How much would you pay for a portrait of Prince Andrew? Not much, I guess.
But that hasn’t deterred a fashionable London club from including a framed photograph of the Queen’s disgraced second son in its annual charity auction — and it has provoked a furious row.
One member of the Chelsea Arts Club was apparently so angry that she took the picture from the wall and has yet to return it.
‘It’s caused a dreadful ruckus,’ one member tells me. ‘It’s a wonderful portrait, but always seemed an odd lot for a charity auction.
How much would you pay for a portrait of Prince Andrew? Not much, I guess. But that hasn’t deterred a fashionable London club from including a framed photograph of the Queen’s disgraced second son in its annual charity auction — and it has provoked a furious row
‘Lots of us thought that it shouldn’t have been included. It looks like the woman who took it was offended by its inclusion.’
The black-and-white portrait, shot by celebrated photographer and club member John Stoddart in 2000, shows a confident Prince Andrew looking like a Bond villain in a sleek black turtleneck, staring down the camera.
It was included in the charity exhibition If I Ruled The World, and had fetched £210 from the anonymous winning bidder.
The exclusive club, which has been frequented by many famous faces, from Bake Off judge Dame Prue Leith to Hollywood star Harrison Ford, was founded by painter James Whistler. It operates under rigorous rules, with the use of mobile phones or computers not permitted and photography ‘strictly forbidden’.
It does, however, seem to be suffering a bout of hooliganism. Last month, I disclosed that Dame Joan Collins had been attacked there by a fellow diner, who threw a bread roll at her in a ‘frightening’ incident.
Last month, I disclosed that Dame Joan Collins had been attacked there by a fellow diner
The roll-thrower was banned for life and the unidentified lord who invited her had his membership suspended.
With remarkable sang-froid, Dame Joan told me the ‘drunken diner didn’t even have the decency to follow it up with the butter’.
The portrait row is just the latest indignity suffered by Prince Andrew, who was once an honoured guest at the country’s most rarefied clubs. Now, even his image causes outrage.
The exclusive club, which has been frequented by many famous faces, from Bake Off judge Dame Prue Leith to Hollywood star Harrison Ford, was founded by painter James Whistler
Prince Charles regretfully gave up riding to hounds when fox hunting was banned, but he can still show off his skill at other country sports. I hear the heir to the throne caught 11 salmon in three days during his annual stay at the Queen Mother’s old home in Caithness, the Castle of Mey, last summer.
‘HRH enjoyed one of the best weeks in the Far North that he has had since he started staying at Mey,’ reports the Friends of the Castle of Mey’s annual newsletter.
BBC star Gary Lineker has made a point of showing his disdain for Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy, claiming ‘non-dom’ status to save on her UK tax bill.
The Match Of The Day host shared a story about it online with the comment ‘Every single day’, implying that negative stories about the Cabinet seem to appear regularly. Surely this can’t be the same Lineker currently involved in a £4.9 million tax battle with HMRC? The former England striker is one of a number of famous figures being targeted by HMRC in IR35 cases designed to combat tax avoidance.
Phoebe Dynevor was overshadowed by a fellow actress who towered over her at a party in North London
Who’s that towering over Bridgerton star Phoebe?
As a star of Netflix’s racy hit show Bridgerton, Phoebe Dynevor is used to commanding attention.
The 26-year-old (right) was, however, overshadowed by a fellow actress who towered over her at a party in North London.
She’s Tommy Dorfman, 29, an American best known for playing Ryan Shaver in the controversial U.S. drama 13 Reasons Why.
The actress declared last summer that she had been ‘privately identifying and living as a woman’ for a year.
‘I am a trans woman,’ she explained.
‘My name is Tommy.’
Doctor Jodie is bumping along nicely
She mastered the art of time travel as the first actress to play Doctor Who, and now Jodie Whittaker is getting ready for an exciting new adventure as a mother of two.
The heavily pregnant star, 39, was spotted juggling two cups of coffee and a shopping bag while out in North London.
Whittaker, who is married to the actor Christian Contreras, 35, also has a six-year-old daughter. She kept her pregnancy under wraps until she unveiled her bump at the Brit awards ceremony in February.
She will be stepping down from her role as the 13th Doctor in the autumn.
The heavily pregnant star, 39, was spotted juggling two cups of coffee and a shopping bag while out in North London
Sex Pistol’s fury at Disney
Sex Pistols star John Lydon has just seen a trailer for Danny Boyle’s six-part TV series Pistol and he’s spitting mad.
‘John’s ‘likeness’ is clearly being used to sell this series — a series that he was not involved in, and was put together behind his back,’ declares a statement on the 66-year-old punk singer’s website. The drama has been made by Disney-owned channel FX.
‘[It is] putting words in John’s mouth and rewriting history,’ the statement adds. ‘A middle-class fantasy. Disney have stolen the past and created a fairy tale, which bears little resemblance to the truth. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.’
Playing Finn, the brother of gangster kingpin Tommy Shelby, in Brummie drama Peaky Blinders causes trouble for Harry Kirton when he’s on a night out. ‘The only time I have a problem is when it comes to bouncers,’ the actor, 23, tells me at London’s Savoy hotel. ‘It’s just the attitude. I don’t want to give all bouncers a bad rep as I know they have a job to do.
‘But when you’re a young guy, they think you’re up to some mischief — so I’ve had that a lot, especially when I lived in Shoreditch [East London]. I want to move to the countryside.’
The Jungle Cruise star, 33, keeps the flames of passion burning with model Roxy Horner, 30, by taking her with him when he films in America
How jet-setting Jack keeps the passion alive
Romances don’t tend to last long in Hollywood, but comic turned actor Jack Whitehall is keen to buck the trend.
The Jungle Cruise star, 33, keeps the flames of passion burning with model Roxy Horner, 30, by taking her with him when he films in America.
‘Roxy comes with me quite a lot as she can work out there. We try to sync our diaries,’ he tells me at a party to celebrate the launch of director Paul Feig’s Artingstall’s Gin, at Isabel’s in Mayfair.
Fern delights in a daytime skinny-dip
Look out, people of Cornwall! Television presenter and novelist Fern Britton has taken up skinny-dipping — during the day.
Her first ever nude dip was taken in a ‘quiet little cove’ in the English Channel, she says. However, things soon took a turn. ‘I saw some people on the cliff and thought, ‘Oh, b****r’,’ she adds.
Meanwhile, Britton, 64, rues losing privileges — namely a personal chauffeur — after she left her long-running daytime TV role on This Morning.
‘In the first month or so, I would walk out of the house waiting for a car to be there, because for ten years I had this wonderful driver who’d silently slink up outside the house or my work — or if I wanted to go shopping in the West End.
‘For a while, I would walk out the front door, going, ‘Where’s the bloody car?’
It makes your heart bleed…