News, Culture & Society

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth buys a pair of pubs in the Cotswolds 

She has married three times, created a personal fortune of £156 million and is acclaimed for hosting extravagant parties.

But now Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, is embarking on a new and unexpected career — as pub landlady to the Chipping Norton Set.

She has, I can disclose, bought two trophy hostelries in the Cotswolds, paying Superdry tycoon Julian Dunkerton £800,000 for The Chequers in the idyllic Oxfordshire village of Churchill, and also shelling out £1 million for The Swan, in Ascott-under-Wychwood.

Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has bought two trophy hostelries in the Cotswolds, The Chequers in Oxfordshire village and The Swan, in Ascott-under-Wychwood

Murdoch, who pocketed £130 million after selling her TV company Shine in 2011, has snapped up the pubs in partnership with her third husband, Turner Prize-winning artist Keith Tyson, her business partner Chris Palmer, and billionaire property magnate Tony Gallagher.

‘The pubs are very close to where we live,’ Gallagher, 67, tells me from Mykonos.

Gallagher famously hosted a 50th birthday dinner for David Cameron at Sarsden House, his 17th-century mansion set in 459 acres which he bought for £26 million in 2006 from Tory turncoat Shaun Woodward — Cameron’s predecessor as Witney MP. 

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of ‘Liz’ pulling pints are likely to be disappointed. 

She paid Superdry tycoon Julian Dunkerton £800,000 for The Chequers in the idyllic Oxfordshire village of Churchill (pictured)

She paid Superdry tycoon Julian Dunkerton £800,000 for The Chequers in the idyllic Oxfordshire village of Churchill (pictured)

Elizabeth also shelled out £1 million for The Swan, in Ascott-under-Wychwood (pictured)

Elizabeth also shelled out £1 million for The Swan, in Ascott-under-Wychwood (pictured)

Murdoch, who is said to have spent £500,000 on one New Year’s Eve party, intends to be dedicated patron, rather than superstar barmaid.

‘Elisabeth likes going to The Chequers, likes the staff, likes the people in the village,’ Chris Palmer tells me. 

‘We bought it because it’s a community pub and we wanted it to stay the way it was. The Swan has only been open for four weeks and we’re still finding our feet.’

Given that the latter’s menu features a starter of barbecue native prawns, English pears, and ‘Chipping Norton Nduja & Garlic Butter’, it is surely only a matter of time before this gourmet celebrity magnet persuades Jeremy Clarkson to come throbbing over on his tractor from his Diddly Squat Farm estate.

Time’s on his side: Junior Jagger takes to the stage

Sir Mick Jagger’s eighth child, Deveraux, showed no sign of nerves on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House this week.

His mother, ballerina Melanie Hamrick, 32, shared a picture of the tot at the New York venue. 

Sir Mick Jagger’s eighth child, Deveraux, showed no sign of nerves on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House this week. ‘He loves it on stage — especially the lights,’ Mel says. ‘He loves music. I think he’s going to be a natural’

Sir Mick Jagger’s eighth child, Deveraux, showed no sign of nerves on stage at the Metropolitan Opera House this week. ‘He loves it on stage — especially the lights,’ Mel says. ‘He loves music. I think he’s going to be a natural’

Friends were quick to comment that Deveraux looked every inch his father’s son, with his long wavy hair and the famous Jagger pout.

And it seems he’s also inherited his parents’ desire to entertain.

‘He loves it on stage — especially the lights,’ Mel says. ‘He loves music. I think he’s going to be a natural.’ I think he’s going to be a handful!

Dominic’s girl shows she’s a wild West

The Affair star Dominic West once declared he would be ‘marvellous in Batman’, and now it seems his daughter, Oxford University student Martha, has superhero aspirations of her own.

The 20-year-old looked like she was channelling Wonder Woman in a gold sequin top, torn fishnets and a gold cape for a fancy dress party. 

Flashing a mischievous grin, Martha (inset with dad), whose mum is Polly Astor, teased: ‘At least I don’t post bikini pics, Mum.’

The Affair star Dominic West (right) once declared he would be ‘marvellous in Batman’, and now it seems his daughter, Oxford University student Martha (left), has superhero aspirations of her own

The Affair star Dominic West (right) once declared he would be ‘marvellous in Batman’, and now it seems his daughter, Oxford University student Martha (left), has superhero aspirations of her own

The 20-year-old looked like she was channelling Wonder Woman in a gold sequin top, torn fishnets and a gold cape for a fancy dress party. Her mother Polly Astor, teased: ‘At least I don’t post bikini pics, Mum’

The 20-year-old looked like she was channelling Wonder Woman in a gold sequin top, torn fishnets and a gold cape for a fancy dress party. Her mother Polly Astor, teased: ‘At least I don’t post bikini pics, Mum’

 Lette lashes ‘sagging mid-life males and their meno-Porsches’

Saucy novelist Kathy Lette, who rarely speaks of her split from human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, her husband of 27 years, sheds light on their separation two years ago.

