What’s your earliest recollection? | Life | Life & Style



Kathy LetteKathy Lette

Kathy Lette and her mother

ANTHEA TURNERMike Marsland/WireImage

ANTHEA TURNER 58, TV presenter

ANTHEA TURNER 58, TV presenter “I distinctly remember being at my aunty Fanny’s caravan in Rhyl, Wales, with my mum and dad. There were the hens outside and I was absolutely fascinated by them.

“I was being potty trained at the time. From what I can remember I was happily sitting on the potty but screaming because I wouldn’t take off my pants. I can see it now: the potty was red.

“My mum was pregnant with my sister Ruth so it would have been in 1962. I was two and a half years old. I have a sharp memory of my life.”

VANESSA FELTZDave J Hogan/Getty Images

VANESSA FELTZ 56BBC Radio 2 presenter

VANESSA FELTZ 56, BBC Radio 2 presenter “I remember being at nursery school and a boy called Alvin Zeltzer used to pinch me during skipping. I must have been two and a half years old.

“I shrieked and told on him to my mum but I secretly quite enjoyed a boy making me squeal. I liked the attention and that hasn’t changed to this very day!

“I still kind of hope someone I like will give me a pinch during skipping. This happened at the Union Church nursery school but it used to be called Mrs Blundell’s in Totteridge, north London, but in those days Totteridge was in Hertfordshire. Anyway, I think Alvin’s family moved to America.”


KATHY LETTE 59, the Australian author of 16 books

KATHY LETTE 59, the Australian author of 16 books, the latest of which is Best Laid Plans “My earliest memory is of my mum beaming happily as she walked into my sunlit bedroom, arms outstretched, to lift me, cooing from my cot. The memory is crystal clear. I can still hear the kookaburras cackling outside the window and feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on my face.

“Mine was a happy and loving childhood. The most dangerous thing for a 10-mile radius was a bad prawn. The lack of misery and hardship does not make a great childhood for a writer. I’m going to sue my parents for loss of book royalties for bringing me up too happily!”


GLORIA HUNNIFORD 78, TV personality and author

GlORIA HUNNIFORD 78, TV personality and author “My earliest memory is being pushed in a doll’s pram by my sister down our back path which was quite steep. What registered was my fear.

“I was about 14 months old and she was seven years older than me and I remember feeling very afraid, if not traumatised, by the speed we were travelling.

“My dad kept pigeons in the back garden and I recall being afraid as she raced down the sloping path towards the pigeon pen.”


RICHARD MADELEY 62, TV presenter

RICHARD MADELEY 62, TV presenter “I have two distinct early memories, although I am not sure if the earliest is a genuine or false memory. I was a May baby and I clearly remember my mother wheeling my pram to the back lawn and parking it under an old apple tree, which was in blossom.

All my life I have had a distinct visual image of looking up at the tracery of branches, as well as the sensation of white blossom falling on to my face. At the time I was lying on my back in the pram I could only have been a few weeks old because apple blossoms in May and I was born on May 13. It is a very clear image. I can actually feel the blossom falling on my cheeks.

“The other memory was from when I was three. I am standing in the kitchen and my mother comes through the door, smiles at me, points and says: ‘Four tomorrow!’ So that was on May 12, 1960. It’s a very clear-cut memory.”

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RUSSELL GRANT 67, astrologer

RUSSELL GRANT 67, astrologer “My earliest childhood memory is moving into my family home in Harefield, Middlesex, when I was about two years old. That was in 1953.

“I remember going into the house with my mother and father. It was very bright and big but so dusty because everything was brand new. It was our first home so naturally I was very excited.

“It was a place that was to be a source of much love, joy and happiness. So much so I’m glad to be going back on Saturday to open the church fete.”


ANN WIDDECOMBE 70, Daily Express columnist

ANN WIDDECOMBE 70, Daily Express columnist “My mother was pushing me in an old-fashioned pram with a little white canopy over it to shield me from the sun and all I can remember her saying is, ‘I’ll put the canopy up.’ I must have been around two or two and a half years old.

“That would have been in Bath where I was born because we moved to Portsmouth not long after. And I clearly remember the next door neighbour’s brown dog in the small back garden.”


SARAH BEENY 46, property developer

SARAH BEENY 46, property developer “You never know if your earliest memories come from photographs or are genuine memories but I think mine was lying in a hammock that was between two apple trees at our family home in Risely, Berkshire.

“My older brother Diccon and I used to lie in it and then hold on to the sides. My mum and dad would swing us so hard that we would go all the way round in a circle. I was probably about four at the time. My next earliest memory was when I was seven and I sat on a nest of red ants. That was quite painful.”


LINDA ROBSON 60, actress and Loose Women presenter

LINDA ROBSON 60, actress and Loose Women presenter “The earliest thing I recall is not being very happy when my sister Tina was born. At the time I thought, ‘Who’s this that’s come in and taken all of my mum’s attention away?’

“I was around four or five years old. I started to like her but it took a while. On my first day at primary school I became even more upset because Tina, who is two years younger than me, got to stay at home while I was at school.

“I remember feeling traumatised watching my mum walking away from the school gates. Nowadays you are allowed to ease your child in gently but back then they just took you to the school gates and left.”


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