Known for his sarcastic quips when required to report on the love lives of the Royal Family, waggish BBC news anchor Simon McCoy has a cheerful personal bulletin of his own.
McCoy has found love with Eighties pin-up Emma Samms — and friends say he will soon become her fourth husband.
‘We are very happy together,’ he tells me.
The couple are already living together at the actress’s home in the Cotswolds and an engagement is on the cards.
McCoy has found love with Eighties pin-up Emma Samms (pictured together)— and friends say he will soon become her fourth husband
‘They will get married as soon as his divorce is through,’ claims one of his BBC colleagues.
Last year, I disclosed that McCoy, 58, had separated from his wife, the television presenter Victoria Graham, 45. ‘It is very sad,’ he told me at the time.
Emma, 59, was one of the biggest television stars of the Eighties, playing fiery heiress Fallon Carrington Colby in Dynasty after making her name in General Hospital.
Emma, 59, was one of the biggest television stars of the Eighties, playing fiery heiress Fallon Carrington Colby in Dynasty after making her name in General Hospital
Last year, I disclosed that McCoy, 58, had separated from his wife, the television presenter Victoria Graham, 45 (left). ‘It is very sad,’ he told me at the time
The London-born actress twice declined offers to appear in Playboy. She divorced her third husband, the psychiatrist John Holloway, in 2003. Her previous husbands, Bansi Nagji and Tim Dillon, were both lawyers. She was previously engaged to the late American composer Marvin Hamlisch.
Former royal reporter McCoy has a grown-up son from his first marriage, while Emma has two children with Holloway.
After becoming estranged from McCoy, his wife embarked on a relationship with her BBC colleague Jon Gripton, who was her editor at the Spotlight news programme for South-West England, where she is a presenter.
Former weather girl Victoria told me: ‘It’s been an incredibly sad time. After years of living apart, failed fertility treatment and the death of my father, life changes.’ She added: ‘Every time I see Simon on the TV I feel tremendously proud — his career goes from strength to strength.
‘We remain very good friends and still have two beautiful border terriers to love between us.’
The smart set’s talking about… Deliciously Ella’s deli disaster
She made her name as the popular food blogger ‘Deliciously Ella’, but Ella Mills’s food business has left a sour taste.
The daughter of former Labour minister Shaun Woodward and supermarket heiress Camilla Sainsbury has shut up shop at her Mayfair delicatessen, Deliciously Ella, blaming the coronavirus crisis.
‘We’re really sad to be temporarily closing our deli,’ says Ella, who declines to say if staff will still be paid.
She made her name as the popular food blogger ‘Deliciously Ella’, but Ella Mills’s food business has left a sour taste
‘It’s been a very tough week, and making decisions like this is the worst part of running a business.’
Ella established the deli with her husband, Matthew Mills, son of the late Cabinet minister Dame Tessa Jowell in 2016.
Its menu includes such trendy delicacies as avocado toast at £6.50, acai bowl for £6.95 and cauliflower dahl at £9.50.
She adds: ‘We’ve seen a substantial drop in trade in a very short period of time due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, and it’s impossible for us to keep operating in this climate.’
Astaire’s dancing for joy
He used to be London’s best-connected bachelor but publicist and novelist Simon Astaire is to become a father again — at the age of 58.
Simon, whose former girlfriends include Ulrika Jonsson, had a son with model Saffron Aldridge in 1993. He quietly married a legend of the high-end art world, Pilar Ordovas, in 2018, and she’s expecting their first child in June.
‘Another older dad,’ he jokes. ‘To become a parent is always a miracle, but at my age, and a first child for my wife, truly feels like a wonderful gift.’
Gallery owner Pilar, 46, bought Lucian Freud’s painting Benefits Supervisor Sleeping for a record-breaking £21 million on behalf of an anonymous buyer.
When she wed Astaire, whose clients include Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, in New York, Sting was best man.
Nun’s the word for Bond girl Gemma
Screen star Gemma Arterton was delighted to don a nun’s wimple for the forthcoming BBC1 production of Black Narcissus.
She has the leading role of Sister Clodagh, who was played by Deborah Kerr in the classic 1947 big-screen version of the psychological drama.
‘I play a nun and loved it because I didn’t have to worry about my hair,’ Gemma tells me at a West End party. ‘It was very freeing, actually. She’s quite a strict nun and isn’t very charming.’
Screen star Gemma Arterton was delighted to don a nun’s wimple for the forthcoming BBC1 production of Black Narcissus
The role even seems to have led to something of a religious conversion for Gemma, 34, a welder’s daughter from Gravesend, Kent. She says: ‘I ended up respecting the faith, because we really don’t have much faith these days.’
Pink Floyd star Nick Mason has discovered ‘the most expensive therapy on the planet’ — flying aeroplanes. ‘I learned to fly because I was frightened of flying,’ the drummer says.
