Melanie Sykes, 48, is tired of being told she looks 'great – for an older bird'

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
The presenter says she often receives backhanded compliments on social media. [Photo: Getty]

Melanie Sykes hates being told she looks good “for an older bird”.

She reveals this in conversation with Kate Thornton, as part of the podcast ‘White Wine Question Time’, produced by Kate Thornton in association with Yahoo UK.

The 48-year-old television presenter is best known for co-hosting ‘Today with Des and Mel with Des O’Connor’ and ‘Let’s Do Lunch with Gino D’Acampo’.

“I get backhanded compliments all the time on social media,” she tells Kate on the podcast, which she appears on alongside former agent Melanie Cantor and Dr. Louise Wiseman.

“You know, you look great for an old bird! If I do get backhanded compliments, that’s what it looks like.

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“And I do think, ‘you look great’, full stop, exclamation, would have been good.”

Melanie has taken a step back from TV presenting in order to focus on her new venture as editor-in-chief of The Frank Magazine – a publication aimed at women over the age of 40.

Listen to the full episode of Kate Thornton’s White Wine Question Time with Melanie Sykes, Melanie Cantor, and Dr Louise Wiseman below, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify to get first access to all the celebrity confessions.

“Even our models are 40 plus,” she tells Kate, explaining the importance of seeing more older women in the public eye. 

“We’re not having that thing where you buy the magazine and they’re all in their twenties.

“I love looking at beautiful pictures of young women is great, but actually I’d quite like to see women my age wearing the clothes.

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“It was interesting – booking models, for example, Models One who I dealt with, they have a classics board – that that’s what they call women over a certain age! Women of that age aren’t doing fashion shoots, they’re doing QVC and things like that.

“And it’s insane that these women aren’t working more on, I think it is changing. You see a lot more advertising now with older women in yesterday.”

While it might be true that women over 40 don’t get enough exposure in the media, there are positive signs of change.

Earlier this year, 97-year-old Iris Apfel signed a contract with IMG modelling agency.