Episode 8 Holding Back the Years


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Episode 8

Series exploring concerns about ageing. Fiona Phillips meets people who have divorced later in life and finds out how to have as pain-free a divorce as possible.


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-Everything has an impact on your life.

-Whatever your age.

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From the type of house we live in...

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Oh, this looks nice.

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Yes, it has been completely renovated throughout.

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..to how much money we have to spend.

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Your wage ends up being like a normal working wage, which is good.

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What we put in our bodies...

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I don't think I've ever been fat-fat, but I have put weight on.

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..to the secrets of our genetic make-up.

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You are going to live to be 140.

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-That'll do.

-I'll take everything I can get.

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So finding out about all those things and more

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-could help you mature brilliantly.

-Or slow down the ageing process,

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just a little.

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We've tracked down the very best tips and advice for

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-holding back the years.

-And now, with the help of our team,

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we're going to pass them on to you.

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To show you how to have the time of your life.

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Whenever that may be.

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Hello, and welcome to the show that I think you will agree is maturing

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like a fine wine.

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Or maybe cheese. Whatever you fancy, really.

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Here's what's on today's show.

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Fiona meets the silver splitters and finds out how to have as pain-free

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a divorce as possible, no matter how long you've been married.

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When you're going through a divorce a will can be invalidated,

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as can promises that you have been making to your children

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to give them things.

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Dr Chatterjee explores why keeping in touch with your sense of touch

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could save your life.

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People who are touched in an old people's home eat more.

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-Wow.

-There is actually evidence that if they are physically touched,

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they eat more food.

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And would you take a test that told you how long you've got to live?

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That's the dilemma Bill has been exploring in Stockport.

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This is a way that people can understand what's their risk

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and they can probably try to have a more healthy lifestyle.

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Nicki Chapman is asking,

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should blokes dress their age when it comes to what not to wear?

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If your waistline is going in and out, maybe you're comfortable

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in an elasticated waist and a slip-on shoes.

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How would you feel about something like that?

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I can't wait!

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Now, the latest figures show that divorce rates are dropping

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for every age except one - the over-50-year-olds.

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Yes, and although separation can be difficult at any age, obviously,

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the older you get, the more complicated the legal,

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financial and emotional issues seem to become.

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But help is at hand,

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and Fiona went to find out why breaking up shouldn't be that hard

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to do, even for the people they call the silver splitters.

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According to the Office for National Statistics,

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the average marriage in Britain lasts just 12 years.

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That puts us the highest in the EU when it comes to breaking up.

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Reaching the decision to separate is a tough one at any age.

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But when you get into later life,

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as well as the whole history of the relationship,

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there are all the other challenges to face, like legal,

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financial, as well as emotional.

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Sue Plumtree got married in her 20s.

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But after 37 years of marriage, at the age of 60,

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she decided it was time for a fresh start.

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Sue's perspective changed when she started seeing a life coach

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in her mid-50s.

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Sue, so what was the turning point, then, after all that time?

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It wasn't anything so dramatic.

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What actually happened, it was a moment,

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where he said or did something he must have said or done

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hundreds of times before. But this time, I saw the emptiness.

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And I had been trying so hard not to see it.

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But ending the marriage was only the beginning of Sue's new life,

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and it wasn't easy to start with.

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So you were 60, Sue.

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That is a huge thing to look forward into the unknown at that age,

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-isn't it?

-Yes.

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When you're having pensions thrown at you and being told,

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"Hang on, you're 60 now, that's it, you are an old age pensioner".

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So how daunting was the whole process?

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I had to come to terms.

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It took me the best part of a year before I actually told him.

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I remember when I went to the solicitor, before I even told him,

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and I just burst out crying.

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I didn't know how you get divorced, because it never crossed my mind.

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So I moved into a little guest room, because we had...

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Neither of us had anywhere to go.

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The house had to be sold.

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But first, it had to be made presentable.

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That took a very long time, because he resisted, obviously.

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He never got himself a solicitor, so I felt I had to look after him.

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And I decided it was going to be 50-50.

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And that's exactly what happened.

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They sold their house, split their pensions,

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and even shared the memories they'd both collected over the years.

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But it wasn't all plain sailing.

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Even though I was the one who initiated the divorce,

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I grieved bitterly. I grieved for nearly two years.

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It was very, very painful.

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I used to wonder why, because I should feel free.

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I should be... You know, the future beckons.

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But it wasn't like that at all. And I was wondering why.

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And I think it was the loss of illusion.

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I think, because I just had such illusions.

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In the end, however,

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Sue found a way through to a new single life in her 60s.

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But what about her ex-husband?

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He actually moved to Spain.

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For nine years, he lived a life he would have lived if I hadn't

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barged into it. And so I was happy that he was happy.

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In many ways, Sue's story is an example of a successful split,

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no doubt made easier by agreeing to amicably divide things 50-50,

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having enough money to start again in the first place,

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and, of course, not having children.

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But others aren't so lucky when it comes to their silver splitting,

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and that's when the lawyers usually get involved.

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Vanessa Lloyd Platt is one of the UK's top divorce lawyers.

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She knows this area more than most.

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So, Vanessa, how is business in the over 60s divorce market?

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Booming. Suddenly, people in this age group

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are divorcing at the rate of knots, and they've said,

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"We've been unhappy for a long time, and we decided, when the kids

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"were off hand, there was a whole life stretching before us".

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People are living a lot longer. "We want to live."

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Indeed, Vanessa has had clients as old as 80.

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Why do you think the change has come, then?

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Because when people did get to that age, they thought,

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"Let's just carry on as we are".

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Well, people felt older as well.

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You look at pictures of your grandparents, they were old.

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But this generation, they just see themselves just raring to go,

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because 70-year-olds are saying,

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"Look, if I'm going to live to 100 or more, why not?"

