Jeffrey Archer shares agony at being unable to hug his grandchildren

Author Jeffrey Archer, 80, reveals his agony at not being able to hug his grandchildren due to lockdown

  • Lord Archer is yet to meet his granddaughter Sofia, as she was born in lockdown 
  • He and wife Mary have been speaking to family regularly over Skype and Zoom
  • Only Time Will Tell,  available free with Friday’s edition of the Daily Mail
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Author Jeffrey Archer has spoken of the agony of not being able to hug his newest granddaughter – but says over-70s must be prepared to accept a longer lockdown if told to do so. 

The former MP insisted he would not rebel if – as has been suggested – older people are made to stay at home while others start to be eased out of coronavirus restrictions. 

Lord Archer, 80, told the Mail: ‘My second granddaughter Sofia was born in the middle of this so we haven’t met her yet, we have only seen her on screens. 

Lord Jeffrey Archer, hugging his granddaughter Vivien, says time with family is one of the things he misses most during the coronavirus lockdown

‘We have daily chats and she gurgles back at us. The time with family is one of the things I miss most. It would be lovely to hold her. Of course people want to see their grandchildren, and some grandparents will die without being able to do so. I really feel for them.’ 

Lord Archer has spent the lockdown at home in Grantchester, near Cambridge, with wife Mary. 

They speak to their sons and three older grandchildren on Skype and Zoom, although the peer admitted he is ‘useless’ with technology and got his wife to sort it out. 

He warned that fit and active pensioners would find longer lockdown measures frustrating. Experts have said those most vulnerable to the disease – the elderly and those with underlying health conditions – might need to continue isolating for longer, which has led to accusations of age discrimination.

Lord Archer said: ‘We have tolerated it so far on the grounds that we assume it won’t last for ever. 

The bigger question is how much longer it might last. I have a great deal of sympathy for those who ask why a fit and healthy 70 or 80- year-old should have greater restrictions than an obese 45-year-old. 

‘But I will do what I’m told. I won’t rebel. If we all stick by the rules then we will get through this and you would have to be pretty dumb to ignore that.’ 

Lord Archer, who is working on a new book in his William Warwick series of detective novels, said he had lobbied the Government to allow bookshops and garden centres to reopen. 

Daily Mail readers will be able to get one of his earlier bestsellers, Only Time Will Tell, as a free e-book or audiobook with tomorrow’s newspaper. 

He said he has continued getting up at 6am and writing for eight hours a day, adding that having the time to do so was ‘one of the few joys of lockdown’.

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