Saga bags exclusive interview with PM about turning 50

Saga Magazine clinched one of its biggest exclusives this week – an interview with Tony Blair.

The five-page interview “Happy Birthday?” in the May issue features the Prime Minister talking to Valerie Grove about his 50th.

Saga editor Emma Soames said: “I think our attitude to age has changed, as indeed his has. We are both fighting preconceptions here, we asked and the waters parted – in quite a heavenly manner.”

“I think they like the way the magazine is going at No 10 and it is a way of hitting a million people of over 50. We were also able to tell him that being 50 is rather like swimming in England in August, it’s lovely once you’re in.”

The PM says he does not intend to stay in politics until his later years and that his toddler son Leo frequently wakes him and Cherie up at night.

He also says he doesn’t feel 50. “I feel great. I do more exercise today than I’ve done since I was at school. I pay more attention to looking after myself, I watch my diet a bit. But really I find it’s the exercise that’s fantastically helpful for coping with stress.”

Soames said No 10 did not have copy approval. “It is certainly not Hello! magazine, we push people but equally we are fair and he wouldn’t get into a scrap like he would with the dailies,” she told Press Gazette.

“Saga has changed a lot. It’s very buzzy. It is a natural place for the interview and we have given him the cover. Not all men at 50 find it easy to get on covers outside Hollywood. There is great excitement here, we are very excited about it.”

By Ruth Addicott

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