Dolly Parton says the secret of her happy marriage is not having children.

The '9 to 5' singer wed Carl Thomas Dean in May 1966 and she credits their successful 46-year union to the fact they have no kids and are financially comfortable.

Speaking about the reasons they have been together so long, Dolly said: ''Mutual respect, shared interests and the fact that I stay gone a long time! Not having children together, and not having money problems has probably helped.

''A lot of the pressures that cause couples trouble are just things we never had to go through.''

Although she is very happy with Carl, Dolly, 66, says she likes flirting with younger men as it makes her ''happy''.

She told the Daily Mail newspaper: ''Carl knows I'd never do anything to hurt him and he doesn't get jealous if I have to kiss someone on screen. I get more embarrassed about it than he does.

''But I am a flirt, and I do get younger men flirting with me too. Jeremy Jordan, who plays my grandson in the film ('Joyful Noise'), was flirting with me and they told him, 'Knock it off, she's your grandmother.' But it made me kind of happy, as you're never too old to dream.''