Michael Hands Over His Secrets
TV Times
9 March 1991
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Michael Aspel

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Michael Aspel

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You've got to hand it to Christopher Jones! One look at Michael Aspel's palms and he'd unearthed a few facts Britain's favourite presenter had been keeping quiet.

What do we really know about Michael Aspel? Whether he's surprising an unsuspecting subject in This Is Your Life or interviewing a star on Aspel & Company, the man known as Mr Smooth always keeps his cool.

But what lies beneath that genial facade? We asked hand reader Christopher Jones to take a close look at Michael's hands. Revealed in the lines, palms and fingers – ruled by the elements – was a secret side to Michael's personality.

'These hands, with their oblong palms and fingers shorter than the palm, belong to someone with lots of energy, someone who drives himself very hard,' says Christopher. 'And his little finger, long and set slightly apart, indicates an ability to communicate.'

'The skin ridges of his palm have an unusual pattern,' adds Christopher. 'This shows he can sense people's moods intuitively.'

So, in real life, is Michael just as he seems on TV? 'How he appears and how he feels are very different,' says Christopher. 'His ring finger is long and well-developed. This shows outward confidence, a desire to present a good image and an interest in the arts.'

'But his short index finger tells another story. Underneath, he's shy and lacking in confidence. But this is so well-masked that even close friends don't know.'

Christopher finds further evidence of Michael's ability to mask his feelings in the water line. But his dual nature can cause confusion. 'He's often pulled between conflicting ideals. He can see both sides of every issue.'

Christopher says Michael's straight water line shows he is 'quite a passionate bloke' who can be emotionally demanding. Family is important but, although he craves a secure environment, he hates being restricted.

Michael's minor earth line reveals that change will soon happen in his professional life. 'In the last year or two he's given some thought to what he wants to achieve.'

But while Michael strives to achieve his new goals, Christopher warns him to watch his health. 'The shape of his nails tells me he tends toward digestive disorders. He should stick to simple, health foods.'

Michael's hand shows that, although he's had lots of ups and downs in his life, he'll never be overwhelmed by doubts. 'This is a person who'll always work hard and aspire,' says Christopher. 'Changes in his earth lines show that, in his mid-30s, he reached a decisive point in his career and altered his lifestyle. Now he's entering a new phase, one which might give him a higher profile. That would please him, because he wants to make a powerful impact. But his hand shows that however successful he becomes, he'll always remain tactful, well-mannered and respectful of others.'

Christopher Jones began studying hands eight years ago, when he was 20. 'I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, except that I wanted to understand people, especially myself,' he says. He is now secretary of the Cheirological Society, which is devoted to the study of the hand. A philosophy and theology graduate of Oxford University, Christopher says he takes 'a scientific, analytical approach. It's not predominantly a psychic gift – it's rather like detective work. When you find a clue, you look for more evidence elsewhere in the hand. Also, your hand shows your temperament, character and experiences, which indicate what you're likely to do in the future.'


For a man who likes to keep his true feelings hidden, Michael Aspel is quick to congratulate Christopher Jones for unearthing his secret self. 'It's true,' he says, 'I'm not very confident.'

'I still think of myself as a humble lad from Wandsworth and always get nervous before a show. People think I'm calm, but I'm really in a catatonic state.' Michael's desire to help people is evident from the energy he devotes to charity. And forsaking sleep for work is something Michael readily acknowledges. An insomniac, he uses those wakeful hours to write scripts for his TV shows.

His conflicting aims can be confusing, even to himself, 'I'm a family man,' says Michael, who had two failed marriages before marrying actress Elizabeth Power in 1978. 'But I also have itchy feet, so we move house a lot. I have the feeling that staying put, with nothing new around the corner is a bit depressing.'

Michael agrees he can see every side of an argument, so he finds it hard to have strong views on things. 'It's a curse rather than an asset,' he says. 'I wish I could be more forceful.'

His ambitions are modest, he insists. 'I'm not very competitive, so being top isn't important to me. Being employed is, but I don't need a Rolls-Royce to tell the world I've made it.'

He may not have aimed for the top, but Michael always dreamed of working in theatre or TV. And, as Christopher deduced, Michael did make a major life change in his mid-30s. 'I was a newsreader for eight years,' he says. 'Then, at 35, I left to dive into the uncertain world of freelance broadcasting. That was quite a break.'

The warning to watch his health hit home for Michael, who enjoys good food and fine wine. 'I probably should take more care,' he admits. As for a career change that will give him a higher public profile, 58-year-old Michael is intrigued. A chat show in Australia or the US? Or could it be an opportunity to use his creative abilities? 'I have a strong urge to write. And acting used to be a burning ambition. Now it's more of a smouldering one, but it's still there...'