Never one to turn down a new experience, Christine Hamilton is delighted that hertraining regime has resulted in some serious weight loss. “I knew I needed to start by losing some weight; it had crept on over the last few years and in particular when I was doing Celebrity MasterChef last winter. I’ve now lost a stone and many women will know just how thrilling that is! It’s taken willpower but I’ve been helped along by something called ‘SlimSticks’ which were recommended by a friend and have really helped to curb my appetite.”
“I am a jolly pensioner with a bus pass and a zest for life. This trek is a personal challenge and I know it will be a fantastic and uplifting experience.
“We will be camping in sub-zero temperatures, with no facilities at all, carrying virtually everything on our backs, coping with altitude sickness and eating local delicacies of cow intestine, guinea pig and alpaca! However, my mother’s courage and grit will be urging me on and my own gung ho spirit for adventure says bring it on!”
Born in November 1949Christine spent her childhood in the New Forest area, where her father was a GP in Ringwood.
“I had a very happy secure childhood, riding ponies and sailing. I was horse mad and lucky enough to have the beautiful New Forest on the doorstep. My father had a small yacht and much of my childhood was spent sailing around the Solent, over to Yarmouth, anchoring in Alum Bay, running up and down the cliffs of coloured sand, or messing around in places like Cowes, and Bembridge. It was sheer paradise. We soon went farther afield and I spent many happy holidays exploring the northern coasts of France and Spain and ended up ocean racing in my teens.
“My mother, Megan was a very dominant influence in my life. Determined, intelligent, a political animal and freethinker, she was way ahead of her time. She always said I got my gentle characteristics from my father and my aggression from her – which was totally unfair on her; she was just a forceful determined lady, not aggressive at all!
“For a few years, I attended a strict private school in Bournemouth, part of the little white glove brigade. However, with my rebellious streak, even at a tender age I was not suited to that environment and was expelled aged 12 (nothing too serious – just high jinks!) after which I went to a co-educational grammar school.”
While Christine was at York University, reading sociology she met Neil Hamilton who was then at University College of Wales.
“We were both attending a student political conference. I was 18; it was lust at first sight! We courted for three years then went our separate ways; I went off to sow my wild oats while he munched his Weetabix! But we never forgot each other and, five years later, he came to dinner in my London flat and we’ve been together ever since, finally marrying in 1983.”
After graduating from University, Christine had ambitions to become an MP and went to work at the House of Commons to have a closer look. Despite quickly deciding the role of MP was not for her, she was happy in the political environment and stayed for 26 years as research assistant and secretary to a couple of MPs before finally working for husband Neil. She came to wider public attention when she confronted his opponent Martin Bell on Knutsford Heath during the 1997 general election campaign.
After the election, Christine and Neil Hamilton appeared together on ‘Have I Got News For You’, which, unknown to them at the time, opened the gates to her becoming a media personality. She has appeared on countless different shows and also had her own chat-show, ‘The Christine Hamilton Show.’
Christine has, very publicly, been through the wringer and emerged brighter and sparkier than ever. She has faced scandal, hounding by the media, and accusations of rape, epic battles in the high court, bankruptcy and the enforced sale of her home.
She has coped and managed to rebuild her life into the successful media personality she is today. People identify with Christine as a warm-hearted, open, engaging person who has faced life’s battles head-on and triumphed.
Both Christine and Neil have become popular after-dinner speakers. They’ve appeared in pantomime and the ‘Rocky Horror Show’ and taken a sell-out show to the Edinburgh Festival for 3 years. Christine won public affection with her courageous performance in the Australian rainforest in the first ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, coming third, and her appearance in ‘CelebrityMasterchef’ last year where her key to success seemed to be the more ingredients the better!
“I am sure my happy childhood has contributed hugely to the way I tackle life. I was brought up to cope and to stand up for what I believe in. I’m a bit of a media butterfly flitting from one thing to another. I have no agent and sometimes wonder what’s going to happen next but opportunities continue to present themselves. I feel very lucky to have been able to have a completely fresh start in life when I was about 50. I sometimes describe myself as a bit like Marmite; some people love me and others hate me, but that’s got to be their problem, not mine!
“A friend persuaded me to start twittering (@brit_battleaxe) about 18 months ago. It’s addictive, time-consuming and a bit bonkers but I love it.”
To help support Christine with her trek to Machu Picchu, feel free to donate on the link below: Every single penny donated will go to Muscular Dystrophy to fund their research and support for people living with this debilitating disease.