral dilemma – a bit like a confessional priest. Should I keep quiet and do nothing? Or should I tell the police, and leave it to them to do nothing? Tricky.

So let’s just keep it simple. Just email me ( with the heading TELFORD and you’re in the hat (I think it’s a metaphoric hat, not a real one). The winners will be announced next week, and the rest of you will have to buy your tickets, or just stay at home watching repeats of Columbo and Tipping Point.

So I wish Telford a very happy 50th. I hope to see you there, and also back here next week, when I’ll be getting stuck into another hot topic – the NHS, as that’s coming up to a big birthday soon as well. And remember, no matter how old we are, we can still loff, even if occasionally our teeth might fly out in the process. Just swill them off and pop them back in, ready to go again.

Tarra a bit x

Chance to win tickets to see Doreen on stage. . .

Your chance to win two tickets for doreen’s show on Friday, August 17. Just email with the heading TELFORD and you’ll be in the hat to win two free tickets to Doreen’s Naughty Bits – a special one-off show in a 1,000-seater Big Top to celebrate Telford’s 50th Birthday. The winners will be announced next week. Full show details on

Lisa Harrison

By Lisa Harrison

Deputy Weekend Editor, based at E&S head office in Wolverhampton. Works on Weekend and Woman supplements. Features include celebrity, real life, fashion, homes, beauty and general lifestyle content.


Top stories


More from Shropshire Star

UK & International News