TELEVISION presenter Denise van Outen has admitted that she regrets the years she spent getting a tan and using sunbeds.

The 33-year-old now has to cover her age spots with make-up.

Denise is not alone in having a misspent youth in the sun. I too am paying the price of being a sun-worshipper when I was younger.

A few months ago I had my skin examined under an ultra-violet lamp and discovered that I’ve got so many age spots waiting to emerge that I’ll be using panstick for the rest of my life.

When I pointed out that for the last 20 years I have religiously used sun protection and a daily moisturiser with a Sun Protection Factor, the beauty therapist with the UV light explained that most of us damage our skins when we are young – and the damage is permanent.

Fortunately, my daughter is not interested in acquiring a tan and says that her ideal holiday location is the Lake District, because “it’s cold and rainy’’.

Unfortunately, the cult of the tan continues to draw in plenty of other young girls – if the queue outside our local tanning parlour is anything to go by.

These days I’m a fake tanner in the summer months and interestingly pale the rest of the year.