Lorraine Kelly with penguins in Antartica

Lorraine Kelly on why a six-foot penguin is more romantic than diamonds

The TV presenter reveals her secret to a happy relationship – and why she’ll never keep posh underwear for best.

While many of us would be more than happy with diamonds as gift, for TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a six-foot penguin spells romance.

Talking to Saga Magazine, Kelly revealed she has a giant six-foot Emperor penguin sitting in her garden, a gift from her husband, Steve.

“In the summer, he wears giant sunglasses and, in the winter, a wee scarf I knitted him,” she said.

“It was a present from Steve for my 50th birthday. I love it more than any amount of diamonds – it’s much more romantic.”

The couple have been married for 31 years and she says liking your other half is as important as loving them.

“We’re not a showy, lovey-dovey couple. I like him, as well as love him, and he makes me laugh,” she revealed.

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She credits him with helping her to write her first novel, The Island Swimmer.

“When I was writing my novel, there were a lot of times when I was writing and he would just go out and get the shopping or make us tea or take the dogs, Angus and Ruby, for a walk enabling me to do what I needed to do, and that’s always been the case through our marriage,” she explained.

Why you should never keep anything for best

Her novel, which is out now, focuses on Evie who returns to her family home on Orkney and finds comfort in a group of cold water swimmers. Kelly decided to base it on the island as it’s one of her favourite places in the world.

“I do believe there are some places you go to where there is magic in the air and you feel at home,” she said. “Steve and I have gone back every single year. I’ve often been cold water swimming there, which makes you feel very zingy.”

Now aged 64, Kelly says she feels in her “prime”, as she no longer gets “bruised by unkind comments.” She also follows her mum’s advice – not to keep anything for best.

“If someone gives you perfume, spray it on,” she exclaimed. “My granny would spray herself with perfume to take the bins out. If someone gives you posh underwear, wear it!”

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The Island Swimmer by Lorraine Kelly

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Written by Pam Francis

Updated: