This interview was published in "Woman's Weekly" in August 1989.
Barbara Dickson's career plans aren't limited entirely to singing either: earlier this year, for example, she was on our screens as co-presenter of the BBC's "The Diet Programme". She was an inspired choice: articulate and down-to-earth, she managed to get across information about sensible eating without sounding bossy. "I'd done two series of afternoon TV shows in Scotland before I was asked to do "The Diet Programme". I really enjoyed it."
Barbara has been a vegetarian for eleven years and feels strongly about the value of good nutrition. "I was the only person involved in that programme who wasn't dieting. Like everyone else I'd been through all those extreme diets in the past, like the pineapple diet, and the yogurt and banana diet. What was so good about the BBC diet was that it told the public at large to forget fads. What's important is that if you want to get thin, you musn't eat fat and sugar. I used to eat sunflower margarine because I thought it was better for me. The series taught me it may be better for your skin, but it's just as bad for your heart as it's got just as many calories as butter."
She has no patience with diets which say "you can't mix one thing with another, or you shouldn't eat meat after four o'clock. You have to decide how to temper good eating with your lifestyle. I'd love to have a big lunch and a tiny supper, but I don't see Oliver until 8 o'clock at night, and having supper together is our way of unwinding. I don't want to sit down and have two crisp-breads when he comes home."
Although she's a vegetarian, Barbara insists she's not fanatical about a healthy lifestyle. "If Colm eats meat when we're out, I don't stop him - but I won't keep meat at home. He has a wonderful diet on the whole. Mind you, he loves chocolate. Someone gave him a piece once and he was hooked! We were on holiday in Ireland recently and the waiter asked him what sort of eggs he'd like for his breakfast. He replied 'Chocolate'!"