RICHARD KAY: Blair babe Ruth starts her family
08:26 GMT, 13 July 2012
Despite her pretty face and attractive personality, no man has managed to secure the permanentn devotions of Tony Blair’s former director of government relations, Ruth Turner.
Indeed, some believed brunette Ruth was simply devoted to her career: first as Blair’s right-hand woman in Downing Street — she was arrested in 2007 by police investigating the ‘cash for honours’ claims against the Labour Government (she was never charged) — and afterwards as chief executive of the former prime minister’s Faith Foundation which she runs.
Ruth Turner was extremely devoted to her career alongside Tony Blair
But now staunchly Roman Catholic Ruth — described as ‘sexy and extremely bright’ — will soon have a much more important call upon her loyalties. For I can reveal she is expecting her first baby at the age of 41.
Intriguingly, I discover that Ruth, the daughter of leading Catholic writer and theologian, Professor Denys Turner, has set up home with another one-time key member of the Tony Blair entourage,
Matthew Taylor, ten years her senior and already a father of two teenage sons. An ex-Downing Street aide, who alongside Peter Mandelson was a leading figure in the operation that helped to engineer Labour’s 1997 landslide victory, Taylor is now the chief executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts in London and tells me he is looking forward to becoming a father again.
‘It’s a bit daunting at my age,’ he says. ‘I suppose all old fathers say the same thing, which is that they are not as young and fit as they once were, but they have more experience.’
The son of sociologist and broadcaster Professor Laurie Taylor — said to be the inspiration for Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man — Matthew previously lived for many years with family law solicitor Claire Holland, by whom he has two boys, aged 19 and 16.
But their partnership, he says, broke down five years ago. He and Ruth have been together for about two years. Adds Taylor: ‘The baby is due quite soon. It’s Ruth’s first and she is delighted.’
Asked if they will eventually marry, Taylor says: ‘I don’t have particularly strong views about it.’
Allo' Allo' Joanna
Their marriage may have lasted only a matter of months, but it clearly hasn’t prevented Joanna Lumley and comedy scriptwriter Jeremy Lloyd from remaining the closest of friends.
More than 40 years after the pair wed following a brief fling, Joanna and her former husband are pictured here enjoying an afternoon in Fulham.
While Ab Fab star Joanna, 66, re-married conductor Stephen Barlow 15 years after her divorce from ’Allo, ’Allo writer Lloyd, the two still enjoy each other’s company and
stopped at a pavement restaurant for a coffee and a cigarette.
‘They were happily locked in animated conversation for quite a while,’ an onlooker tells me.
Perhaps not as lithe as he once was, Lloyd, 81, now uses a walking stick and touchingly slipped his arm through Joanna’s to steady himself.
‘He could charm the eagles off crags,’ Joanna once said of Lloyd. ‘We met, we married within two-and-a half weeks. I rest my case. I mean, it’s as mad as a box of frogs.’
Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley and her ex husband, comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd enjoy an afternoon in Fulham together
Chloe's not footloose
AS the daughter of billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green, she is usually to be found planning an exotic holiday at this time of year.
But not this summer, for Chloe Green has turned business entrepreneur
with her own range of footwear.
‘For the first time ever I’m not going away as I’ve important commitments,’
says Chloe at a Proud To Be British cocktail party at Marylebone’s Intimate
Modern Gallery. ‘I’m preparing my new collection and doing all the photo shoots for it. I’m really excited.’
Chloe, 21, launched her distinctive greensoled shoe range CJG —her initials — this year.
‘It hurt a little because I was criticised for doing outrageous styles that
some women found impossible to walk in.
‘But I have learned my lesson! This time, I will have all sorts of heels and heights.’
Chloe Green is very excited about her new shoe range
Yorkshire Tea once advertised its beverage suggesting that its fans would take a break from anything — even sex— for a brew. Now entrepreneur
Alex Boyd has caused a stir of his own by offering a free nude picture of his Dutch wife, Wendy, with every purchase of his imported Chinese Lishi Tea. Needless to say, sales of the drink have rocketed from 4,000 to more than 100,000 in just four months, thanks to the five saucy snaps of Wendy.
Happily, she has been a nudist since the age of four, and so relished the opportunity to pose.
Her uncomfortable rescue by Kate Winslet from the Necker Island fire last year has not dented Eve Branson’s sense of adventure.
She was in sparkling form as she joined her son, Sir Richard, and grandchildren for Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Cancun, Mexico, the other day.
Branson flew out 120 party-goers for the four-day jamboree, putting
everyone up at a beachside hotel at Playa del Carmen — they included
magician Derren Brown, comedian Keith Lemon and actress Cleo
‘When the rest of us staggered bleary-eyed down for coffee in the morning, Eve had already been to the beach for a swim,’ says one guest.
Unusually, the BBC has just admitted under the Freedom of Information Act that it paid 310,000 for entry into this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
With around seven hours of coverage in total, this works out at about 40,000 an hour, which the BBC says is ‘extremely cost effective for a prime-time entertainment programme.’
Would Britain’s entrant, Engelbert Humperdinck, regard this as value for money Some say he fared so disastrously— coming
second last with his song, Love Will Set You Free — that he might have paid the 310,000 not to have been involved at all.
An item on Monday about entrepreneur Peter de Savary said that his empire collapsed in the Nineties with debts of 700 million.
We have been asked to point out that in fact it was a company, Placeton Ltd, in which he had an interest, which collapsed with debts of 83 million.
PS Food writer Tom Parker Bowles may have inadvertently shed fresh light on the still-intriguing question of just when his mother, Camilla, and Prince Charles resumed their premarital affair.
In an interview launching his new book, Let’s Eat, he says he continues to call his royal stepfather ‘Sir’, not through any formal protocol but simply because it is a long-standing nickname.
As Tom explains: ‘When we were little, my mother would tell my sister
and I (sic) that Sir was coming to visit.’
Charles, in his television interview with Jonathan Dimbleby, said the
affair resumed in 1986, at which time Tom was 11. The question is, how
‘little’ is 11