Credo: Anne Reid

'Every young man should learn to foxtrot'
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The Independent Online

I believe in positive thought. I'm a born optimist. I got it from my dad. I've had some terrible things happen in my life, but I've also had the most wonderful things happen to me. I think I was very lucky to be born into the family that I was.

I believe in a lot of sleep. Last night I got about nine hours. I'm also a great catnapper.

I believe in adventures. I think you should spend your money on travelling if you can, and say yes to invitations and then find out what they are afterwards. I go to New York a lot.

I believe that you shouldn't have too many possessions. I think they weigh you down. My dad always believed that you should never own more than you can carry in a suitcase. Ideally I'd like to live in a caravan - parked next to The Ivy, preferably.

I believe I would go mad without my piano. I need to play every day. I'm not a wonderful pianist, but I think if I was born again I would go to music college and not be an actress. It calms me and keeps me off the gin.

I believe that my little grandchild, Alexander, is the most beautiful little person I have every seen.

I believe comedy is much harder to do than drama. I think Victoria Wood should be a Dame. It's much easier to make people cry than laugh, but nobody seems to recognise that.

I believe in a gin and tonic at half past six and a Bill Evans CD on the player. He's the most brilliant jazz pianist. He's absolutely my idol.

I believe that all young men should learn to foxtrot.

I absolutely hate all this jigging about dancing. You go to a wedding and you get up to dance and you have to jig about. They should go to those formal dances.

I believe love is everything. I love a lot of people. It's a big thing in my life. If you give people love, it's amazing how they change, even if they are rotten. My husband died in 1981. I'm quite happy on my own.

I believe all parents should make their children laugh every day, then they'll stay close to you. I don't believe in a lot of discipline. My son would be appalled if he heard this.

I believe there should be a lot more parts written for older women. Once sex isn't involved people lose interest. But I have to say I've had the most wonderful parts recently. I've just done Dr Who. I can't tell you what I played, but I had an absolute ball.

I believe you should have lots of friends who are much younger than you because it keeps you up to speed. Most of my friends are younger than me.

I believe in driving long distances. Most people hate that. I just find it very relaxing.

I could have been a truck driver, actually. I like being on my own.

I believe that people don't appreciate the English countryside. My dad used to say if you showed Yorkshire to a camel it would go mad, it's so green.

I believe nobody should have to cook unless they really want to. I hate it. I eat a lot of stir-fries.

Interview by Julia Stuart