Splendidly un-daunted by his ‘diabolical results’ – two Ds and an F at A-Level – at £45,500-a-year Canford School, Nick Robertson went on to create a £1.4 billion business and enjoy the trappings of a contemporary tycoon, with properties in London, Oxfordshire and France, plus a Bentley, a Mercedes and a Ferrari among his fleet of cars.
But might the co-founder of online clothing giant ASOS be entering choppy waters?
I ask because the 55-year-old, a great-grandson of menswear founder Austin Reed, is preparing to part company with his 125ft yacht Sosa.
As might be imagined, the yacht, which has a top speed of 18 knots an hour, is very much a rich man’s toy.
With interiors in a ‘soothing palette of cream and soft silvers’, a Jacuzzi and a ‘chic’ bar, Sosa has five cabins spacious enough for a dozen guests – entirely separate, of course, from the quarters for the seven-strong crew. Above, on the upper deck, all 12 guests can dine beneath the stars or watch a film on the outdoor cinema screen.
Choppy waters? Tycoon Nick Robertson is parting with Sosa
Bon voyage! The £11.5million 125ft yacht Sosa
Robertson, winner of numerous awards for his entrepreneurial prowess, declines to comment. Perhaps the parting is too hard to bear. He once offered four nights in the Mediterranean aboard Sosa – a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ – at an ASOS charity auction. Intriguingly, the particulars state that the yacht is now permanently up for grabs, with an £11.5 million price tag, courtesy of a ‘motivated seller’.
The sale comes seven years after Robertson suffered a rather expensive divorce, being ordered by the High Court to pay his wife Janice £70 million in a final settlement.
He consoled himself by snapping up a brace of houses – for £8 million and £3 million respectively – to share with his now wife and former personal assistant, Charlotte Balin, 15 years his junior.
ASOS, of which Robertson remains a non-executive director, has seen its shares lose 90 per cent of their value since March 2021.
Some sense a bargain – foremost among them, irrepressible billionaire Mike Ashley. Only last week, the founder of Sports Direct increased his stake in Asos to nearly 20 per cent. Perhaps he’ll snap up Sosa, too – and use her for office parties.
Their gold medal-winning ice-skating performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics was watched by a British television audience of more than 24 million people, but Torvill and Dean’s dance to Ravel’s Bolero will never be repeated.
‘We can’t physically do the Bolero performance again because Chris can’t do the splits any more,’ Jayne Torvill reveals. ‘Chris calls it ‘age-appropriate skating’.’
She and Christopher Dean, both 65, skate together on ITV’s hit show Dancing On Ice. ‘We still love to perform,’ she says. ‘We get to do two performances during the series at the moment.’
Pick of the parties
The Occasion: The launch party for Pavyllon London restaurant and Bar Antoine at the Four Seasons Park Lane.
Daddy’s Girl: Actress and model Poppy Delevingne wore what appeared to be her nightie. Poppy, 37, who’s based in Los Angeles, was accompanied by her father, property developer Charles. ‘There’s only a few events that I would fly home for 24 hours for, and it was extra-special having my dad there as my date,’ she tells me.
Crunch Time: Model Daisy Lowe says her first child, Ivy, who was born in April, is not quite ready for the French cuisine on offer from chef Yannick Alléno. ‘I did bring Ivy here for lunch, but she’s only just started on carrots,’ she tells me. Lowe was joined by TV cook Gizzi Erskine, who declined an invitation to join the chefs’ private party. ‘I have to behave nowadays — and chefs are so naughty,’ she says.
Matt’s a Kitchen Wizard: Former Bros singer Matt Goss boasts: ‘I’m a legendary cook in my own mind, but I’m one of those cooks who just throws everything I like into it and hope for the best.’
Gold: Actress and model Poppy Delevingne wore what appeared to be her nightie
Smiles: Matt Goss and Chantal Brown pictured together at the event
Party: Gizzi Erskine and Daisy Lowe attend the VIP launch of Pavyllon London
Is this why Prince William took the train to Bournemouth yesterday?
The Royal Household is in desperate need of a ‘Transport Coordinator’, and is advertising for someone to manage the Firm’s team of chauffeurs.
With a salary of £30,000 per year, applicants are warned ‘the standards that we aim for will provide the biggest challenge’.
The advert on the royal website also says: ‘Helping to coordinate a team of chauffeurs (who make up part of the Royal Mews), you will play an important role in the movement and transportation of Royal Household staff.’
Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, a great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, had a terrific tilt in the House of Commons yesterday against his local water company, South West Water, calling it ‘the nation’s filthiest and leakiest supplier’ and accusing its chairman, Gill Rider, of ‘running a mob’.
The MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset noted that Rider used to be a Cabinet Office civil servant in Downing Street — ‘so she’s used to leaks’.
Sir Mick Jagger once sang about girls walking by dressed in their summer clothes, but his former wife Bianca was painted black at a party in sweltering London.
The Nicaragua-born human rights campaigner, 78, cut a striking figure in an elegant off-the-shoulder dress and matching black walking stick at the event in Islington.
Bianca was married to The Rolling Stones’ frontman for seven years in the 1970s and is the mother of one of his daughters, Jade.
London: Bianca (pictured) was married to The Rolling Stones’ frontman for seven years in the 1970s
Jools hooked Jamie with a love bite
It was love at first bite for Jamie Oliver when his future wife, Jools, visited his family home while they were teenagers.
‘I remember the first thing she ate,’ the television chef says. ‘She came over to my house and ate a ‘Full Monty’ spread of roast really quickly, and she ate a lot. So I remember thinking, ‘She knows how to eat — I like her.’
‘I was really aroused by my wife’s love for food.’
Jamie, who has five children with Jools, adds: ‘The first thing I cooked for her was spaghetti. But it was a mistake because you had to suck it, so there was sauce flapping all over the place.
‘It was erotic, but it was messy as well.’