Emma Barnett has been dishing out advice over the airwaves for years, and now has taken up the gauntlet to be an official agony aunt
The Sunday Times, and eight months!
No, but having hosted radio shows for the last six years, I’ve listened and given informal advice to a lot of people.
Eleanor Mills, editor of the Sunday Times magazine, invited me to become one, and named the column after my no-nonsense but kind approach to problems, hence the “Tough Love” column was born!
A few sincere ones a week.
I carry their problems the whole week and then write my answers by Thursday.
I think marginally more women. But only just.
Yes – where there is no clear answer, and also where it’s not my right to say – such as: “should I keep my baby?” Plus, a lack of detail in the letters can be a real problem.
Men ask quite graphic sexual ones, and women go deeper with their emotions.
Career issues, general confidence issues, and entrenched family rows.
They are messy, brilliant and damn cruel at times. People need to be braver about asking for what they really want from another human being.
They linger in my inbox, because you never know.