It's got to be said, Esther Rantzen looked quite stunning and I think there were audible gasps as she walked on stage, all confirmed by a very complimentary (and clearly smitten) gentlemen who stated in questions afterwards that he wouldn't have recognised her.
Poised and graceful, elegantly dressed and the dyed blond hair now eschewed for brunette, Esther settled down to tell it to us like it was.
Having left her hair to revert to its original colour, and now bemoaning the £14,000 and countless hours of her life she calculates to have spent with tin foil wrapped around her head, we all agreed with just about everyone else she knows that it absolutely suits her and she should have done it years ago.
Another public person you feel you know so well, and for those who don't know her Esther Rantzen was the presenter of a hugely successful consumer affairs programme back along as we say in Devon. Esther's huge media presence and undoubted influence with That's Life and its viewing audience of 21 million, all largely responsible for the fact that plenty of people felt able to go and have a conversaton with her as if talking to an old friend after the event.
That said Esther certainly talked to the audience like an old friend creating a warm and mutually accepting atmosphere, modest and self-effacing as she recounted some fascinating and hilarious episodes in her life.
Esther's latest book If Not Now When recounts her attitude to life which has evolved in recent years and this is all about renegotiating life with yourself as age encroaches.
Thinking back to Jenni Murray, breaking with convention something it would seem the Baby Boomers have been doing all their lives, discarding the stereotypes of the wartime generation that went before. Having transformed their lives by embracing the 1960's they are now heading into their pensionable years looking for microlights to fly and other new challenges to fulfill.
This must all mean me too, Coronation year babies must count.
It was all enough to persuade a member of the audience to encourage Esther to stand for Parliament except by her own admission she hates being told what to do and needs to be a floating cross-party voter depending on manifesto.That said it's clear she still has a voice and can use it to influence from without, though acknowledged that this was also much easier in the days of a TV audience of 21 million.
Esther needs a blog that's what.
All good stirring stuff as I ponder whether at Esther's suggestion my own fifties are fab or fearful. I'd opt for fab right now but might just give the microlight a miss.