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Dear Mariella

Opinion-forming journalist and agony aunt Mariella Frostrup talks to Rachel Dobson about navigating the menopause, the state of modern womanhood, parenting, the domestic load and resilience

Despite Mariella Frostrup being agony aunt at The Observer for 20 years, she’s not above having her own dilemma. She’s left her Somerset home for work in London, and is taking tea with me in a private members’ club in Notting Hill, but she’s all of a dither.

‘Newsnight has asked me to appear tonight to talk about the menopause,’ she says, toying with her phone. ‘Do I want to be the face of the menopause or not?’ Then, with her famous deep chortle, she adds: ‘And my friend’s booked a really-hard-to get-into restaurant for dinner tonight - and I wouldn’t be able to drink!’

Psychologies feels it’s a no-brainer. If anyone is going to represent more than half the population, who will all go through the menopause, we want it to be the woman who’s clever, cool, funny, fit, stylish and sexy (let’s not forget the George Clooney romance rumours). And if anyone can handle a drink or two and still appear be on BBC Two’s flagship news show, it’s Mariella.

But why her? Well, after three years of badgering, Mariella, 57, was finally commissioned to make a one-off show about the menopause, The Truth About The Menopause, for BBC One, which became one of the most watched documentaries of last year.

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