TV presenter June said the notion women can have both family and career is a ‘lie’. Here she wears a suit by Cefinn and a Issey Miyake top
She sprang to fame as a youth TV presenter on MTV and Channel 4. But now, at 40 and wondering whether she’ll ever have children, June Sarpong says the notion women can have both family and career is a ‘lie’.
In an exclusive interview with today’s You magazine, the star of ITV’s Loose Women says: ‘I’m part of a generation that totally put work over relationships.
‘I don’t think I regret that – I’ve enjoyed it – but the lie that was sold to us was that you can have it all.’
‘And I’ve realised there’s always compromise.'
On her prospects of becoming a mum, June says: ‘I’m 40, so who knows? But I won’t feel a sense of dread if I don’t have children. I want to be a mother but it doesn’t have to be biological.’
'My sister has two teenage daughters I am close to. I have a friend who enjoys being a stepmum. I’m from an African tradition that says it takes a village to raise a child. I’m quite philosophical. I’m open to whatever my life is supposed to be.’
If her destiny is to be a mother by helping disadvantaged children when she’s older, she’s cool, she says.
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June celebrating her MBE with her dad and stepmother, 2007
She has kept her options open by having her eggs frozen by fertility doctor Geeta Nargund, who gives the advice: ‘If your daughter isn’t in a serious relationship at 30 you should give her egg-freezing as a birthday present.’
'What [egg-freezing] does is help to equalise things between men and women: if there were no biological clock there would be no difference between men and women ageing.'
June adds: ‘We should make sure young women know that although science is changing things, there is still a biological clock. If you want children, make it a priority.’
ROLL-NECK, Hobbs. TROUSERS, Escada.
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June with her brother Sam in 2014
She doesn’t drink – ‘not because I disapprove, I just never started. I love cooking. It’s an African thing; everything happens around food. We have a family house in Ghana again, so I visit every year. I wonder sometimes: when you die, do you still get to eat?’ She’s laughing again. ‘In heaven do you get to have sex? Food? I’m choosing food…’
Relationships are not off the menu, though. She says she’s just met someone new but it’s ‘early days’.
Many moons ago she had a two-year relationship with the MP David Lammy, but though she has had many boyfriends since then – ‘black, white, Indian, Jewish, atheist’ – she hasn’t found The One.
JUMPSUIT, The Pretty Dress Company, NECK LACE, Minas Jewellery
June co-hosting Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2008
On your bedside table A book I recommend to everybody, The Game of Life and How to Play It. Written by Florence Scovel Shinn in the 1920s, it’s all positive affirmations and spirituality. And a Bible, candle and flowers.
What did you last photograph? Somerley House [on the Hampshire/Dorset border]. I stayed there last weekend. It’s a beautiful English country house. I took a picture of the gardens.
Describe yourself in three words Fun, opinionated, calm.
Celebrity crush We have a running thing on Twitter called Hotties in Heaven, so Paul Newman and Bob Marley in heaven. George Clooney on earth. He’s got brains and looks.
What keeps you awake? Netflix.
Ideal dinner guests I’d bring together people from different walks of life, so one of the Grenfell survivors, a cool pop star like Coldplay’s Chris Martin who has a big heart, Barack and Michelle Obama and Prince Harry.
Motto Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Listening to Jay Z’s new album 4:44, but I’ve got everything on my iPod.
Favourite accessory Gold hoop earrings, always.
Favourite film It’s a Wonderful Life. Everybody should watch that film.
Most overused word Major. I’m sure it drives people mad.