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Well, one reason why not might be because, by the time you reach

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your 60s, a couple's finances can be a nightmare to unravel,

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which is why Vanessa recommends anyone who is thinking of

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silver splitting to follow her top tips in three key areas.

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Tip one, pensions.

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You have many options with pensions.

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You can go for pension sharing, where you can share the pension.

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Normally, if it is a long marriage, you get half, or pension attachment,

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where you get it later.

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Or you can trade off the pension for more capital.

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Tip two, assets.

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Be sure, particularly in the case of a silver splitter,

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that you know what the assets are to be divided.

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Tip three, children.

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When you are going through a divorce, a will can be invalidated,

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as can promises that you've been making to your children to give them

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things, because the court will look at the parties' needs first

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before what you promised to the children.

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Well, I'm very happily married -

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most of the time, you know how it is -

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but even if I wasn't,

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I really don't think I could become a silver splitter with all

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the dividing everything up, the emotional stuff, the legal stuff.

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I guess the only way I could do it

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is if I had some really good support.

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Luckily, there are places you can go to seek guidance.

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I've come to Growing Bolder in Bristol.

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Hello. How are you?

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Here, people over the age of 55 hook up to talk about the pressures

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on relationships as you reach retirement age.

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Barbara Bloomfield is a Relate counsellor.

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I think if there is any juice left in your relationship, yes,

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you should go to a counsellor, go to Relate, and try and make it work.

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But if you come to the end of the juice, if there is nothing left,

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you know, there are lots of ways of finding love.

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We've got a couple of them here.

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You are very much in love, aren't you?

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For John and Vicky,

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it is a process that has made their relationship stronger.

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In older age, there's always issues and things to look at,

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and different experiences in life.

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-Isn't there, John?

-Yeah, and a lot of splitting up too.

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Some splitting up.

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You sound like teenagers, more than silver splitters.

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-Actually, we're really happy, you know.

-That's lovely.

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Barbara, what happens at Growing Bolder?

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We do nice exercises that get people thinking about

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who they want to be and who they want to bring into their lives,

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and what they want to let go of...

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-Or who they want to let go of?

-..which is sometimes more important.

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Yeah.

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While others are given the courage to move on.

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I was thinking, "Oh, God, am I just going to die and not...

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"..have passion?"

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-Because a lot of people do, you know.

-Yeah.

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Because I was trying to make the most of my life.

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I was trying to make the most of my life in other ways.

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Yeah, I probably would still be there.

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You know, some people stay in a marriage, don't they? They think,

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-"I'm 68, 70..."

-? Well, they do, but that is old thinking.

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You know, we are trying to get some young thinking going.

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And thinking, "I might have 20 or 30 years left of my life.

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"Let's make the most of it. Seize the day."

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And others have even found that, by coming to a place like this,

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it's made it possible for them to have a happy divorce.

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I used to be with Sheila, and people come to us and say,

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"Oh, I am so sorry you've split up."

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And it's, "No, we're really happy!

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"We're are doing new things, we're really enjoying ourselves."

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Well, I'm nearly at the end of my brief look at this new phenomenon,

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of so-called silver splitters.

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But what golden rules have we learned?

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It is fair to say, no matter how much you think splitting up is for

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the best, it's nevertheless going to be an emotional roller-coaster.

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Next, consider your financial and legal situation before making

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any drastic changes. And, finally, remember, there are always people

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in similar situations who are willing to talk and offer advice.

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But I want to end back where I started, with Sue,

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to show that happy endings are possible.

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-Hey, Sue.

-Hi.

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-Hello. Good to see you again.

-And you.

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Who is this rather attractive young man?

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This is the new love.

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-Hi, I'm Paul.

-Lovely to see you.

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-He is not new any more. Nearly two years.

-Oh, lovely.

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Well, we need to talk about this. Let's go for a stroll.

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My favourite subject.

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Good, well, it will soon be mine, too, I'm sure.

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Now, I'm dying to know how you met.

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Well, I started a new group called Come Lunch With Me.

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-Oh, how nice.

-And he was one of the people who phoned.

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And, first impressions when you saw him?

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Animal magnetism.

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Total attraction.

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Me too.

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Really? How lovely. Serendipity.

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I didn't realise that I'd actually fallen in love with him because

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I just didn't know what it would be like.

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But I found myself smiling afterwards for no reason at all.

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That is so lovely.

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So love, second time around, both of you, would you recommend it?

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-Totally.

-100%.

-Totally, utterly, absolutely.

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-We like each other.

-Equally as important as love, isn't it?

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More. Because it's a foundation, and it makes it long-lasting.

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I used to need to be right. Not only that, Jim had to be wrong.

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With him, if we disagree, I'm curious as to why.

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-Oh!

-It's very different.

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-And you're so good together.

-Thank you. We are.

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It gets better and better.

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It was so lovely seeing Sue and Paul so happy together

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after going through traumatic times in previous relationships.

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They are the living proof, if there was any, that you can go forward

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with a new partner and go on to live a blissfully happy life together.

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All week, Dr Rangan Chatterjee is making sense of your senses,

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giving us great advice on how to keep them in tiptop working order.

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Today, he's here to urge us all to get in touch with our feeling.

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Most of us will experience a notable loss of one of our senses after the

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age of 40. That's eyesight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and balance.

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But if you know what to look out for, and how to get it tested,

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then treatment is available,

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not to mention top tips for preventing it in the first place.

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I'm Dr Rangan Chatterjee, and all this week I will be helping you

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make sense of it all.

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When it comes to our senses, touch is as important as hearing or sight.

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It helps us keep upright by feeling the ground beneath our feet.

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It ensures we are able to judge temperatures and feel pain.

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And it enables us to make emotional connections with people in ways

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that are, well, touching.

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Losing your sense of touch can have a real impact on your life, and

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one lady who knows all about this is Yvette Wong from Liverpool.

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So, Yvette, can you tell me what's wrong with your feet?

