Ross King: Birthday girl Bette Midler still looks brilliant at 70
BY ROSS KING, 4 DECEMBER 2015 4.03PM.
I’M sure someone like Bette Midler has seen it all before.
So that’s why I’m certain she didn’t mind the false starts when I tried to have a sit-down chat with her on camera last week.
Normally, I try to beÂ as professional as possible when it comes to interviews (look, stop laughing ”“ my boss might be reading this) but this one took a while to get going due to technical problems.
After a few goes at it we thought we were ready, but no ”“ the producer said we had to begin again, thanks to people wandering around in the background.
I was speaking to Bette in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel penthouse, better known as the hotel Julia Roberts and Richard Gere used in Pretty Woman.
Bette, who released her latest album, A Gift Of Love, on Friday there, could only laugh at the setbacks.
“You’re in the shot, guys,” she shouted. “Photobombers ”“ move away!”
Photobombing ”“ not a bad reference for a 70-year-old!
That’s right, Bette is 70 and she celebrated her latest birthday last week.
She looks brilliant for being a pensioner. The stage, pop and movie star is one of the few people I’ve never chatted to before, but have always wanted to.
I’m proud to say there’s not many left!
I’ve waited a long time to speak to the star of films such as Beaches, The First Wives Club and The Stepford Wives, and the singer of classics The Rose and Wind Beneath My Wings.
I thought I’d play it cool with Bette to start off with.
“Are you as brilliant as I think you are, Bette?” I asked.
“When I was a kid I thought I was pretty brilliant,” she laughed.
“Now I’m older I know the world is full of brilliant people and I’m just a small cog in a big wheel.”
Bette (PA Archive)
Bette has just finished a UK tour.
“It’s one of the greatest experiences I’ve had on stage. The audiences were just bonkers!
“They treated me like I was visiting royalty and showed me so much love and affection.
“I hadn’t been in the UK for 35 years, and I was only there for two weeks. So where does all that affection come from? I never showed up the UK!
“I made an effort to get out and see Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow when I was there, too.”
I wanted to ask if Bette was feeling comfortable in herself now she was 70.
“It’s a big birthday and I’d rather you didn’t mention it,” she joked.
“I was going to have a big party but there really is no turning back now.
“It’s very different from 60. Things start to happen you didn’t expect, and you have to live through it to understand it.
“Like the menopause!”