EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: BBC love rat Tim Willcox, 58, is dumped by his new wife 18 years his junior

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Suave newsreader Tim Willcox left his first wife devastated when he embarked on a passionate affair with his fellow married BBC presenter Sophie Long.

Now, he has received his comeuppance.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

I hear that his second wife is divorcing him after scarcely two years of marriage.

Willcox, 58, married Najah al-Otaibi, who is 18 years his junior, in 2019. She’s a Saudi Arabian political analyst who often appears on BBC news programmes.

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At the time, a source close to Willcox said: ‘Tim is very happy and has been gushing about Najah to his colleagues.’

Now it’s all over.

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One of Najah’s friends tells me: ‘She’s divorcing him.’ The pal claims: ‘It’s very acrimonious.’

I hear that Tim Willcox's second wife is divorcing him after scarcely two years of marriage. Willcox, 58, married Najah al-Otaibi, who is 18 years his junior, in 2019. She's a Saudi Arabian political analyst who often appears on BBC news programmes. (They are pictured at Royal Ascot)

I hear that Tim Willcox’s second wife is divorcing him after scarcely two years of marriage. Willcox, 58, married Najah al-Otaibi, who is 18 years his junior, in 2019. She’s a Saudi Arabian political analyst who often appears on BBC news programmes. (They are pictured at Royal Ascot)

Rumours that the marriage was in trouble began circulating last summer, two years after they were photographed cuddling at Royal Ascot, months before their wedding.

Willcox hit the headlines in 2012 when he had an affair with Sophie Long, now 45.

He had attended her wedding to yacht company sales director and childhood sweetheart Will Green, 46, in Cornwall in 2010.

As a former member of the British Youth Orchestra, Willcox even serenaded the happy couple with his trumpet.

Suave newsreader Willcox left his first wife devastated when he embarked on a passionate affair with his fellow married BBC presenter Sophie Long (right)

Suave newsreader Willcox left his first wife devastated when he embarked on a passionate affair with his fellow married BBC presenter Sophie Long (right)

Willcox left his wife of 17 years, Sarah, with whom he has four children. And Long left her husband, but her relationship with Willcox came to an end in 2014

Willcox left his wife of 17 years, Sarah, with whom he has four children. And Long left her husband, but her relationship with Willcox came to an end in 2014

The pair, who sometimes jointly presented the BBC’s 24-hour news channel, were said to have been banned from appearing on screen together.

Willcox left his wife of 17 years, Sarah, with whom he has four children. And Long left her husband, but her relationship with Willcox came to an end in 2014.

Willcox was later romantically linked with another blonde, Tessa Hardy, 60, whom he met when he was still with Long.

Friends of her husband, the telecoms multi-millionaire Warren Hardy, 65, said he was devastated to discover Willcox had wheedled his way into his wife’s affections, as the couple, who had been married for 24 years, were undergoing a ‘trial separation’.

The friend said Willcox was ‘taking advantage’ of the situation that recent business problems had placed a strain on the Hardys’ marriage.

Both Willcox and Al-Otaibi declined to comment.

 

Laurence Fox’s engagement to 28-year-old prep school teacher Arabella Fleetwood Neagle could encourage him to make sweet music. For I hear the music label he set up is now more than £100,000 in the red.

Fox, 43, who has two children with ex-wife Billie Piper, is the only musician on Fox Cub Records, which he used to release his album, A Grief Observed, two years ago.

But despite his profile as a former star of ITV detective drama Lewis, outspoken political campaigner and candidate for London Mayor, he has not been able to translate it into record sales.

Newly filed accounts for the company explain: ‘The company continues to be financially supported by the director.’

 

Bridgerton cuts a dash in Paris

Sombrely dressed as Anthony Bridgerton in Netflix’s racy costume drama, Jonathan Bailey prefers a more colourful style off-screen.

The Oxfordshire-born star, 33, donned an eye-catching pink suit at the Ami show for Paris Fashion Week.

Jonathan Bailey, 33, donned an eye-catching pink suit at the Ami show for Paris Fashion Week

Jonathan Bailey, 33, donned an eye-catching pink suit at the Ami show for Paris Fashion Week

In the next series, womanising Lord Bridgerton will be seen targeting debutante Kate Sharma, played by Sex Education star Simone Ashley.

No doubt he was pleased to have a chance to show off his sartorial style in France. 

He has performed so many sex scenes in Bridgerton that he wailed: ‘Everything I’ve done involves me getting my bum out.’

In the next series, womanising Lord Bridgerton will be seen targeting debutante Kate Sharma, played by Sex Education star Simone Ashley (above)

In the next series, womanising Lord Bridgerton will be seen targeting debutante Kate Sharma, played by Sex Education star Simone Ashley (above)

 

Quote of the week

‘I didn’t get his aftershave off my chest for 48 hours’

Strictly star Anton du Beke left a lasting impression on Frank Skinner, who interviewed him 

 

Gizzi: ‘How I drove men to tears…’

Aristocratic chef Gizzi Erskine is one of the most outspoken advocates of kindness and sympathy online, so I’m shocked to hear her admit she was a bully during her work in professional kitchens.

Commenting on new film Boiling Point, which shows the drug-fuelled pressures in a kitchen, she says: ‘I’ve seen pans of hot oil fly through the room, someone stuffed in a bin to pick out potato peelings and I’m absolutely not remotely proud, quite the contrary — I’m revolted at myself, but I’ve personally made grown men cry.’

Gizzi, 42, recently opened a cafe in Margate, Kent, with former Libertines hellraiser Carl Barat.

Referring to the film, she adds: ‘My life in the cafe is more exciting than this.’

