UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Pop singer Howard Jones, 64, answers our health quiz
Fighting fit: Howard Jones attends the BMI London Awards in 2016
Can you run up the stairs?
Yes. I live in an old engine house that has 17 floors and my studio is halfway up, so I’m constantly going up and down.
Get your five a day?
I must do because I eat only plants. I was a vegetarian for 43 years and last year turned vegan as it’s better for the environment.
Only once, in the late Eighties when I was going to do a photoshoot in Cuba with photographer Simon Fowler. He said he thought I could lose a few pounds so I lost about a stone by dieting. Otherwise I’ve stayed constant. I’m 5 ft 7 in and weigh 11 st 7 lb.
I used to smoke 20 a day. Then, on New Year’s Eve in 1982, I decided that I needed to give up for my health, so I announced it at a gig. Suddenly a rain of cigarettes came towards the stage. Now it’s just the occasional cigar.
Any family ailments?
My dad had prostate cancer and my mum had Alzheimer’s for the last part of her life. I get tested regularly for prostate cancer and keep my brain in good nick by reading thought-provoking books, doing crosswords and debating with friends.
Acute appendicitis when I was 18 years old. I was writhing in pain and my parents sent me to bed. Then a couple of their friends came round and said it was appendicitis and I was rushed to hospital.
Health book that’s changed your life?
The Buddha In Daily Life by Richard Causton. I’ve been practising Buddhism for 26 years, since I met the clothes designer Jeff Banks, who is a Buddhist and seemed full of life.
Ever had cosmetic surgery?
No, because growing older gracefully is part of being human.
Tried alternative remedies?
I’ve taken echinacea for a cold, and if I feel a slight infection coming on, I dab a small amount of tea tree oil on the back of my throat.
History of health: He suffered acute appendicitis when I was 18 years old, shortly before he be came a pop sensation in the 1980s
What keeps you awake at night?
Worrying about the kids. They’re grown up (aged 32, 30 and 25) but I still worry when they’re having a bad time with relationships or work.
I used to have a phobia of having my blood taken and would pass out whenever I had it done. It was so embarrassing, so I told myself it was ridiculous and started using my Buddhist practice to help beat it. I still can’t watch it happen, but I don’t faint any more.
Like to live for ever?
No. Knowing you’re going to die defines your life. I love what I’m doing and put everything I can into it.
Howard Jones’s latest album, Transform, is out now and he is currently on tour.