A while ago I was sent a questionnaire by a glossy women's magazine. They wanted to know which actress I most admired. I presume the expected answer was one of the legion of Hollywood stick-insect types. And I use the word legion as they are akin to soldiers, all dressed the same and marching into a battle for supremacy each day. However, my answer to this question could only be the delightfully plump Miss Margaret Rutherford.
To my mind, she is an icon of British Cinema, a woman that ooozes character, talent and humanity. It is rather depressing that even older film actresses these days seem to have sold out to the 'look forever youthful and uncomfortably thin' trend. It appears to be all that they are appraised on. Woe betide the woman who wants to let herself go a bit in our misogynistic popular press.
I don't think that there is a natural heir to Margaret in modern cinema - someone with a lived-in face and an obvious delight in good food. Her characterisation is so memorable too - who else could be Madame Arcati in "Blythe Spirit"? And there will never be a Miss Marple that lives up to hers.
While others may resort to plastic surgery and dreary diets in order to emulate a Hollywood heroine, I'll be donning my tweed cape, getting on my bike and going to the shops for another cream cake.