March 30, 2024 – She has been famous, and sober – and married to Tony Baines – for exactly half her life.

‘I was always told when I got to 40, I wouldn’t care about other people’s opinions,’ she says. ‘I’d think when I got to 50 I’d know true freedom. Traditionally the age when women had to retire is 60. That doesn’t fit me, either.’ Now she is 60, and I tell her she looks youthful. ‘Botox and fillers!’, she replies with a shriek, raising her chin to show the bruise. ‘Take a good look! I don’t want to say, “Oh, it’s just from drinking lots of water and staying out of the sun.” I really wish I hadn’t been so programmed – women must be agreeable, young-looking, well dressed, fragrant. I wish that wasn’t so deep in me but it’s there.’

And, because Keyes is on a journey of self-exploration, in fiction and in life, she says, ‘I acknowledge it, I forgive myself for it, because I didn’t programme myself this way. But I do look forward to a time when it won’t be there.’