Barbara Taylor Bradford: ‘My mother told me: “Keep your head down and don’t flirt at work”

The author, aged 88, on her first job working with Keith Waterhouse, giving advice to Sean Connery and her 56-year marriage

I was a serious little girl growing up in Leeds and had supportive parents who were instrumental in my success. My mother sold my first story to a children’s magazine when I was 10. My father, an engineer, funded my addiction to taxis when I started working on Fleet Street.

At 16, I started my first job in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post and became a reporter after secretly slipping stories on to the subs’ desk. I was the only woman in the newsroom. My mother told me: “Keep your head down and don’t flirt at work. Your attitude towards men will dictate their attitude towards you.” The best advice I ever had.

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