Aristocratic chef Gizzi Erskine is one of the most outspoken advocates of kindness and sympathy online, so I'm shocked to hear her admit she was a bully during her work in professional kitchens

Aristocratic chef Gizzi Erskine is one of the most outspoken advocates of kindness and sympathy online, so I’m shocked to hear her admit she was a bully during her work in professional kitchens

 

Celebrity favourite Wolseley’s cash crisis 

This will set alarm bells ringing among London’s movers and shakers.

I can reveal that Corbin & King, which owns some of the capital’s most fashionable restaurants, has filed for insolvency. 

The group, which owns London haunts including The Wolseley, where Kate Moss and the Beckhams are regulars, has made miscellaneous applications under the Insolvency Act for all its outlets.

Last night, the owners, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, declined to comment, but the dramatic move comes ahead of a High Court case next week in which the business takes on insurance companies over compensation for lockdown losses.

 

Did you hear the one about MP’s girlfriend who became a comic?

When Bob Seely managed to bag a beautiful, willowy girlfriend half his age, the Tory MP was laughing with joy. Well, he’s not laughing now.

For I can reveal his girlfriend, Iona Stewart Richardson, has become a stand-up comedian — and the 55-year-old is the butt of most of her jokes.

Iona, 28, who claims to be distantly related to Scottish nobility, caught his fancy after interviewing him for a South London radio station. She moved to his Isle of Wight constituency around three years ago.

When Bob Seely managed to bag a beautiful, willowy girlfriend half his age, the Tory MP was laughing with joy. Well, he's not laughing now. For I can reveal his girlfriend, Iona Stewart Richardson (above), has become a stand-up comedian ¿ and the 55-year-old is the butt of most of her jokes

When Bob Seely managed to bag a beautiful, willowy girlfriend half his age, the Tory MP was laughing with joy. Well, he’s not laughing now. For I can reveal his girlfriend, Iona Stewart Richardson (above), has become a stand-up comedian — and the 55-year-old is the butt of most of her jokes

Iona, 28, who claims to be distantly related to Scottish nobility, caught Seely's fancy after interviewing him for a South London radio station. She moved to his Isle of Wight constituency around three years ago. (The pair are pictured above)

Iona, 28, who claims to be distantly related to Scottish nobility, caught Seely’s fancy after interviewing him for a South London radio station. She moved to his Isle of Wight constituency around three years ago. (The pair are pictured above)

She settled into island life nicely, becoming a local news reporter and often managing to secure exclusive interviews with the local MP.

But the Old Harrovian is unlikely to be applauding her latest wheeze: she refers to Seely as her ‘old man friend’ throughout her stand-up set, confiding: ‘I had to go to one of these chamber of commerce events.

‘On my way in, an old man immediately smacked me on the a**e.

‘The second thing was a woman went up to my man and said, ‘Oh, it’s so wonderful what you’re doing for the business community’, took one look at me and went, ‘You must be so proud of your father.’ ‘

Seely insists: ‘Iona is the funniest woman I know, as well as the smartest and most beautiful.’

 

Sam Cam praises writer who called Dave a fool

Samantha Cameron is clearly not one to hold a grudge.

While her husband, David, was prime minister, bestselling children’s author Philip Pullman described him as a ‘complacent fool’. 

Yet fashion designer Samantha has just named Pullman as one of her favourite novelists.

Samantha Cameron has just named Philip Pullman as one of her favourite novelists

Samantha Cameron has just named Philip Pullman as one of her favourite novelists

She describes the first instalment of his Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights, as ‘utterly bewitching’ and ‘sheer imaginative storytelling at its best’, gushing: ‘This is the only book I have gone on to read multiple times.’

Perhaps she thinks Pullman could have been ruder: after all, he once referred in an ill-tempered Twitter outburst to the possibility of executing Boris Johnson.

 

Good to see that historian Lady Antonia Fraser has not lost her love of a good party as she looks forward to her 90th birthday this summer.

‘I know my family are planning something special which will hopefully involve my 20 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren,’ the widow of playwright Sir Harold Pinter tells me. 

She adds with a chuckle: ‘There’s one wonderful thing about being nearly 90 — nobody ever says, ‘You look older’.’

 

(Very) modern manners

Second-hand clothes are increasingly trendy — but now one label has come up with the perfect shoes for fashionistas who wouldn’t dream of setting foot in an Oxfam shop. 

Balenciaga has introduced a pair of trainers (below) distressed with scuffs, nicks and patches where the colour has faded, so the wearer will look as if they have completed a marathon. 

And at £850 a pair, they are definitely not Oxfam prices. 

 

Diana film dilemma for Baftas

Prince William enjoys attending the Bafta awards, where he can meet Hollywood stars and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, can wear one of her most spectacular frocks.

But this year’s ceremony could be awkward for William, who is president of Bafta.

For he might well have to honour American star Kristen Stewart for her performance as his mother in the film Spencer (right). Many critics said her portrayal of Princess Diana was over-the-top and offensive. 

Prince William might well have to honour American star Kristen Stewart for her performance as his mother in the film Spencer (above). Many critics said her portrayal of Princess Diana was over-the-top and offensive

Prince William might well have to honour American star Kristen Stewart for her performance as his mother in the film Spencer (above). Many critics said her portrayal of Princess Diana was over-the-top and offensive

But it has been nominated for Outstanding British Film and Stewart for Leading Actress. 

The Duke of Cambridge is known to dislike depictions of his mother in film and is said to have hated how Netflix presented her in The Crown. 

He publicly appealed to the BBC not to repeat Martin Bashir’s infamous interview with Diana.

I wonder if the Duke will excuse himself from the room if Kristen takes to the stage?

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