JENNY Powell has revealed she’d happily do a sexy lads’ mag shoot in her fifties – because she “feels more confident” now than she did 20 years ago.
The TV and radio presenter, now 52, graced the pages of 90s favourites FHM, Loaded and Maxim in her twenties and thirties.
Jenny Powell, pictured in 1999, was an icon of 80s and 90s TVCredit: Rex Features
Pictured in 1995, she said she’s more aware of her popularity with men now than she was back in the dayCredit: Rex Features
The yoga enthusiast, who’s mum to daughters Connie, 20, and Polyanna, 12, says she feels in better shape than ever and wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to do similar shoots now.
In an exclusive chat with Fabulous, ahead of Britain’s Favourite 80s Songs airing on Channel 5 tonight, she says: “Yes I would consider it.
“I do feel 50 but I feel great for it, I feel far more confident than I did when I went in for my first FHM or Loaded shoot.
“I think that’s what it’s all about, it’s aspirational and I definitely think, why not?”
Jenny says she would still consider doing sexy lad mag shoots at 52Credit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
Jenny, who shot to fame as a presenter on No Limits aged just 16, became a household name thanks to shows like Top of the Pops, Wheel of Fortune and Gimme 5.
Nowadays, she’s inundated with fans and romantic requests on social media – but she says she was unaware of her own popularity as a youngster, until she was invited to do the risque shoots.
Jenny explains: “Back in the day, you didn’t have social media and if you had a fan, the only way you’d know about them is if they wrote a letter to your agent.
I feel far more confident than I did when I went in for my first FHM or Loaded shoot – so I definitely think, why not?
“We had these postcard sized head shots and you’d go into the agency and sign them all, it was really old school.
“So you didn’t realise what was going on out there, I only discovered later on in my career how much of a pin up I was then.
“A lot of the lads’ mags had come out by then, like Loaded and Maxim and FHM, I remember I did those and I was a bit awkward about it, but that’s what everyone was doing at the time.
“When I did those, I thought ‘oh OK there must be people who think I’m a pin up’ but it’s only now, because of my social media, that I get a big reaction.
Jenny, pictured in 2004, posed for Maxim, FHM and Loaded back in the dayCredit: Rex Features
Her first TV gig was No Limits in 1986Credit: Rex Features
“I either get women who ask ‘what’s your fitness regime?’ or men in their 40s or 50s who are fans from way back when, I’ve reinherited lots of that fan base on Instagram which is lovely.
“It shows you’re not invisible in your 50s, you can still inspire people.
“I get a lot of guys who say ‘I’m going to start yoga’ or ‘I’m going to eat more healthily’. If you can incorporate that with being in a pin up, then great.
“I do sometimes get younger guys (chatting me up), not as many but there’s always going to be a couple, which is very nice.”
Jenny has barely aged a day and now gets mistaken for her 20-year-old daughter’s sisterCredit: Rex Features
Back in October, Jenny revealed how she gets mistaken for her daughter Connie’s sister, despite their 32-year age gap, describing herself as “Benjamin Button”
And she admits Connie tells her off for her racy Instagram pics – although she calls her a “cool mum” at other times.
“Connie’s a quiet little thing really,” Jenny says.
Connie, 20, is also the one who tells Mum off for risque Instagram snapsCredit: Twitter
“She’s always been like ‘Mum you’re so embarrassing’, ‘what are you doing?’ or ‘take that off Instagram’.
“Whenever I post anything, I think ‘what would Connie say?’ She’s my gauge for what I should or shouldn’t do.
“At 20 years old, I trust her more than anyone else about what I should put out there.
My daughter’s always saying ‘Mum you’re so embarrassing’, ‘what are you doing?’ or ‘take that off Instagram’. Whenever I post anything, I think ‘what would Connie say?’
“But I think quietly she likes it – she can’t quite believe her mum is dead cool and playing music on the radio in her 50s.
“So she does actually say ‘I think you’re really cool’. When we go on holiday, we swap clothes and bikinis, the lot.
“She’s well up for it but she doesn’t sing it from the rooftops. Every now and then I’ll get a really lovely message from her.
“I know when I’ve crossed the line and I’ll have to reign it back in because she just gives me a look with those big, beautiful green eyes and I’m like ‘OK’. So I quite like that.”
Jenny is engaged to sports therapist and toyboy Martin LoweCredit: Instagram
Jenny, who divorced from her daughters’ dad Tony Baxendale in 2009, is currently loved up with fiance and sports therapist Martin Lowe.
The pair met at London Euston train station in 2010 with Martin, who’s seven years younger than Jenny, proposing in New York four years later.