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Well, with my feet, I just could not feel a thing.

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If I get a bowl of hot water in it, I don't feel a thing.

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So you can put your feet in a bowl of hot water...

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-Yes.

-..and you don't feel it?

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-No.

-Wow.

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When I take my foot out, it's bright red.

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I still don't feel a thing.

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It's a symptom that can make the very act of taking a bath

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potentially dangerous for someone like Yvette.

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After all, who doesn't test the hot water

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by dipping their toes in first? But there's an even bigger issue,

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one that has already affected Yvette - falling down.

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Have you ever fallen down?

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Yes. On the street. On the street.

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That can be quite dangerous if you hit your head or anything.

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I was tripped, and then I fall flat on me face.

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-Onto your face?

-Well, what you call flat, I mean...

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You use your hands to break it, yeah?

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Yes. I hurt me elbow.

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Every year, in England alone,

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around 250,000 over-65s end up in A&E after a fall,

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and an impaired sense of touch is one of the main reasons.

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And I can see why, as we go for a brief stroll.

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So how are you finding that?

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I feel a bit awkward going round the corner.

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You get a bit unbalanced?

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-Yes, I do, yes.

-So I can see that, even on your own street -

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and this is your pavement, so you know it -

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it's still a little bit unsteady, isn't it?

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If I don't concentrate, I get a bit... I go everywhere.

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Now, Yvette's condition is called peripheral neuropathy, and it's

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estimated to affect up to one in ten people over the age of 55.

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The causes are many and varied,

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but it definitely increases as we get older.

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To find out more, I've come to meet Professor Francis McGlone,

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one of Britain's leading experts in our sense of touch,

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at John Moores University in Liverpool.

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Professor, what exactly is our sense of touch?

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There are nerves in the skin that not only respond to a

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mechanical stimulus that we call touch,

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there are nerves in the skin that respond to temperature, to pain,

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to itch, and a more recently discovered touch-sensitive nerve

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that we're working on that responds to gentle touch.

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Overall, there are probably 20 different types of receptors

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in the skin telling your brain about events in your body.

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But what happens in these receptors as we get older?

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The touch receptors in the skin are dependent on the skin

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they're sitting in. So as the skin ages,

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there may be some subtle differences in the way that these

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touch receptors can encode touch on the body's surface.

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But I think the most important touch receptor is in the joints and

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muscles. They do decrease with age,

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and these are the reasons why older people are falling over.

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So this frailty that you get with ageing is an indication

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that these receptors in the joints and muscles are not working

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as optimally as they were.

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There is, however, a very simple test that anyone can do to find out

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what state their sense of touch is in.

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It's called the Ipswich Test.

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With my eyes closed, Francis touches the tips of my first,

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third and fifth toes in order to test if they can feel it.

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Yes.

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-Yes.

-You are totally intact.

0:17:410:17:44

So I can say that there is no neuropathy there.

0:17:440:17:46

You felt touch exquisitely.

0:17:460:17:48

If you failed on maybe two out of the six,

0:17:480:17:51

then that would be an indication that there was some possibility of

0:17:510:17:55

neuropathy, and you'd be referred to a neurologist or diabetologist.

0:17:550:18:00

There, they would test my reactions using these pen-like devices

0:18:000:18:04

called Von Frey filaments.

0:18:040:18:06

It's a far more accurate way of measuring touch sensitivity.

0:18:060:18:10

So what are some top tips that we can all do to help protect

0:18:110:18:15

that sense of touch as we get older?

0:18:150:18:18

I think looking after the skin is probably very important,

0:18:180:18:20

because all these touch receptors are in your skin.

0:18:200:18:23

I think diet is obviously important,

0:18:230:18:25

because these nerve fibres are metabolically active.

0:18:250:18:28

They need the right kind of fuel in order to be able to work properly.

0:18:280:18:32

So that would be your avocados and your olives and your nuts -

0:18:320:18:36

-hazelnuts, Brazil nuts - those kinds of things?

-Yeah.

0:18:360:18:39

And, of course, you know what they say -

0:18:390:18:41

you've got to use it or lose it.

0:18:410:18:43

Yeah, we have probably lost something that we used to have,

0:18:430:18:46

which is a lot of barefoot contact with the ground, the grass.

0:18:460:18:49

Do you think even that helps?

0:18:490:18:50

I think that is a very good point.

0:18:500:18:52

Yes, take your shoes and socks off as often as you can,

0:18:520:18:54

and let the feet breathe.

0:18:540:18:56

But when it comes to losing our sense of touch,

0:18:580:19:01

there is one cause we need to be particularly alert to -

0:19:010:19:04

a stroke.

0:19:040:19:06

It can be one of the most common and potentially devastating reasons

0:19:060:19:09

people lose their sense of touch,

0:19:090:19:12

which is exactly what happened to Kim Hughes.

0:19:120:19:15

So, Kim, can you tell me when you had your stroke, and what happened?

0:19:150:19:19

I had it in 2006, in the summer, 11 and a half years ago.

0:19:190:19:24

I didn't know I'd had a stroke.

0:19:240:19:26

I'd had all these symptoms for a long time.

0:19:260:19:28

I couldn't use my arm.

0:19:280:19:30

My leg didn't work properly, I had severe pain in my head.

0:19:300:19:34

So I went to my doctor and he did some a neurological tests,

0:19:340:19:40

and sent me straightaway for a brain scan.

0:19:400:19:42

The results showed that, at the age of 33, Kim had suffered a stroke,

0:19:420:19:46

and it was discovered that her condition was genetic.

0:19:460:19:49

My first thought was, stroke, old people, death.

0:19:490:19:53

So it was a huge shock.

0:19:530:19:55

And can you tell me how that stroke has affected your sense of touch?

0:19:550:19:59

If you touch me on my right-hand side, I feel it.

0:19:590:20:02

If you put a pin, I can feel a pin.

