RICHARD KAY: Jemma Kidd"s make-up empire goes into administration


In the red: Jemma Kidd's make-up empire goes into administration

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 5 October 2012

She has enjoyed a successful career as a model and make-up artist but, when it comes to business, Jemma Kidd has found life can be a little tricky.

Jemma, 38, who is married to the Duke of Wellington’s grandson, the Earl of Mornington, has been forced to put her celebrity make-up company into administration after it ran up debts of more than 2 million.

At the same time she has been personally fielding complaints from disgruntled customers who have taken to Twitter to air their grievances after failing to contact her through the company’s customer care line.

Jemma Kidd

Bust: Former model Jemma Kidd's beauty brand is now in administration

The mother of two set up Jemma Kidd Make-Up Ltd seven years ago with close friend Grace Fodor, the star of the BBC business programme Be Your Own Boss.

Jemma quickly became the face of a line of cosmetics stocked in shops including Harvey Nichols, Boots and Space NK. Sales initially gathered pace and the business appeared to be thriving.

But in 2008 the first signs of financial strain began to show. After losing money when Jemma’s range of lipsticks, eye-shadows and foundations was discontinued at Boots, and with surplus stock past its sell-by date in warehouses, they reached crisis point.

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Staff were put on a four-day week while Jemma — sister of supermodel Jodie Kidd and great-granddaughter of the late newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook — opted to work only three days a week. Then, late last week the business was put into administration and its 30 staff made redundant.

Customers, however, turned to social networking websites to track down their orders.

One, businesswoman Linda Grimes, said: ‘My daughter paid 1,100 last week for your make-up course and it’s now in administration, can you please refund her money — all her savings.’

To which Jemma replied: ‘We will, of course, refund, please don’t worry.’

A spokesman for administrators RSM Tenon tells me: ‘Unfortunately, the business has suffered from a decline in sales and we are currently seeking a potential buyer.’

Neither Jemma nor Miss Fodor replied to requests for comment.

Carolyn hides a saucy secret
Carolyn Seaward

Love: Prince Andrew's former flame, Carolyn Seaward, wins Miss UK

In the busy love life of the Duke of York she was sandwiched between Koo Stark and baronet’s daughter Vicki Hodge.

But for beauty queen Carolyn Seaward, catching the roving eye of the young Prince Andrew did not lead to lasting happiness with a man.

Now 51, the former Miss United Kingdom, who starred with Roger Moore in the Bond film Octopussy, lives a single life with her mother Pamela in Devon and makes her living house-sitting and looking after horses.

Of her romance with the Queen’s second son, she says: ‘I met Prince Andrew at Dartmouth Royal Naval college when I was 19 and he very nicely invited me for dinner.

‘I just went to Buckingham Palace once. We had a fun evening and a nice dinner and we ran around on the roof of the Palace but that was it. I was too young and naive, I hadn’t even had a proper boyfriend by then, if you know what I mean. I was an extremely late starter on that front.’

In a forthcoming BBC documentary, Carolyn also reveals a penchant for nude sunbathing in her mother’s Devon garden.

‘It isn’t so good now that my mother has thinned the hedge and the neighbours walk by! she says. ‘But I keep very still.’

THERE were no withering Dowager Countess of Grantham-style put downs when actor Toby Stephens was growing up at home with his mother Dame Maggie Smith, alias the battleaxe of Downton Abbey.

Toby, 43, insists that neither his father actor Sir Robert Stephens nor his mother behaved in a theatrical way when they weren’t on stage or before the cameras.

About to appear in Noel Coward’s Private Lives at the Chichester Theatre Festival, Toby says: ‘Everybody imagines, if you are from a family that acts, you spend your life as a child tap dancing and singing songs and doing speeches from Shakespeare.

‘But we were kept quite distance from my parents’ work. When she came home she was a mother. She went out to work and we were kept separate from that. It was a job.’

You can’t imagine Masterchef host John Torode cooking for one at the best of times. And since splitting from wife Jessica, the mother of his two children, he hasn’t had to rely on home cooking.

The other night he was enjoying oysters and fine wine at Battersea’s Soif restaurant, where he shared a 58 bottle of Chianti Classico with a pal.

‘Ladies got excited wondering who would join him at the table for two and were disappointed to see it was a male chum,’ I am told. ‘He doesn’t seem to have lost his appetite though, he tucked into pork belly rillettes.’

Mystery split for Sofia and Cherie

She is the aristocratic girlfriend of former Cavalry officer-turned-crooner James Blunt (below). But Sofia Wellesley is more than just a pretty face.

For the past year the 28-year old law graduate, a granddaughter of the Duke of Wellington, has worked for Cherie Blair’s legal consultancy Omnia Strategy.

But now she has mysteriously resigned.

JAMES BLUNT and SOFIA WELLESLEY

Spotlight: Since taking up with singer James Blunt, Sofia Wellesley has left her job at Cherie Blair's law firm, Omnia

Company records show Sofia was appointed a director of the firm, which offers expertise in training judges and human rights lawyers, last October.

Newly updated files show that since the end of July she is no longer a director.

After graduating from Edinburgh University, where she was friends with Pippa Middleton, brainy Sofia did a stint in Tripoli working for the foundation run by dictator’s son Saif Gaddafi. Soon after, she met Cherie, who asked her to join the board of Omnia.

However, it is thought the attention Sofia has received since dating Blunt has thrust Cherie’s company into the spotlight — something the wife of the former Prime Minister is said to be not overly happy about.

Twenty years after his seminal biography of Princess Diana triggered a worldwide furore, author Andrew Morton will be starting a new chapter in his life tomorrow when he marries in California.

His bride is U.S.-born interior designer Carolyn May. It is a second marriage for Morton, who has two daughters and a grandchild by his first wife Lynne.

The wedding is at the Presbyterian church in Beverly Hills followed by a reception at Soho House in Hollywood. The couple plan to divide their time between Los Angeles and London.

PS…

As one of only two women — the other is Baroness Thatcher — who has been bestowed with the insignia of Lady Companion of the Order of the Garter, Sir Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary Soames is understandably proud to be a member of the oldest order in British chivalry.

But for an entirely different reason Lady Soames, 90, will never forget the day the Queen invested her in 2005. She tells Tatler: ‘The Queen said: “And this is your father’s collar.”

‘I rather saucily told her: “Oh no, Ma’am, it can’t be, it’s at Chartwell”[her father’s country home].

‘The Queen said: “I caused it to be retrieved.”

‘I thought it was a wonderful way of putting it.’