Explaining she thinks she’s in better shape now than in the 90s, although “in different ways”, she says: “I think I eat better, I’m far more conscious of what I’m eating than I was before.
Jenny credits her diet and exercise regime with keeping her in shape and looking youthfulCredit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
She says she’s more confident in her looks now than in her 20sCredit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
“Just because the information’s out there, whereas before it wasn’t, but also my partner Martin is just amazing when it comes to nutrition and exercise. He’s been a really good inspiration and guidance.
“So I think I’m more informed and wise, with wisdom you learn you should like yourself first and foremost.
“I’ve definitely become more confident in my approach to exercise, what I eat and healthy living.
“I do think it has come with age because that’s just how the times are now, the information’s all out there.
Jenny says she ‘lived out of a suitcase’ during the height of her careerCredit: Rex Features
Pictured in 1997Credit: Rex Features
“Organic veg, grass-fed meat, all those things, we didn’t know what that was in the 90s.
“I ate a lot of pasta, I was working so much that my feet didn’t touch the ground. I was in hotels, living out of a suitcase so I was eating out a lot.
“Now I aim to exercise every day, although it’s really hard during lockdown, it’s taking a lot of effort to jump out of bed and do the things I would normally do.
“My 12-year-old’s definitely keeping me going. Even though everyone’s moaning about homeschooling, you have to flip it round and look at the things that make you smile – and she definitely does that.”
Jenny loves yoga and aims to exercise every day, first thing in the morningCredit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
She says getting such big gigs in her teens and twenties could be ‘overwhelming’Credit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
Jenny first appeared on TOTP in 1989, when she was 20, admitting: “That’s really young, especially for such an iconic show, I think I was in shock for most of it.”
She adds: “For me it was just a bit overwhelming. When I look at my daughter now, I’m thinking ‘oh my God, I was on a major popular show at her age’.
“Millions of people were watching because there were only four channels, no digital or Sky.
“But I always made something of it, I have an inner confidence I think. Quite often I really did feel like I was winging it, but ignorance is bliss.”
After TOTP, she presented children’s TV show Gimme 5, which is where she met Jason Orange, 50, who she dated at the height of Take That’s fame.
Pictured with with Kylie Minogue on Gimme 5 in 1993Credit: Rex Features
She says: “I remember the first time we ever met in an interview, I was literally running through their names right before I went on air because it was live TV.
“I was going ‘OK it’s Gary, that’s Robbie, then there’s Jason and Howard, they’re kind of similar’. That’s my first memory of coming across Take That, which was quite funny.
“I think it was quite lucky we didn’t have iPhones at the time. I never took any stupid selfies with pop star boyfriends, which I’m quite happy about, as it’s a personal thing.
I was heavily pregnant by the time I left. I probably was the first to do something like that, especially in a glamorous role like Wheel of Fortune. When I look back, I did groundbreaking things
“What I do regret, looking back, is there were some iconic and lovely moments in my career – I wish I had a better professional record of all the people I’d met.
“My mum had all these video cassettes from where I’d been on TV, but unfortunately she threw them all away.
“If I do want to have a look back in time, I have to go on YouTube and hope somebody’s put a video on there from 35 years ago.”
Jenny pictured with former Sun columnist Gary Bushell, on the Wheel of Fortune setCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
In 1995, Jenny joined Wheel of Fortune, presenting alongside Nicky Campbell, Bradley Walsh and John Lesley until 2001.
She says: “It was great, because it’s grown up TV and it was Saturday night entertainment, but on the flip side I was a glamorous game show hostess and I felt quite frustrated.
“Today if somebody asked you to turn some letters around in a nice outfit you’d probably think ‘erm’.
Jenny was heavily pregnant when she left the show, something she says was ‘groundbreaking’ at the timeCredit: jennypowelltv/Instagram
“I did put my foot down though. We went to America and watched the show there and I was like ‘she doesn’t say anything, it’s ridiculous’ so I fought for a speaking part on the show.
“I think if I hadn’t already been a presenter and that was my first job, it wouldn’t have been so frustrating but I was thinking ‘why can’t I host it? Why is it always a guy?’
“I stuck around for a few years and I was heavily pregnant by the time I left – it wasn’t the done thing to have pregnant women on the TV at the time.
“I probably was the first to do something like that, especially in a glamorous role like Wheel of Fortune.
“The first thing I would do in the breaks was take my high heels off. When I look back, I did groundbreaking things. You just never saw that until then.”
Britain’s Favourite 80s Songs: 1980 is on Channel 5 at 10pm tonight.