0:20:020:20:05

But if you do that on my left-hand side, it's like cotton wool.

0:20:050:20:09

And doing the Ipswich Test on Kim confirms the nerve damage

0:20:090:20:12

which took place as a result of the stroke.

0:20:120:20:15

Interestingly, although each time you were able to say yes,

0:20:170:20:21

it's quite noticeable that on your left foot, you had a different

0:20:210:20:25

sensation, so the way that you feel touch, basically...

0:20:250:20:28

-Is completely different.

-Is completely different.

0:20:280:20:31

The way I touch, as well, yeah, I can feel my left hand...

0:20:310:20:33

-Yeah.

-But my left hand can't feel my right hand.

0:20:330:20:36

Kim's story proves how we should be alert to our sense of touch as much

0:20:360:20:40

as the other senses. If we lost our hearing or eyesight,

0:20:400:20:44

we'd get it immediately checked out.

0:20:440:20:47

The same should go for touch because it could tell your doctor

0:20:470:20:51

that something like a stroke has occurred and they can start

0:20:510:20:54

investigating why, to try and prevent it happening again.

0:20:540:20:58

Finally, there's one other aspect of touch that I'd like to...

0:20:580:21:02

Well, touch on.

0:21:020:21:04

Back at John Moores University, Professor Francis McGlone

0:21:040:21:07

tells me about this exciting new field of research.

0:21:070:21:11

All social animals, all humans, have a nerve library in the skin

0:21:110:21:16

that responds to gentle stroking touch.

0:21:160:21:18

And it's not sensing,

0:21:180:21:20

it's an emotional feeling that you get from that.

0:21:200:21:23

Is that stroking motion sending our body messages and signals?

0:21:230:21:28

It is, that stroking touch is going into parts of the brain

0:21:280:21:31

that basically process emotion,

0:21:310:21:33

rather than parts of the brain that process sensation.

0:21:330:21:36

But what does that mean? Well, put simply, soft touch induces

0:21:390:21:44

an emotional reaction, and the evidence is all around us.

0:21:440:21:49

There's examples of what's called the Midas touch,

0:21:490:21:52

if a waitress our waiter touches you on the shoulder when they're taking

0:21:520:21:54

your order, they will get more tips.

0:21:540:21:57

So the evidence in experiments has shown that.

0:21:570:22:00

And for older people who might be seldom exposed to

0:22:000:22:03

gentle physical contact, soft touch could be vital.

0:22:030:22:07

And there's evidence of this, too.

0:22:070:22:08

People who are touched in an old people's home eat more.

0:22:100:22:13

-Wow.

-There's actually evidence if they're physically touched,

0:22:130:22:16

they eat more food.

0:22:160:22:18

Now, that relationship is mediated through gentle touch.

0:22:180:22:22

So a gentle touch sensing nerve exists in all social mammals and

0:22:220:22:26

it needs to be touched in order to promote survival and wellbeing.

0:22:260:22:31

What we've intuitively known as humans for years,

0:22:310:22:35

the science is now proving,

0:22:350:22:37

that actually human touch is really, really important.

0:22:370:22:40

So don't be afraid with your friends, with your family,

0:22:400:22:42

even with your work colleagues -

0:22:420:22:44

it's time to get out there and start giving everyone a hug.

0:22:440:22:48

But, please, ask permission first.

0:22:490:22:53

Time now for our daily clip-based quiz.

0:22:530:22:55

Yep, all you have to do is watch the following and work out when

0:22:550:22:59

-it all happened.

-And it's a very simple question -

0:22:590:23:01

what was the year that was?

0:23:010:23:03

So here's how the game works.

0:23:040:23:07

We're going to give you a few key events that all happened

0:23:070:23:10

in the space of a year. But which year?

0:23:100:23:13

And here's why you should play along, by the way.

0:23:130:23:16

Psychologists have said that nostalgia can promote a sense

0:23:160:23:20

of wellbeing and vitality in us all,

0:23:200:23:23

so this really could help you hold back the years.

0:23:230:23:27

Good evening. It's a boy.

0:23:510:23:54

News of Prince William's birth was strapped to the railings

0:23:540:23:57

at Buckingham Palace. For any announcement he may make now,

0:23:570:24:00

you won't have to be at the gates to hear about it.

0:24:000:24:03

And you can see if you got the right answer at the end of the programme.

0:24:090:24:12

Now, since the 1960s, life expectancy in the UK as a whole

0:24:120:24:16

has gone up by 11 years for men and only 9 years for women.

0:24:160:24:20

-I can guess why that is.

-Yeah, and?

0:24:200:24:23

More work. We do all the work.

0:24:230:24:25

Well, the reasons why some individuals continue to live longer

0:24:250:24:28

than others are not entirely well understood.

0:24:280:24:31

But that might be about change, thanks to one rather impressive

0:24:310:24:34

-laboratory that you went into, I believe.

-Indeed.

0:24:340:24:38

When it comes to life expectancy in the UK,

0:24:400:24:42

men are expected to reach 83, while woman an even more impressive 86.

0:24:420:24:48

But that, of course, is just the average.

0:24:480:24:51

For every individual, all leading very different lifestyles,

0:24:510:24:54

no-one really knows how long you've got left.

0:24:540:24:58

But would you want to know anyway?

0:24:580:24:59

If you could find out how many years you have left to live,

0:25:010:25:03

-would you want to know?

-Definitely not.

0:25:030:25:05

Why would you want to know? It'd be miserable,

0:25:050:25:07

thinking you've only got a few weeks left, or a day left.

0:25:070:25:11

If you could, would you like to know how long you're going to live for?

0:25:110:25:14

I would love to know.

0:25:140:25:15

You have a pension, you have money, you're thinking,

0:25:150:25:17

"Well, shall I spend some, shall I buy this? Shall I buy that?"

0:25:170:25:20

But you're thinking, "Well, how long am I going to live for?

