Revealed: Adele's Old Etonian lover Simon Konecki is a married dad
She enjoys the accolade of having the biggest selling UK album of the 21st century and has won an army of followers with her songs.
But while fans of Brit-nominated pop star Adele, 23, share her delight at finding happiness with new love Simon Konecki, the path to romantic bliss is not entirely without domestic complications.
For bearded Old Etonian entrepreneur Konecki has already experienced married life, having wed fashion stylist Clary Fisher in the summer of 2004. The couple, who have parted, have a five-year-old daughter.
It's complicated: Adele's boyfriend Simon Konecki, seen with the singer last week, is in the process of getting divorced
The singer — full name Adele Adkins — is devoted to Simon, known as ‘Swampy’ to his friends, who is 14 years her senior.
When he married Clary, a London College of Fashion graduate, he was a director of the EBS group, an investment holding company.
The pair moved in glamorous social circles, counting multi-millionaire property figure Anton Bilton, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s son Jamie and Lucas White, the party-loving playboy son of the late industrialist Lord ‘Gordy’ White, among their pals.
Romantic relations: The pair were introduced a few months ago by Ed Sheeran
But after Konecki left the City, to set up an eco-company with White, his marriage failed.
Despite moving to his home town of Brighton with Clary and the birth of their daughter, the couple grew apart. Grammy award-winning Adele, who is recovering from surgery on her vocal cords, was introduced to her new beau by singer Ed Sheeran a couple of months ago.
Their backgrounds could not be more
different. While Adele was raised by her single mother and went to an
inner-city primary in Tottenham, Konecki was sent to Eton, where
contemporaries included Tom Parker Bowles and Bear Grylls.
Different worlds: The 23-year-old's new beau studied at Eton and has a very different background to hers
His parents live in a 1 million waterfront house in Florida, and his sisters went to posh Roedean.
According to friends, Konecki is in the process of divorcing. He and his wife separated in 2010.
When approached, Clary, who lives in Sussex and still uses her married name, refused to comment. A spokesperson for Adele did not respond to requests to clarify Konecki’s marital status.
Mason gives Olympic tickets thumbs-down
In advance of his West End season next month, New York Jewish comedian Jackie Mason has given the London Olympics the thumbs-down. He tells me: ‘I won’t be applying for tickets. I don’t see any Olympic athletes coming to my show, why should I go to theirs As for whether there’s too much fuss about hosting the Games, it depends. So long as you don’t mind paying higher taxes for the next ten years, losing half the main roads in your city and having one ticket to share between 37 friends, it’s fantastic.’
Dame Lesley’s tragic last wish
There is a poignant postscript to the death at the weekend of Dame Lesley Strathie, former chief executive and permanent secretary of HM Revenue & Customs.
In the week before she succumbed to cancer, Dame Lesley, 56, had posted the banns for her wedding to fellow civil servant Kevin White at Marylebone register office in London.
Dame Lesley Strathie, who sadly succumbed to cancer, was the former chief executive and permanent secretary of HM Revenue & Customs
Dame Lesley, described by the then civil service chief Sir Gus O’Donnell as a wonderful role model, was planning her nuptials right up to the very end. White, 61, human resources director at the Home Office and one of the country’s highest paid civil servants, is said by friends to be heartbroken.
It was only two months ago that Dame Lesley stepped down from her job due to ill-health. She had been diagnosed with cancer in July, but had intended to return to work. Deteriorating health forced her decision to quit to concentrate on treatment.
Starting her civil service career as an administrative assistant in 1971, she worked her way up to chief executive of Jobcentre Plus before joining HMRC.
‘I accepted her resignation with huge sadness,’ says Sir Gus. ‘Over the past 40 years, Lesley has devoted her life to public service.’
Moore's wife makes screen debut
There was an unexpected bonus for Sir Roger Moore in his latest film — his wife Kristina made her screen debut alongside him. Scandanvian-born ‘Kiki’, Moore’s fourth wife, dances in ballroom scenes in the TV movie A Princess For Christmas. The ex-Bond star says: ‘We were on location in Bulgaria together, and — although she’ll never admit it — it can get a little boring being on a film set as things take a long time to set up and there’s nothing to do but wait. So the producer suggested Kristina might like to be in the ball scenes, with a lovely dress.
‘Kristina loves dancing and loves the opportunity to dress elegantly, so she jumped at the chance.
‘It meant she had something to do other than sit in the background watching an old English actor. She didn’t expect any close-ups, but I know the director sneaked a couple.’
Hannon filly in nursery stakes
The safe delivery of a bonny baby girl to his wife Jemima, their first child, has radically altered life for affable horse trainer Richard Hannon junior.
After attending the birth of 7lb 3oz Eliza Scarlet at Swindon Hospital nine days ago, Hannon now finds he is up and on his way to his Wiltshire yard even earlier than his normal 6.30am start.
Richard Hannon and wife Jemima are celebrating the birth of their first child
He tells me: ‘Eliza does sleep for about four hours but you do get disturbed in the night as Jemima is breastfeeding. Still, I’d rather be me than the mother but it does encourage earlier starts.’
The new domestic arrangement also means Richard will be giving the Dubai World Cup a miss in March when owner Andrew Tinker’s prospect Dubawi Gold makes a bid for stardom. His father, former champion trainer Richard, is going instead.
Says proud Hannon junior: ‘Although Eliza is dad’s tenth grandchild she is the first to be called Hannon.’
The Diary's quiz winners
A huge thank you to all those who entered the Diary’s great Boxing Day Quiz. As usual, we were overwhelmed with replies from readers testing their luck, but there can only be one winner and my congratulations to Brian Stone of Crawley, West Sussex, who receives a six-bottle case of fabulous Moet & Chandon champagne. A bottle of Moet is also on the way to the six runners-up.
Now for the answers: 1 c; 2 a; 3 c; 4 a, b & c; 5 b; 6 c; 7 c; 8 a; 9 a; 10 b; 11 c; 12 a, b & c; 13 c; 14 c; 15 b; 16 a; 17 b; 18 b; 19 b; 20 c; 21 c; 22 a; 23 a & c; 24 b; 25 a; 26 b; 27 b; 28 a; 29 a; 30 c; 31 c; 32 b; 33 c; 34 a; 35 c; 36 b.
PS Veteran peer Lord Hutchinson says he doesn’t believe the British class system will ever end. . . unless public schools are shut down. Stowe and Magdalen College-educated Hutchinson, 96, on the defence team in the 1960 Lady Chatterley’s Lover obscenity trial, says in a BBC documentary: ‘As long as seven per cent of the population go to public school and have a separate and wonderful education the class system will go on. . . After the Labour landslide of 1945 I was convinced the apartheid of education would go and it would be the end of public schools, but it didn’t happen.’