‘When my partner went through his mid-life crisis and announced that he wanted to find more “fun” in life, I tried to be supportive,’ says Lette, 60.

‘Mind you, running a marathon which involved traversing over rough, rain-drenched terrain didn’t sound like much fun to me.’

The mother of his two children reflects: ‘The sagging male psyche can’t really be reupholstered by younger lovers, faster motorbikes and marathon training. 

‘So, boys, before you throw away your wife and your life and ride off into the sunset in your meno-Porsche, just be warned that by the time you “find yourself”, there may be nobody home.’

Saucy novelist Kathy Lette has shed light on her split from human rights lawyer husband of 27 years Geoffrey Robertson. ‘The sagging male psyche can’t really be reupholstered by younger lovers, faster motorbikes and marathon training'

Saucy novelist Kathy Lette has shed light on her split from human rights lawyer husband of 27 years Geoffrey Robertson. ‘The sagging male psyche can’t really be reupholstered by younger lovers, faster motorbikes and marathon training’

I’d be a lousy real-life spy, says honest Joely

Actress Joely Richardson, who stars in the forthcoming American TV spy series, The Rook, has candidly admitted to lacking a quality many thespians would deem essential to her job.

At the show’s New York premiere this week, the 54-year-old daughter of Vanessa Redgrave reveals: ‘People are always telling me I should be a spy, except I’m not good at lying.

‘The double lives people have to lead . . . it would be a terrible thing for loved ones to wonder whether they knew you at all — but it’s great fun to play one.’

Actress Joely Richardson, who stars in the forthcoming American TV spy series, The Rook, has candidly admitted to lacking a quality many thespians would deem essential to her job. She said: ‘People are always telling me I should be a spy, except I’m not good at lying'

Actress Joely Richardson, who stars in the forthcoming American TV spy series, The Rook, has candidly admitted to lacking a quality many thespians would deem essential to her job. She said: ‘People are always telling me I should be a spy, except I’m not good at lying’

Sarah, Duchess of York, admits she worries about her well-being.

‘Health is extremely important in our household. I could even be accused of being a hypochondriac,’ she told a British Heart Foundation event this week. 

And after listening to her fellow speakers Fergie, 59, proved her point. 

‘I’ve scribbled down a shopping list of things I’m going to do. I’m going to go out and get an ECG immediately. I’m terrified. I was thinking: “Oh dear, I had a drink last night.” Look I’m drinking a glass of water now so I don’t have a heart attack.’

Sarah, Duchess of York, admitted she worries about her well-being. ‘Health is extremely important in our household. I could even be accused of being a hypochondriac,’ she told a British Heart Foundation event this week

Sarah, Duchess of York, admitted she worries about her well-being. ‘Health is extremely important in our household. I could even be accused of being a hypochondriac,’ she told a British Heart Foundation event this week

Just one month after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to her first child, Archie, her best friend Jessica Mulroney offers some timely parenting advice.

‘We sometimes feel like we are never doing the right thing as parents,’ says fashion stylist Jessica, whose twins were pageboys at Prince Harry’s wedding.

‘That we are either failing at the mom game every now and then or just not knowing what to prioritise.

‘Here’s what I’ve realised. It’s not the quantity of time you spend with your kids. It’s the quality of time. As long as you can do that as a parent, you’re doing a great job.

I’m not always around for the right things but when I’m there, I’m present.’ 

Righty-ho.

Why does the Glastonbury festival rely on veterans such as Kylie Minogue and The Cure to fill its headline slots?

‘It’s just getting tougher, particularly with American acts,’ admits senior booker Martin Elbourne. 

‘Jay-Z only played because Coldplay’s Chris Martin rang him up and said: “Ignore the fee, you’ve got to do this.” Those guys earn a lot of money, I don’t blame them for it.’

Of course, the blanket BBC exposure must help sweeten the deal.

Why does the Glastonbury festival rely on veterans such as Kylie Minogue (pictured) and The Cure to fill its headline slots? ‘It’s just getting tougher, particularly with American acts,’ admits senior booker Martin Elbourne

Why does the Glastonbury festival rely on veterans such as Kylie Minogue (pictured) and The Cure to fill its headline slots? ‘It’s just getting tougher, particularly with American acts,’ admits senior booker Martin Elbourne

What’s in a name?

David Cameron has chosen to call his forthcoming memoirs For The Record. 

Compare and contrast with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who released a book this week about his political career called Passions. 

His wife, musician Carla Bruni, has been singing its praises on social media. 

Let’s hope Sam Cam is on standby to cheer Dave’s tome to the rafters.

An unlikely alliance has been struck up between Mike Read, TV and radio presenter, Stanley Johnson, father of Boris, and Earl Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana.

‘Stanley, Charlie Spencer and myself have behind closed doors lads’ lunches,’ says Read. 

‘We put the world to rights, but try not to talk too much politics.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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