‘A friend of mine who’s a pilot said: ‘You need to learn to fly yourself.’ My wife does it for fun, and I do it for therapy.’ Set the controls for the heart of the sun . . .
(Very) modern manners
He made his name in Men Behaving Badly, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that Neil Morrissey has been banned from social media by his lawyer girlfriend Emma Killick — because she fears he’d behave badly.
He tells me: ‘My missus says, ‘You will get in a spat — if someone says something horrible to you, you’re going to do a 12-page reply’.
‘I just keep away from it really, and I don’t read anyone else’s either.’
Morrissey, 57, who stars in hit ITV medical drama Good Karma Hospital, which returns tomorrow, fears he’d soon become addicted. ‘Once I see the usefulness of it, I’ll probably be doing it all the time.’
The Duchess of Sussex’s visit to this country last week was merely a curtain call, claims Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer David Emanuel.
‘We’ve lost her,’ he tells me at a West End show. He jokes that Meghan will lose her regal style in the move across the Atlantic and she’ll end up shopping at a budget retailer. ‘Meghan’s style is interesting, simple and understated, but we’ve now lost her to Canadian fashion, so there’s no hope. She’ll be shopping at Target now.’ Miaow!
The Duchess of Sussex’s visit to this country last week was merely a curtain call, claims Princess Diana’s wedding dress designer David Emanuel
Samira Ahmed, who recently won her £700,000 equal pay case against the BBC, might be willing to jump ship after 30 years.
‘I don’t think anyone would ever say, ‘I wouldn’t consider an offer from anybody’,’ she tells me at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, where she picked up the Audio prize.
‘Let people ask, and we’ll take it from there.’
Could her battle with her employer become a Hollywood movie?
She says: ‘I’d like Meghan Markle to play me in the film.’
Widow’s tribute to baddie Rickman
Harry Potter star Alan Rickman is much missed, and now his widow is planning to celebrate his life on screen with a new book.
‘It’s been four years since his death, so it’s taken a while to figure out what his legacy should be,’ Rima Horton tells me at the first night of On Blueberry Hill at Trafalgar Studios in the West End. ‘There’ll be a book and a film to do with Alan’s life. In the meantime, we’re planning on getting his archives placed somewhere that people can have access to what he thought or did. Every film script Alan ever worked on, he annotated with thoughts on how to play that character.’
Rickman — Professor Severus Snape in the Potter films — was a memorable baddie in Hollywood blockbusters such as Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.
Some rare good news for Prince Andrew: I hear he’s in line for a promotion.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to be removed from the ‘Future Engagements’ section of the royal website at the end of this month, when they officially give up duties, and this means their Uncle Andrew is going up in the world.
He would move from ninth to seventh on the site’s list of royals, even though he stepped back from official duties last November. Buckingham Palace made clear at the time that this was temporary, so Andrew did not lose his ranking.
One of the Duke of York’s friends tells me: ‘Andrew very much hopes to make a comeback when the Jeffrey Epstein scandal has blown over.’ Time will tell.
Some rare good news for Prince Andrew: I hear he’s in line for a promotion
Kirstie blasts Harry and Meghan pals’ ‘fake news’
Prince Harry and Meghan like to surround themselves with sycophants, but some people are prepared to speak their minds.
TV’s Kirstie Allsopp has criticised the couple for allowing friends to suggest they left ten-month-old Archie in Canada last week as a precaution against coronavirus. Medical experts say children are at much lower risk than the elderly.
‘[It’s] irresponsible for those with as much access to the latest data as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,’ Kirstie commented online. ‘Jet lag is a nightmare with small kids, and who wants to disrupt their routine. But using coronavirus? Not cool.’
TV’s Kirstie Allsopp has criticised the couple for allowing friends to suggest they left ten-month-old Archie in Canada last week as a precaution against coronavirus
Kirstie (right) tells me: ‘One should be very careful with one’s language when it comes to coronavirus and children. The last thing we want is for NHS 111 to be overloaded by the worried well.
‘If any of us were in a situation where we have a vulnerable family member who isn’t able to get to the right healthcare because misinformation was allowed to be spread, we’d never forgive ourselves.’
Dead Ringers’ Jan reveals heartbreak
When TV impressionist Jan Ravens’s husband, music mogul Max Hole, came down with a brain bug, she devotedly helped nurse him back to good health.
Now, she has revealed that his illness spelt doom for their 20-year marriage. ‘My husband got very ill with encephalitis and lost his memory,’ says Jan, who is best known for BBC show Dead Ringers.
‘After two years of rehab, he admitted that he didn’t know me. We’d been a golden couple, and I thought our marriage would last for ever.’
Max is said to have made a full recovery. Former Strictly contestant Jan, right, who has one son with Max, is currently starring in Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads at the Watford Palace Theatre.
When TV impressionist Jan Ravens’s husband, music mogul Max Hole, came down with a brain bug, she devotedly helped nurse him back to good health