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Inspirational older people in the limelight

13th August 2015

Earlier this month, the iconic entertainer Cilla Black sadly passed away, but not without leaving many memories of her inspirational career behind her. She was a singer, actress and well-loved TV personality, who continued to stay in the limelight, despite reaching an older age.

Here, we take a look at some of the older entertainers who continue to put a smile on our faces, while we relax in our rise and recline chairs watching the small screen.

Bruce Forsyth

With a Guinness World Record for the longest television career spanning more than 75 years, it’s no surprise that Sir Bruce Forsyth appears at the top of our list of inspirational older people. He rose to fame when he began appearing in the ITV series Sunday Night at the London Palladium, but later featured in popular programs such as The Generation Game, Play Your Cards Right and The Price is Right. Forsyth most recently co-hosted Strictly Come Dancing and landed the role since he was trained to be a dancer from the age of eight.


Best known for her singing career, Cher is also an American entertainer who has featured in numerous films, and is considered among many as a fashion icon. Nicknamed the Goddess of Pop, Cher had her first hit in 1965 with her fellow folk rock husband Sonny, and has since had many top-ten singles. In 2014, she collaborated with hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, and features on two of the songs on their most recent album. It has also been reported that Cher is working on a musical, which tells the story of her life and will include a selection of her greatest hits.

Tom Jones

Legendary soul singer Tom Jones began to emerge in the 1960s, yet still features on our television screens as a judge on the Voice UK, which sees four superstar coaches search for the newest singing talent. He has now sold more than 100 million records, with 36 of his well-known hits featuring in the UK Top 40 over the years. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, such as a Grammy, Brit Award and MTV Video Music Award, and was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1999 for his ‘services to music’.

Iris Apfel

At the grand age of 93, Iris Apfel is still a huge fashion inspiration to many and was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in 2013. She recently appeared in the advertisements for the American fashion design house Kate Spade, and often gives lectures about style and other fashion topics at universities. Those interested in the fashionista will soon be able to watch a feature length documentary called Iris, which is set to be released later this year.

Trevor McDonald

Recognised by most as the former News at Ten presenter, or the host of current affairs programme Tonight With Trevor McDonald, it’s not surprising that this journalist is often considered a national treasure. During his career, Trevor McDonald has also produced numerous fascinating documentaries, which explore various subjects such as the treatment of prisoners and death row. He has now retired, twice in fact, but a two-part documentary featuring McDonald was aired earlier this year, which sees him interview some of the most dangerous members of the American Mafia.

Mary Berry

As the face of the Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry is one of the most prominent older celebrities on British television today. Berry became a household name when she began publishing cookery books in the early 70s and can now boast a collection of more than seventy, as well as being the host for a number of programs on the BBC and Thames Television. Mary Berry was also mentioned alongside Iris Apfel as being one of the most fashionable over 50s in the prestigious list published by the Guardian.

David Attenborough

With one of the most recognisable voices in the world, David Attenborough is still to this day creating documentaries which are watched by millions. He joined the BBC full time in 1952 and presented a series which was first aired in 1954 called Zoo Quest, after the original presenter fell ill. Attenborough is most famous for his Life series, which began in 1979, with Life on Earth. One of his most recent works saw the naturalist return to Australia, where he fronts a documentary exploring the Great Barrier Reef.

Image Credit: Johann Edwin Heupel (


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