Never mind Charles’s slimmed down monarchy, poor old Alan Titchmarsh might have fallen victim to the King’s slimming down his friendship group, too.
Asked if he has received an invite to next month’s Coronation of his close pal, the 73-year-old presenter, says: ‘No. I want to spend the day at home watching it on TV with my wife Alison.
‘We’re watching at home before joining the family for a bit of a party.’
The broadcaster, who played a key role in hosting the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, has been asked to cover the Coronation as a presenter, but would rather spend the day with his nearest and dearest.
‘I’m not working, though I have been asked. I am not going to, but I am very grateful for the offers.’
Alan Titchmarsh might have fallen victim to the King’s slimming down his friendship group, too
Why waste money on expensive photoshoots? TV presenter Nick Knowles has a cheeky way of keeping costs to a minimum when attempting to acquire professional quality snaps of his glamorous girlfriend Katie Dadzie.
Appearing at a recent bash with the 33-year-old business owner, and knowing that photographers would ‘far rather have a few shots of Katie on her own’, the 60-year-old BBC’s DIY SOS host enquired: ‘Actually, If any of you have any good ones of her, can you email them to me? Seriously, I could do with some.’
He’s already blessed with three children, quite aside from being heir to a 7,000-acre estate and ancestral seat in Hampshire, plus another 2,300 acres in southern Spain — and the magnificent house known as ‘Number 1 London’.
Now, though, there’s a distinctly intimate reason for Arthur Wellesley — formally, the Marquess of Douro, elder son of the Duke of Wellington — to be of good cheer. I can disclose that he’s to marry Canadian firecracker Hayley Whitehead.
‘Everyone’s delighted for them,’ a friend tells me, adding that an early autumn wedding is on the cards.
The happy news comes three years after Arthur, 45, parted from his first wife, Jemma Kidd, elder sister of model Jodie Kidd, and seven years after he and Hayley both joined investment firm Oakley Capital.
In 2021, it became apparent that Arthur and Hayley’s relationship had transcended the merely professional when they were photographed together on Ibiza. Hayley, 36, then left Oakley to join investment firm CVC.
Traditionally, marital celebrations are at the home of the bride’s parents, as they were when Arthur married Jemma in a glamorous wedding in 2005, held at Holders, the Kidd family estate in Barbados.
It became apparent that Arthur and Hayley’s relationship had transcended the merely professional when they were photographed together on Ibiza
But the couple may opt to emulate one of Arthur’s sisters, Lady Charlotte Wellesley, who preferred the family’s Dehesa Baja estate in Spain for her wedding to Colombian- American billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo.
Arthur’s cousin Sofia Wellesley and her husband, super crooner James Blunt, were guests on that occasion. So, too, was the then Duchess of Cornwall, who’s likely to be more duty-bound come this autumn…
Strictly winner Rose Ayling- Ellis, the show’s first-ever deaf contestant, is glad there’s someone on TV that those suffering the same affliction can relate to.
‘It’s so nice for deaf children to have someone to look up to nowadays — which I never had when I was a child. I want to keep working on that, but I have to remember I want to do stuff for me too,’ she tells me at a party in Central London.
‘I can’t put on the pressure to represent everyone though, because it’s impossible. I can only do my best,’ adds the 28-year-old former EastEnders star. But she is calling for more disabled people to work on scripts for soaps.
‘I have now joined the Writers’ Access Group, which is run by the BBC, and what we’re trying to do is find more disabled writers because at the moment we can play these roles but no one is writing them.’
Strictly winner Rose Ayling- Ellis, the show’s first-ever deaf contestant, is glad there’s someone on TV that those suffering the same affliction can relate to
She’s famed for her ‘boho chic’ style, but Sienna Miller seems to be choosing Victoria Beckham as the source of inspiration for her clothing.
The Hollywood actress, 41, is carrying a branded bag from the former Spice Girl’s boutique in Mayfair while heading off for a lunch date in London.
Sienna, whose exes include actors Jude Law and Tom Sturridge — with whom she as a ten-year-old daughter — showed off her stylish fashion credentials in a grey blazer with flared white jeans.
