My body & soul: Imelda Staunton

Are you healthy? Pretty healthy. Both my parents had heart problems: my mother had type 2 diabetes and my father had a stroke. Unfortunately my mum died five years ago and that really was a shock – it made me very conscious of diet and exercise.

Any notable accidents? I've fallen over on stage a couple of times, but I've only ever bruised my ego.

How do you relax? I have just started doing a ceramics course and I absolutely love it.

How much sleep do you need? I bloody love sleep – if I could have 72 hours a night I would.

How much do you drink? A glass or two of wine twice a week. I didn't really drink at all in my 20s and 30s. It's not really been in my make-up.

Attitude to smoking? I've never smoked, but my mum smoked a lot all her life and she died of severe heart disease. Her partner also smoked and died of cancer of the tongue, so I think my attitude is pretty clear – it's a killer.

And drugs? I wish kids felt the same way about drugs as they do about spinach: "No, I'm not even going to try it."

Are you happy? Yes, because I have the right balance between life and work. I make time to do what I want to do rather than just taking time to do what I think I ought to.

Have you ever taken an antidepressant? When I had postnatal depression I took them for about three months and just got my nose above the surface of the water.

How do you feel about cosmetic surgery? I wouldn't consider it for myself, not in a million years. You read about poor people having Botox go wrong and you think: "Well, what the bloody hell were you doing?" Why would you inject yourself with poison? And why are we spending so much time looking at ourselves? I just don't get it.★

February is National Heart Month. For your free Heart Information Pack, go to

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