Clare Grogan on the superpower that helped her survive her most difficult decade

I can’t remember the first time I met my friend Clare Grogan. But like many Gen-Xers, I remember the first time I saw her in the cult movie Gregory’s Girl, and then, later the same year, on Top of the Pops with Altered Images, performing the band’s top 10 hits Happy Birthday and I Could Be Happy. (I have a bit of a soft spot for that last one.)

Still in her teens, she was living a life the rest of us could only dream of. Until, at 25, with three top ten albums under her belt, she left it all behind so she could, as she puts it, “feel where I came from again”.

Since then she has had countless presenting and acting roles in everything from Eastenders to Skins. And now, 38 years after her last outing!, she’s back with a new Altered Images album Mascara Streakz.

Clare zoomed in to talk about deciding where you want to go in life, doing every show like it might be your last and being back on the road at 60. We discussed the unexpected impact of her daughter hitting the age she was when Altered Images hit the big time, her “difficult 40s” and why it’s never too late to start a band.

*Mascara Streakz is released on 26 August.*

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at, including the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at

The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

Hosted on Acast. See for more information.