0:25:200:25:23

"I'm going to live till I'm 70, 90, I'm going to go to 100."

0:25:230:25:25

You wouldn't worry that you'd get the wrong answer?

0:25:250:25:28

No. I'm open to anything.

0:25:280:25:31

We are hoping to live forever because we believe in God's Kingdom.

0:25:310:25:36

In this particular life?

0:25:360:25:37

I wouldn't like to go on like this.

0:25:370:25:39

OK!

0:25:390:25:40

Not interested. I'm old enough now to pop off any time, and I always

0:25:400:25:44

make sure my room is tidy before I go to sleep just in case.

0:25:440:25:48

When you go, you go. I just want it to be a surprise.

0:25:480:25:51

OK, well, we got a range of answers there, but the reason I'm asking

0:25:520:25:55

this rather philosophical question is because there is a

0:25:550:25:58

computer program now which promises to reveal just how long

0:25:580:26:02

you might have left, for those who choose to take it, that is.

0:26:020:26:06

So this is it. It's called the UbbLE Test. It's an interactive Q and A

0:26:070:26:11

which anyone between the ages of 40 and 70 can take,

0:26:110:26:14

and the makers of this put together more than 650 variables and

0:26:140:26:19

tried to work out which ones had the greatest effect on how long

0:26:190:26:24

we're likely to live.

0:26:240:26:25

The factors they looked at range from the expected,

0:26:280:26:31

like smoking and previous illness, to the truly odd,

0:26:310:26:34

things like how many children have you had, how fast do you walk,

0:26:340:26:39

are you divorced, which ear do you hold your mobile phone to?

0:26:390:26:43

Based on all that information, they then created this interactive test.

0:26:430:26:48

And once you've put in all of your answers, which I've just done,

0:26:480:26:52

the program will then tell you what it thinks is your

0:26:520:26:54

biological age, as opposed to your chronological age,

0:26:540:26:58

and how likely it thinks you are to survive the next five years.

0:26:580:27:03

So all you have to do is press this button.

0:27:030:27:06

But I'm not going to do it just yet.

0:27:070:27:09

First, I want to find out more about how and where the test

0:27:090:27:13

was developed, which means coming here to Biobank UK in Stockport.

0:27:130:27:18

It's where the UbbLE test started life, and today,

0:27:180:27:22

we've been given exclusive access to see what goes on inside.

0:27:220:27:26

Meeting me today is Dr Tim Peakman, the man who runs the place.

0:27:260:27:29

This is all very 21st-century, isn't it?

0:27:330:27:35

What's going on here, then, Tim?

0:27:350:27:37

Biobank is a very, very large medical study in the United Kingdom

0:27:370:27:40

which has been established to understand the causes

0:27:400:27:43

of complex, common diseases.

0:27:430:27:45

We recruited half a million people from around the United Kingdom

0:27:450:27:48

between 40 and 69 years, and they gave us samples of their blood,

0:27:480:27:53

urine, and saliva.

0:27:530:27:54

We can follow people's health over time and we will start to see when

0:27:540:27:58

the disease appears in the population,

0:27:580:28:00

so that we can then use those data to build really, really powerful

0:28:000:28:04

studies to start understand the causative effects.

0:28:040:28:07

-Where do you keep it all?

-We keep it in a very large -80 freezer here.

0:28:070:28:12

We hold about ten million samples here.

0:28:120:28:14

Those samples are stored at -196 degrees centigrade to keep them in

0:28:140:28:18

-pristine condition.

-That is deep frozen, isn't it?

0:28:180:28:20

It is deep frozen, yes, it is.

0:28:200:28:22

And this here, then, is the big freezer.

0:28:250:28:27

It is. This is where we store the samples at -80 degrees C.

0:28:270:28:30

I have to say, it's very cold.

0:28:300:28:32

It is cold. Where we're standing is only -20.

0:28:320:28:36

How long can you stay in here at any one time?

0:28:360:28:38

I think you would struggle to get beyond 20 minutes and not be

0:28:380:28:41

-uncomfortable.

-It's like something from a horror movie, isn't it?

0:28:410:28:44

It is. We use very large robots to either put the samples away

0:28:440:28:48

or to retrieve them when researchers request access to them.

0:28:480:28:51

And the robot doesn't mind being in here for more than 20 minutes?

0:28:510:28:54

The robot doesn't mind. It doesn't mind.

0:28:540:28:56

Never mind 20 minutes, I think I've had enough.

0:28:560:28:59

Over the course of five years,

0:29:010:29:02

the UbbLE team worked with the Biobank to chart which of their

0:29:020:29:06

half a million volunteers lived longer than others,

0:29:060:29:08

before attempting to discover different medical lifestyle

0:29:080:29:12

and socioeconomic variables that linked these people together.

0:29:120:29:16

Dr Andrea Ganna is the mastermind who put together the UbbLE test.

0:29:200:29:24

Today, however, he's not in Stockport, he's in San Francisco.

0:29:240:29:28

But this rather hi-tech place can hook me up with him

0:29:280:29:31

at the press of a button.

0:29:310:29:33

Andrea, great of you to join us. Thanks very much indeed.

0:29:330:29:35

Tell us, what's the point of taking the UbbLE test?

0:29:350:29:39

What are the benefits?

0:29:390:29:40

Well, I guess one of the main benefits is to give an assessment

0:29:400:29:45

for an individual of his own health state.

0:29:450:29:48

This is a way that people can understand what's their risk,

0:29:480:29:54

and they can probably try to have a more healthy lifestyle.

0:29:540:29:58

You looked at more than 650 variables.

0:29:580:30:02

Which ones were most useful to you?

0:30:020:30:04

Those that are self-reported.

0:30:040:30:06

So, walking pace, so how fast do you walk?

