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Britt Ekland: I spend hours mowing the lawn in absolutely straight lines on my tractor. If it’s not right, I do it again
By ROB MCGIBBON

We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s the turn of actress Britt Ekland…
The prized possession you value above all others…
My house by the sea near Stockholm, which used to belong to my grandparents. I have many memories of being there as a child.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…
Getting divorced. Twice! I met Peter Sellers when I was 21 and we got married ten days later. He was not right mentally, but I hung in there for four years before I left.

My second marriage, to Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats, was much happier but still ended in divorce after eight years. No matter how good a parent you are, divorce is devastating for children [Britt had a girl, Victoria, with Sellers, and a boy, Thomas Jefferson, with Phantom].

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…
I’d fly to London with my chihuahua, Tequila, in the cabin with me. You’re not normally allowed to do that. I’d breakfast at the Dorchester Hotel, then fly to the Italian island of Ischia and have lunch at the beautiful harbour. I was there with Sellers but he had horrific moods and wouldn’t let me leave the hotel room. After that I’d visit my best friend, Doris, in Sydney. I’d like to sunbathe but at 69 I’m too old to wear a bikini in front of the paparazzi in St Tropez, so I’d go to Mauritius in the afternoon. I’d end the day with a party with my family in LA before sleeping back at the Dorchester.

The temptation you wish you could resist…
I am unbelievably disciplined, so there isn’t anything.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance…
Void Moon by Michael Connelly. I love the cleverness of his thrillers and the descriptions of LA.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day…
I would teach UK parents how to stop their children throwing litter. London is a beautiful city, but its streets are disgusting.

The life of another with whom you would gladly trade places…
I saw Goldie Hawn looking unbelievable recently. If I could be as beautifully ‘refreshed’ as that, then I’d be her!

The film you can watch time and time again…
Amadeus. It has beautiful music, great costumes, but also shows the ugliness of Mozart’s descent.

The person who has influenced you most…
Peter Sellers. He taught me a lot about making movies, but marrying him had a long-lasting effect on my life. The negatives far outweighed the positives.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint…
Josephine Baker. She was the first black American female singer to become a world star, yet she also found time to adopt many children.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child…
Think of your pension and start saving. Like my father, I have been a spendthrift, and I regret that.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…
I spend hours mowing the lawn in absolutely straight lines on my tractor. If it’s not right, I do it again.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…
I bought a pair of 24-carat gold chains when filming in Hong Kong in 1974. I lost one of the chains at a party five years later.

The unending quest that drives you on…
I am determined to remain physically and mentally fit so I can be a fun and inspiring mother to my children.

The poem that touches your soul…
Come! See What I’ve Found by my friend Ronnie Dorsey. It is a wonderful invitation to life.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase…
The stories about me having affairs in the 70s and 80s were complete lies. Those men were just cashing in; most of them were gay!

The event that altered the course of your life and character…
My divorce from Sellers. I was 25 and stranded with my daughter Victoria without a penny. But everything changed for the better because it made me strong and forced me to get on with my life.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…
I’m a typically honest Swede, so would be too tortured if I committed a crime.

The song that means most to you…
I could say You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart because he wrote it about me when we were together in the 70s. But at the same time he was unfaithful, and I left him. So I’ll choose Neil Young’s beautifully haunting Harvest Moon.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…
Starring in the Grumpy Old Women Live tour in 2007. It was very challenging to do theatre so late in life, but joyful and fulfilling.

The saddest time that shook your world…
My mother, Mae-Britt, dying of Alzheimer’s in 1994, aged 78.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…
To get my one-woman show back on the road.

The philosophy that underpins your life…
Get on with it.

The order of service at your funeral…
No funeral, no service. I’m a very practical person and don’t think it matters.

The way you want to be remembered…
She did it all by herself. People think I’ve always been supported by men, but it’s not true.

Britt appears on Living The Dream on Sky Arts 1, 11 December, 8pm; visit www.sky.com/arts. She stars in Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, from 7 December.

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