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Last Tango star Anne Reid ‘a loner’

Millions of viewers have tuned in to see her play ageing romantic Celia in Last Tango In Halifax, but 79-year-old Anne Reid says she is too much of “a loner” for another real-life relationship.

The actress, whose husband died in 1981, stars opposite Sir Derek Jacobi in the BBC show where they play a pair of pensioners who marry decades after first falling in love.

Appearing on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, she said she enjoyed being alone and able to do what she liked.

She told Kirsty Young that her husband, Peter Eckersley, had been “the cleverest man and the funniest man in the world”.

She said: ” I never thought of getting married again, I’m quite difficult to live with I think.”

Reid, whose career included a lengthy stint on Coronation Street, said she thought her childhood years in boarding school away from her parents had made her self-reliant.

She said: “I think it stood me in quite good stead, I think this is really why I never remarried, I think basically I’m a loner. I’m quite surprised I ever got married in the first place.”

Reid, who chose the complete works of George and Ira Gershwin as her book and a piano as her luxury item, selected tracks including Always And Forever by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and How High The Moon by Ella Fitzgerald.

She also described how the prospect of filming sex scenes with James Bond star Daniel Craig for the 2003 film The Mother, about a woman’s relationship with a younger man, reduced her to tears.

She said: “T he night before I had a lot of drink on my own in the flat and I stripped and I stood in front of a mirror and thought tomorrow I’m going to have to show this and I started to cry and I thought ‘Oh my good God I can’t do this’ so I rang my son and I was weeping and he said ‘look mum, it’s a great part, if you’re inhibited it’s not going to work so just go for it’ and I sort of managed to pull myself together but it was scary.”

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