0:30:060:30:09

More cars you own, the less likely you are to die,

0:30:090:30:12

and this is clearly not causative, but rather capturing some kind of,

0:30:120:30:17

erm, social economic status indicator,

0:30:170:30:20

as well as if you live alone or if you live with someone else.

0:30:200:30:23

So if we walk fast, own more than one car, don't smoke,

0:30:230:30:27

and live with other people, we could be on the right track.

0:30:270:30:31

But it's the variable that was most useful to the professor

0:30:310:30:34

which may surprise you more.

0:30:340:30:37

The real point of our study was to examine which were

0:30:370:30:40

more predictive of mortality.

0:30:400:30:43

The strongest predictor was the self-reported health.

0:30:430:30:47

So how well people rate their own health.

0:30:470:30:51

So that's interesting. So fundamentally you are, by and large,

0:30:510:30:54

-as healthy as you feel you are.

-Correct.

0:30:540:30:58

So there was really only one important question left.

0:30:580:31:01

You come from Italy, you do a lot of your work in the United States,

0:31:010:31:05

where you are now, and in Sweden, but key question -

0:31:050:31:08

have you ever been to Stockport?

0:31:080:31:11

No. No, I saw it on Google maps, though.

0:31:120:31:14

-On street view.

-That's not the same. That's just not the same.

0:31:140:31:17

Yeah, that's not the same. Yeah, yeah.

0:31:170:31:19

Andrea, thank you very much indeed. That was most interesting.

0:31:190:31:21

-Thank you.

-Bye-bye.

0:31:210:31:23

Of course, not everyone thinks online tests like this

0:31:230:31:27

are a good idea. A recent report said 21% of us, more than a fifth,

0:31:270:31:32

are prone to self diagnosis, meaning we check the internet

0:31:320:31:36

and decide which illnesses we're suffering from.

0:31:360:31:39

It's a situation that can lead to extreme health anxiety in some.

0:31:390:31:44

Our GP, Dr Rangan Chatterjee,

0:31:440:31:46

believes a balance needs to be struck.

0:31:460:31:49

I don't think there's anything wrong with the UbbLE test as a guide.

0:31:490:31:52

You see, the more information we have about our health, the better.

0:31:520:31:55

It allows us to make better choices about seeking treatment,

0:31:550:31:58

or even changing our lifestyle.

0:31:580:32:00

However, as long as you take this information as a guide,

0:32:000:32:03

and if you're not sure, you go and discuss it with your doctor,

0:32:030:32:06

I think for most of us, there's no real problem.

0:32:060:32:09

Time, then, to take this news to the people,

0:32:100:32:13

so I have literally set out my stall to do some market research.

0:32:130:32:17

Come on, then. Come and get your fortunes told.

0:32:170:32:20

Madam, are you still going to be here in five years' time?

0:32:200:32:22

I hope so. Come and make sure.

0:32:220:32:24

-Do you smoke tobacco now?

-No.

0:32:250:32:28

-Have you ever smoked?

-No.

0:32:280:32:29

I used to smoke every day.

0:32:290:32:31

How many cars or vans are owned are available for use by you or

0:32:310:32:33

-members or your household?

-None. Public transport and walk.

0:32:330:32:37

Your walking pace - slow, steady, brisk or none of the above.

0:32:370:32:40

Oh, steady.

0:32:400:32:41

Brisk. Twice a day with my dogs.

0:32:410:32:43

Oh, well, that's good. How would you rate your overall health?

0:32:430:32:45

-Excellent, I think.

-You did not hesitate there for a second,

0:32:450:32:48

-did you?

-No.

-You are going to live to be 140, I know.

0:32:480:32:50

I'm very dull, aren't I?

0:32:500:32:51

Your UbbLE age, congratulations, is 45.

0:32:510:32:54

45, marvellous.

0:32:540:32:56

-That's brilliant.

-It is.

0:32:560:32:57

Your five year risk of dying is 3.5%.

0:32:570:33:00

-Oh, right.

-Which is very low.

-That's OK.

0:33:000:33:03

Your five year risk of dying is a mere 1.9%.

0:33:030:33:06

-Oh, that's excellent.

-It is.

0:33:060:33:07

-You can take that down to the bookies, can't you?

-I certainly can.

0:33:070:33:10

I can book that holiday now.

0:33:100:33:13

So your risk of dying in the next five years is a mere 7%.

0:33:130:33:16

Oh, I don't think me money will last.

0:33:160:33:18

Now, I know what you're thinking, you're thinking,

0:33:220:33:24

"Bill, what about your age?"

0:33:240:33:25

Well, I have taken the test, and the answer is in this envelope.

0:33:250:33:30

I can now reveal that my UbbLE age is a mere 51 years,

0:33:300:33:37

give or take five years.

0:33:370:33:39

And my five-year risk is just 2.2%, which I'm pretty pleased about.

0:33:390:33:44

See, clean living, clear conscience. That's the way to go.

0:33:440:33:49

Now, you must have heard the old saying that clothes maketh the man.

0:33:510:33:55

Well, can they maketh them look younger?

0:33:550:33:58

Or just sillier, maybe.

0:33:580:33:59

It's a question that Nicki Chapman wants an answer to.

0:33:590:34:02

Once a woman is over the age of 40, everyone feels they have

0:34:040:34:07

the right to pass comment on what she's wearing.

0:34:070:34:10

I have heard it all.

0:34:140:34:16

Look at what she's wearing, "It's too tight, it's too short,"

0:34:160:34:20

or the worst one, "It's too young".

0:34:200:34:22

Because let's be honest, no-one wants to be mutton dressed as lamb.

0:34:220:34:27

Men have it much easier, or so I thought.

0:34:280:34:32

But in recent years, there's been a backlash against men who are

0:34:320:34:35

not growing old tastefully.

0:34:350:34:37

Now men are also facing the dilemma of how to dress their age.

0:34:370:34:42

Gustav from The Chap magazine is someone who thinks that those rules

0:34:470:34:51

need to be strictly adhered to.

