TWO sisters took to This Morning to defend their Gambian holiday, explaining it’s not the surplus of randy single men that drew them there, but because of their love for Bob Marley and reggae music.
Jackie Simpson, 63, and Julie Ramsey, 60, from Lincolnshire, revealed that they have visited the west-African country 15 times over the last eight years.
The sisters have spoken out just weeks after their holiday habit was revealed in The Sun, posing on the beach in bikinis next to men young enough to be their sons.
Dubbed the ‘real-life Tinder dream for geriatrics’ by Bake Off’s Prue Leith, Gambia is said to be an appealing fantasy for British grannies who were looking for romance.
“There’s so much candy in here it’s hard to control yourself, even at my age,” an eighty-something-year-old married woman admitted to our reporters. “What happens in Gambia, stays in Gambia.”
But sisters Jackie and Julie adamantly told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford that the men weren’t the reason they were first attracted to the country – it was their love of reggae music.
“It’s the music – the nightlife is great,” Jackie explained. “The reason I wanted to go is because I like reggae music – Bob Marley – and it’s just great fun. It’s a proper woman’s holiday.”
Many viewers of the ITV show were left confused at the women’s reasoning, suggesting that Jamaica may have been a better choice if they truly were looking for authentic reggae music.
One wrote on Twitter: “She went to Gambia because of Bob Marley and reggae music? Did I just hear that, This Morning? Perhaps some cultural training and geography lessons are in order.”
While another added: “Bob Marley and reggae music – that’s Jamaica love, not Gambia. You’re not really going there for the music, are you?”
And what many viewers suspected appeared to be partly true, with Jackie admitting that she’d had two relationships with men she met in the west-African nation – one lasting over three years.
“I’ve had a Gambian boyfriend and I’m still friends with him now,” Jackie admitted. “We kept in touch while I was away. I took him a guitar over to help him with his music.”
“And you get all kinds of propositions – as soon as you get to the airport,” Julie added. “All of the men say they are 36 years old.”
Despite young men being interested even in women who are ’70 or 80′, the sisters believe it’s important to be careful, and that the holiday is a ‘fantasy’ left behind when you return to real life.
“I think they want to get to England,” Julie said when asked by Eamonn what she thinks drives these young men to pursue women often twice their age or more.
“I just tell them straight that they’ve got no chance of getting there,” Jackie agreed. “I told my Gambian boyfriend that there was no way I’d be able to get him [here].”
But the pair have a reason for choosing their Gambian lovers over their English equivalents, and Jackie said that British men could learn a few things from them.
“The men there don’t speak vulgar [things] to women,” she concluded. “Or shout down the street and walk around drunk. Probably because they’re so laid back on the weed.”
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