It’s highly unlikely she would have bought something skimpy from Beckham’s brand, however, as she reveals: ‘I’ve never been someone that likes to be overtly sexy.
‘I don’t think I’d wear a Lycra wrap dress that has bits cut out of it. I don’t feel the need to be on display that way.’
Name-dropping: Sienna Miller with her Victoria Beckham bag he former Spice Girl’s boutique in Mayfair
Paul Merton is making a return to stand-up for the first time in more than a quarter of a century. The Have I Got News For You star has confirmed two dates for his work-in-progress gigs, which will be held at the Museum of Comedy in Holborn, London, on May 21 and 28.
‘I’m returning to stand-up now because I believe what the world needs at this moment in time is another stand-up comedian,’ says the 65-year-old who has, along with satirist Ian Hislop, been a team captain on the BBC show for 33 years.
‘Many people have no idea I used to do stand-up, and I’m one of them. I thought I would return to stand-up while I could still stand.’
Life has never confined Petra Khashoggi to the straitjacket of convention, as her father was reminded last Sunday evening.
Petra, 42, who was 18 when she learned that she is the daughter of former Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitken, not billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, dropped in on Aitken at his London flat — quite a surprise, given that she now lives in New York.
Explaining that Petra had made a ‘spontaneous’ decision to cross the Pond — accompanied by her husband, man-about-Manhattan Danny Baker Jr — Aitken had just enough time to alert Petra’s mother, Soraya, who joined them for dinner.
‘It was a joyful delight,’ Aitken tells me, ‘and a particular pleasure to meet Danny for the first time.’
Get-together: Danny, Petra, Aitken and Soraya enjoying themselves as they lounge at home
Spare a thought for Jools Holland after his European tour was thrown into chaos. He collapsed before going on stage in Belgium on Thursday night and was forced to cancel the gig.
Due to perform at the De Roma concert hall in Antwerp, the Hootananny star passed out during the sound check and had to be rushed to hospital. ‘I went down with a bug and had not been well all day, and then briefly, uncharacteristically fainted at the sound check,’ says the 65-year-old ivory tinkler. After being taken to a medical facility, Holland was then told by doctors to take the night off.
Spare a thought for Jools Holland after his European tour was thrown into chaos
For someone who starred in The Shawshank Redemption, Tim Robbins could find himself back inside if he carries on with the kind of flagrant rule-breaking on display here.
The Hollywood heavyweight, dressed in a long blue jacket, jeans and a beany hat, incurred a number of ‘tut-tuts’ from passers-by on his bike ride through London’s Primrose Hill park, where cycling is not permitted, and carries a fine of up to £60 if caught.
Double-Oscar winner Tim, 64, and American film director and cinematographer girlfriend Reed Morano, 45, have been in the capital filming upcoming Apple TV+ series Silo, in which he stars.
The Hollywood heavyweight incurred a number of ‘tut-tuts’ from passers-by on his bike ride through London’s Primrose Hill park
Don’t bother asking Jeremy Paxman his opinions on television programmes, despite his more than half-a-century in broadcasting. The 72-year-old, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, says he only used to watch himself on the small screen.
‘I don’t really watch anything,’ he tells me. ‘I was accosted by one of those survey people and they said, ‘What do you watch?’ And I said: ‘I watch University Challenge and Newsnight, but apart from that I’m no good to anyone.’ ‘
Do not disturb David Suchet after a performance — well, not until he’s first shaken off the character he’s playing.
The 76-year-old Bafta nominee recently starred in one-man show Poirot And More, at London’s Hampstead Theatre, and always asks himself three questions to bring himself back to earth.
‘I remember a psychiatrist friend of mine coming backstage who accused me of still being in character. I was offended,’ Suchet tells me at an event in the capital.
‘He said do you mind if I ask you little questions such as, ‘What’s your telephone number, what’s the date, and the dates of birth of your children?’ I couldn’t get it out and I stumbled.
‘To this day, I’ll look in the mirror and do this exercise before I let anyone into the dressing room.’
Do not disturb David Suchet after a performance — well, not until he’s first shaken off the character he’s playing