0:34:510:34:54

I turned 35, and I thought,

0:34:570:34:59

"Here comes middle-age, I need to look sharp for middle-age,

0:34:590:35:02

"and not like a teenager". It was a eureka moment.

0:35:020:35:05

-Right.

-As you get older, go for more colour, more flamboyance.

0:35:050:35:09

-A bit of jewellery...

-A little bit of Peacock in you.

0:35:090:35:11

Yes, exactly, bit of peacocking. Some nice cuff links.

0:35:110:35:15

You know, maybe a tie bar.

0:35:150:35:17

I'm wearing a grey suit. Tomorrow, I might wear a brown tweed suit.

0:35:180:35:20

-You look fabulous.

-Well, thank you very much.

-You do look fabulous.

0:35:200:35:24

-So do you.

-But would you go shopping in that outfit?

0:35:240:35:27

Well, yes. Why wouldn't I?

0:35:270:35:29

What are the rules of dressing for men over 40?

0:35:310:35:35

40 to 90, there we go.

0:35:350:35:37

OK. Thou shalt always wear tweed.

0:35:370:35:39

A suit of some sort, or a jacket of some sort.

0:35:390:35:42

You know, or a pair of proper trousers.

0:35:420:35:44

What about - I'm go to throw this one in - shorts?

0:35:440:35:46

Shorts. Er, no.

0:35:460:35:48

-No.

-There's no need to wear shorts.

0:35:480:35:50

It's a myth. You don't have to wear shorts to keep cool.

0:35:500:35:52

You just wear a pair of very light linen trousers and no socks,

0:35:520:35:56

and a cravat.

0:35:560:35:57

And then there's the vexed question of trainers.

0:36:000:36:04

Thou shalt never, ever wear plimsolls when not doing sport.

0:36:040:36:08

Once you hit 40, put the jeans away, put the trainers away,

0:36:080:36:13

put the baseball caps away, stop trying to pretend you're a teenager.

0:36:130:36:16

Do you think people treat you differently when you dress up?

0:36:160:36:19

I always dress up, so I don't know.

0:36:190:36:21

OK, well, it's pretty clear where Gustav stands when it comes to

0:36:220:36:27

dressing your age, which makes me think he's not going to

0:36:270:36:30

entirely approve of the chap I've invited along to join us now.

0:36:300:36:34

Like Gustav, Simon is in his 50s,

0:36:410:36:43

but he still dresses the way he did when he was in his teens -

0:36:430:36:47

as a proud skinhead.

0:36:470:36:50

Ah, Simon, come and join us.

0:36:500:36:52

Great timing. How are you, sir?

0:36:520:36:54

-I'm very well, thank you.

-Can I introduce you to Gustav?

0:36:540:36:57

-Hi, Gustav.

-Gustav, this is Simon.

-Pleased to meet you.

-Simon.

-Hello.

0:36:570:37:00

So, Simon, how long have you been dressing like this?

0:37:000:37:02

Longer than I care to remember, really.

0:37:020:37:05

I got into it when I was about 13 years old, I suppose.

0:37:050:37:09

Cos in the '80s it was sort of...

0:37:090:37:10

Youth culture was what it was all about, you know.

0:37:100:37:12

Everybody had to be in a tribe.

0:37:120:37:13

Some of them only lasted a few months, others have lasted...

0:37:130:37:16

-A lifetime.

-..decades. Lifetimes, yeah.

-A lifetime.

0:37:160:37:18

But in all honestly, are there times when you think,

0:37:180:37:21

"I'm just going to have to let it go"?

0:37:210:37:23

Well, to be honest, I never would have imagined being a skinhead after

0:37:230:37:27

-20 years old.

-Really?

-Because when I was a kid, we were a youth army,

0:37:270:37:29

you know, but I think I'll always wear it.

0:37:290:37:31

I always have, so... I've been doing it for 40 years.

0:37:310:37:34

So skinheads rule and will continue so?

0:37:340:37:37

-They will never die.

-Gustav, would you change the way Simon dresses?

0:37:370:37:41

I was a punk when I was young.

0:37:410:37:43

-You know, I had spiky hair and...

-It's all coming out now, isn't it?

0:37:430:37:46

Well, exactly, so I'm actually torn.

0:37:460:37:50

Because the one hand, I approve of people who...

0:37:500:37:53

You know, who are fussy about their clothes.

0:37:530:37:55

-Yeah.

-On the other hand, I embrace change

0:37:550:37:58

a bit more, perhaps, and I've just accepted that with

0:37:580:38:01

the coming of middle age, I've had to find a new way of dressing

0:38:010:38:03

which isn't the way I dressed when I was young.

0:38:030:38:05

So, dress your age, or stay forever youthful - which of them is right?

0:38:080:38:13

It looks like we're going to need a judge, and I know just the bloke.

0:38:130:38:17

Sean Chapman is a celebrity stylist living here in Brighton.

0:38:170:38:22

Now, Sean, as our style guru, can I introduce you to Gustav and Simon?

0:38:220:38:28

Gentlemen that have very different philosophies when it comes to

0:38:280:38:31

what is age-appropriate and styling.

0:38:310:38:33

I'm guessing, Gustav, the kind of clothes you wear are the sort

0:38:330:38:37

of things that people expect somebody of your age to wear.

0:38:370:38:40

He's a snappy dresser.

0:38:400:38:41

Well, you can see the quality, can't you, in everything?

0:38:410:38:44

Every bit of fabric. And, Simon, you are following

0:38:440:38:47

a proper skinhead youth culture look.

0:38:470:38:49

That attention to detail is something that you look for,

0:38:490:38:52

-isn't it?

-Yeah, absolutely, yeah.

-Does there ever come a point in life

0:38:520:38:55

when you have to say, "Enough is enough, how old are you?"

