SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Life with Boris Johnson? It was impossible, says the Prime Minister’s former wife Marina Wheeler
As Boris Johnson celebrates his six-day-old marriage to Carrie Symonds, his long-suffering ex-wife Marina Wheeler, 56, has spoken for the first time about their 25-year union.
And Marina reveals she was the one who ended it, as it had become ‘impossible’.
‘The divine plan, it seemed, had gone awry,’ she recalls ruefully of the period two years ago when she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, and she and Boris had been parted for a year.
‘My four children and I already had tough stuff to handle. My 25-year marriage had become impossible, so I ended it, but the whole business was grinding, so why was I being doled out more?
She adds: ‘Of course, that’s not how cancer worked.’ Nor does life. ‘Two years on, I can see I was lucky,’ says Marina, who is now cancer free.
As Boris Johnson (left, with ex-wife Marina Wheeler and right, with Carrie Symonds) celebrates his six-day-old marriage to Carrie Symonds, his long-suffering ex-wife Marina Wheeler, 56, has spoken for the first time about their 25-year union
Music to Julian’s ears as he wins his ‘village’ a reprieve
While Andrew Lloyd Webber threatens the Government with legal action to save his theatres, his younger brother, Julian, is celebrating a victory against a developer he says would have ‘destroyed’ his neighbourhood.
It was music to his ears when the cellist heard that the company, whose plans would have altered the village character of his South Kensington neighbourhood, had withdrawn its application.
‘It appears as though we’ve won,’ Lloyd Webber (pictured) tells me of his fight to oppose a Qatari Sovereign Fund development. The planning application — submitted by Qatari-backed Native Land alongside Transport for London — to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was for four large office and residential blocks to be built in a conservation area and a five-storey glass block to replace a Grade II-listed part of South Kensington’s historic station arcade.
While Andrew Lloyd Webber threatens the Government with legal action to save his theatres, his younger brother, Julian (pictured), is celebrating a victory against a developer he says would have ‘destroyed’ his neighbourhood
Julian, 70, who is president of his local Onslow Neighbourhood Association, says he was angered by the proposal, describing it as ‘out of scale’, ‘ugly’ and ‘greedy’.
He was part of a massive campaign supported by the local MP, Felicity Buchan, SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Brompton Association. The plans attracted more than 2,000 objections, and were suddenly withdrawn on Wednesday night, the day before they were due to be approved by RBKC.
‘We don’t want our village replaced with Identikit buildings and towering offices, particularly at a time when more people are working from home,’ says Julian.
‘This is an area for everyone, not just those of us who live here. It is for tourists, too, and those who work here. We want a proposal that retains the village atmosphere, which is special.’
Speaking fondly about his strong ties to the historic London borough, where he was born, Julian says: ‘I have lived here all my life.’
A spokesperson for the Native Land and TfL joint venture said last night: ‘We have asked that RBKC defer its planning committee so that we can work with the borough on some further refinements to the designs to address some of the remaining issues raised.’
The ever elegant Polly Samson (pictured with husband David Gilmour), wife of Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour, has just accomplished arguably her greatest coup — rescuing a new-born lamb fighting for life
‘I didn’t expect to pull a lamb from its mother with my bare hands today, but I did. And she lives!’ says Polly, who posted this snap on social media
Polly saves lamb from the chop!
She’s married to a rock star, writes award-winning books with enviable ease and lives in splendour in an 18th-century farmhouse in West Sussex.
But the ever elegant Polly Samson, wife of Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour, has just accomplished arguably her greatest coup — rescuing a new-born lamb fighting for life.
‘I didn’t expect to pull a lamb from its mother with my bare hands today, but I did. And she lives!’ says Polly, who posted this snap on social media. ‘Her name is Buttercup.’
Responding to friends’ admiration, Polly adds: ‘She was the third of triplets and stuck. Wasn’t breathing, but expert shepherdess told me to put grass into her nostrils to make her sneeze and she did.’
Sir Ian McKellen, at 82, will no doubt feel honoured to be the focus of a starstruck superstar.
Friends actor David Schwimmer, 54, admits to zoning out after spotting McKellen in the audience. The American reveals: ‘I was in this play and he came to see it. Nobody told me he was coming and then I saw him in the fourth row.’
Schwimmer adds: ‘I don’t know where I went, but I wasn’t present for a little while. Sir Ian’s the greatest living actor.’
Kate Beckinsale is always keen to share the limelight with her pets. So her freshly brushed Pomeranian Myf proved to be the ideal accessory as she recreated a snap of U.S. actor Mickey Rourke carrying his own dog and handbag
Kate’s dog has its day
Kate Beckinsale is always keen to share the limelight with her pets. So her freshly brushed Pomeranian Myf proved to be the ideal accessory as she recreated a snap of U.S. actor Mickey Rourke carrying his own dog and handbag.
For her cameo, the 47-year-old actress and daughter of late Porridge star Richard Beckinsale strutted down a hallway wearing a black crop top and snake-print leggings.
Kate often gives her social media followers comical updates on her beloved pets, which include two feline friends called Willow and Clive, in addition to Myf.
Beckinsale will next be seen on screen in A Prisoner’s Daughter, a movie about family reconciliation from Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke.
The Caribbean seems perilous territory for party leaders. There’s the rumbling row about who paid for Boris and Carrie’s jaunt to Mustique 18 months ago.
Now Sir Keir Starmer says he and wife Victoria were left traumatised by an island-hopping flight in ‘a very small aeroplane’, flown by a pilot who ‘looked like a teenager’. It took off, recalled Starmer in an unbroadcast segment of his interview with Piers Morgan, ‘and stuttered and got about 20 yards in the air’. Worse still, ‘the door was flapping open’, and there was a sign reading ‘in God we trust’.
Surely, it’s wiser to hitch a ride with Victoria’s friends, the Clooneys?
Society jeweller Stephen Webster, whose avant garde creations are worn by Kate Moss, Joanna Lumley and Madonna, may be good at designing baubles, but he admits he hasn’t got green fingers.
He tells me: ‘I picked up gardening while in lockdown, and I was practically living out of the garden but it was a disaster.
‘Everything I grew just died. I now have total respect for the gardener.’ He adds: ‘My problem was I didn’t water things enough. I didn’t realise you had to be watering all the time.’
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