My Secret Life: Sandie Shaw, 66, singer

'I really don't like wearing clothes'

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The Independent Online

My parents were… My grandfather was in the Navy, so my dad, as an act of rebellion, ran away at the age of 15 and joined the Army. My mum worked in Gamages department store.

The household I grew up in… was aspiring working class, in Dagenham.

When I was a child I wanted to be… something that got me away from Dagenham. I started singing in dance halls when I was 15.

If I could change one thing about myself… Such a huge list. Depends on the mood I'm in.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… fibbing.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… I have no sense of balance. It's one of the reasons I don't wear shoes.

I wish I had never worn… so many things from the Eighties.

What I see when I look in the mirror… A familiar face that I'm quite comfortable with.

My favourite item of clothing… I really don't like wearing clothes much. So various things like nighties and kaftans that make it feel like I'm not wearing anything. I don't like to feel restricted.

It's not fashionable but I like… The X Factor and Dancing on Ice.

I drive… a Renault Mégane, with the roof off.

My favourite work of art… Picasso's Guernica. I've never been so struck. Also the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When I went there, the warden thought everyone had gone home so I was alone and lay down on the floor. It was absolutely fantastic.

Movie heaven… My dad used to take me to see films "in Technicolor", and Charlton Heston always seemed to be playing God.

The last album I bought… Babel, Mumford & Sons.

My secret crush… I've stopped fancying people since I married my husband. Unless they look like him – and he's not that handsome! He's got the most beautiful, wonderful mind. Once you've seen it all, it gets difficult to be impressed. I choose what I want very carefully.

My real-life villains… I'm a Buddhist so I know that everybody has the potential to be a Buddha – someone who is completely whole in expressing themselves in a totally true fashion. The fact that they're not able to do it at this particular moment is neither here nor there.

What's the point? That's a ridiculous question. From what perspective? What's the point of what? The point of life? We're born and we're meant to be alive and be happy. There you are, that's the point.

My life in six words… Had a great life and died.

A life in brief

Sandie Shaw was born in Dagenham, Essex in 1947. She had her first number one single in 1964 at the age of 17, with "Always Something There to Remind Me". Famous for her barefoot performances, she had more than 20 Top 40 hits and more number ones than any female artist in the 1960s, including the Eurovision Song Contest winner "Puppet on a String". She is now a qualified psychotherapist and lives with her third husband, Tony. She has three children, two stepchildren and four grandchildren