0:38:550:38:58

Oh, I don't know. Your body changes as you get older,

0:38:580:39:00

and you might want to make some changes.

0:39:000:39:02

But, you know, if your waistline's going in and out, then maybe you're

0:39:020:39:06

comfortable in an elasticated waist and a slip-on shoe.

0:39:060:39:09

How would you feel about something like that?

0:39:090:39:11

I can't wait!

0:39:110:39:12

Do you think you could restyle Simon?

0:39:220:39:25

Well, there is a trend called normcore.

0:39:250:39:28

-Normcore?

-Mm. Normcore.

-What does that stand for?

0:39:280:39:31

Well, I think you can probably guess. It's got the word norm in it.

0:39:310:39:35

Yes, norm as in normal.

0:39:350:39:37

Sean, you're not telling me this is really fashionable these days?

0:39:370:39:40

It's not my sort of thing, but I kind get it.

0:39:400:39:43

So this is normcore?

0:39:430:39:44

-This is normcore.

-Casual clothes, comfy clothes...

0:39:440:39:46

Casual clothes, I mean, the two things are sewn together,

0:39:460:39:49

one thing over your head, anything with an elasticated waist...

0:39:490:39:52

-So minimum...

-No challenging colours.

0:39:520:39:54

-Minimum effort.

-Minimum effort, and nothing remarkable.

0:39:540:39:58

Are you going to blend into the crowd if you wear clothes like this?

0:39:580:40:01

I kind of think that's the point.

0:40:010:40:03

Only five minutes in the changing room, but...

0:40:050:40:09

..what a difference.

0:40:090:40:10

And in just five minutes, Simon is a whole new man.

0:40:100:40:13

Simon, unveil your new you.

0:40:170:40:19

Yeah! You are a picture of normcore. How do you feel?

0:40:190:40:23

Can I have a shovel to dig a hole and bury myself, please?

0:40:250:40:29

That is normcore to the core.

0:40:290:40:30

-Yeah.

-You can see that you're not comfortable in it.

0:40:300:40:33

It has taken away your sparkle.

0:40:330:40:35

The jumper, if it was a stand-alone jumper...

0:40:350:40:38

OK. The shirt, if it was a stand-alone shirt, perhaps.

0:40:380:40:42

-What about the shoes?

-I'm not the man.

-Look, slip-ons!

0:40:420:40:44

Slip on, you don't even have to bend over to put them on.

0:40:440:40:46

They're not even real crocodile! What are they?

0:40:460:40:48

-Are they plastic or something?

-They're comfortable shoes.

0:40:480:40:51

They're not even comfortable!

0:40:510:40:52

For me, the one thing it has done is made you look a lot older.

0:40:520:40:57

What, I look 25 now, do I?

0:40:570:40:59

Have we given Simon a new maturity, or just made him look like,

0:41:030:41:07

well, an old geezer? It's time to put it to the people's jury.

0:41:070:41:11

What would you go for, skinhead or normcore?

0:41:110:41:16

Simon is our guinea pig.

0:41:160:41:18

We have got two different images.

0:41:180:41:21

Which one works best?

0:41:210:41:23

-I prefer that one.

-The skinhead?

-Yeah.

0:41:230:41:25

-See, I prefer that one.

-Do you?

-I do actually prefer that one.

0:41:250:41:28

And what is it about that, country casuals,

0:41:280:41:30

what is it about that that you like so much?

0:41:300:41:31

I'm a big fan of the flat cap look.

0:41:310:41:33

Why do you prefer this outfit, the jeans, the jacket, the boots?

0:41:330:41:37

Because he's wearing what his dad would wear, but he's not his dad,

0:41:370:41:41

-he's a man of now.

-The skinhead look is winning.

0:41:410:41:44

-Yeah, mate, we rule the waves.

-You are a big hit with the ladies.

0:41:440:41:47

I would say the one on the right.

0:41:480:41:50

You like that kind of casual look with the anorak

0:41:500:41:52

-which he's wearing now for us?

-Yeah!

0:41:520:41:54

-I'm going to go for the right one.

-Unanimous?

-Yeah.

0:41:550:41:58

-Is age a number when it comes to fashion?

-No.

0:41:580:42:02

-How do you feel?

-They got it spot-on.

0:42:020:42:05

-That one.

-What is it about that sort of skinhead look that you like?

0:42:050:42:09

Well, he looks like he's into something.

0:42:090:42:11

He looks like he's into his music.

0:42:110:42:13

I prefer this to this.

0:42:130:42:14

He looks quite relaxed to me.

0:42:140:42:16

Perhaps a combination of both would be...

0:42:160:42:18

-We should merge the two, should we?

-Yes, yes.

0:42:180:42:21

So, there you have it.

0:42:240:42:26

When it comes to styling, one size doesn't fit all.

0:42:260:42:30

But for me as a woman, the important thing about a man's

0:42:300:42:33

dress sense is that he does make the effort,

0:42:330:42:36

and that he is true to himself.

0:42:360:42:39

Just got time to give you the answer to our what was the year that was

0:42:420:42:45

archived quiz. Fiona...

0:42:450:42:47

It was...

0:42:470:42:48

-1982.

-What happened then?

0:42:480:42:50

The Mary Rose, the Tudor ship,

0:42:500:42:52

was recovered from the bottom of the ocean.

0:42:520:42:54

So we'll be revealing more treasure for you the same time tomorrow.

0:42:540:42:57

Boom, boom! Bye-bye.

0:42:570:42:59

Fiona Phillips meets the silver splitters - people who have divorced later in life - and finds out how to have as pain-free a divorce as possible, no matter how long you have been married.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee continues his Making Sense of Our Senses week and explores why keeping in touch with your sense of touch could save your life.

Nicki Chapman asks whether men should 'dress their age' when it comes to what not to wear.

Bill Turnbull is in Stockport, where he explores a test that tells you how long you have left to live.