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At 86, Barbara Castle becomes the Oldie of the Year

Baroness Barbara Castle received the ultimate accolade from her peers yesterday when she accepted the title of Oldie Of the Year 1996. from Richard Ingrams' Oldie magazine

At 86, she gracefully suggested it was a triumph of longetivity over achievement before launching into an impassioned attack on ageism. "I am launching my 'I Refuse To Die' campaign, and I implore all oldies to rise up and join me. I shall die when I'm ready, not when Peter Lilley tells me to."

She paid respects to her fellow prize-winners; TV cooks Jennifer Patterson and Clarisa Dickson Wright as Fatties of the Year, June Whitfield as Absolutely Fabulous Oldie of the Year and Peter Shilton for his special award for an Oldie with Snap Left In His Celery Award. Sam Taylor