Like Clarkson, I tried to reinvent myself in midlife and almost blew it – here are 15 rules that saved me

In a few months, more veteran politicians than ever will be out of a job. It may be Humza Yousaf today, but soon almost 70 Conservative MPs, boasting a combined 1,000 years of parliamentary experience, will voluntarily quit and even more will be brutally kicked out. And I feel sorry for them. Really. It’s tough to start again.

Ten years ago, my annual salary was £8,000, less than my teenage daughter brought in from her nannying job. It was barely enough to pay the bills – and with a sizable mortgage, two cars, school fees and all the luxuries of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, there were a lot of outgoings.

Blame it on my midlife crisis – in retrospect the best thing that ever happened to me. Because instead of doing all the stupid hedonistic things middle-aged men do as they try to reinvent themselves, I did something equally stupid. I decided to reinvent my career from a standing start, abandoning an office job in journalism to see what else there was out there. If Arnold Schwarzenegger could make a dramatic career change at 56, why couldn’t I? And if Jeremy Clarkson can go from petrolhead to Cotswolds farmer, anything is possible, surely?


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