The 5-Minute Interview: Denise Robertson, agony aunt

'If you're not happy, do something about it'
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The Independent Online

Denise Robertson, 71, the agony aunt on ITV's 'This Morning' is backing Flora's Spread the Love Week, a campaign to bring romance back to Valentine's Day

The state of romance and Valentine's Day today is ...

I went to buy a Valentine's card for my husband and they all had "to my husband" and "to my boyfriend". There's supposed to be an element of mystery; it's being spoilt. Everybody needs love.

A phrase I use far too often is ...

I'm a writer so I tend not to repeat myself. When life really gets on top, I say: "God, I wish I was dead." It upsets my husband. I have made a vow not to use it.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Other people's feelings. There is not only a lot of bullying in schools, but a lot of workplace bullying. A lot is simply thoughtlessness.

The most surprising thing that ever happened to me was ...

Falling in love three times, especially the last time when I was widowed 10 years ago. Then I fell head over heels in love with my childhood sweetheart whom I hadn't seen for 43 years. I was twice widowed, but I'm very conscious that I'm lucky.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I'm commonsensical. I'm good with other people's problems, but my own life is a bit scatty.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

We are meant to be happy. If you're not happy, do something about it.