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SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg accuses Earl of Lonsdale of planning to ‘rip the heart’ out of the Lake District with plans to use yachts as ‘floating discos’
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE High-brow broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has accused the Earl of Lonsdale of planning to ‘rip the heart out’ of his beloved Lake District with plans to allow motor yachts that would serve as ‘floating discos’.
Lord Bragg — who married his third wife, Gabriel Clare-Hunt, in the Lakes last year — says the area should be stripped of its World Heritage Site status if the plans by the Lowther Estate get the go-ahead.
And he accuses the Earl, who owns 5,000 acres locally, of betraying his family’s reputation as well as the area’s identity. ‘Millions of people visit the Lake District for the beauty and peace of the place,’ Bragg says. ‘This latest assault will rip the heart out of all that.’
Gabriel Clare-Hunt and Melvyn Bragg on their wedding day in the Lake District.Lord Bragg — who married his third wife, Gabriel Clare-Hunt, in the Lakes last year — says the area should be stripped of its World Heritage Site status if the plans by the Lowther Estate get the go-ahead
Ten 40ft motor yachts would be allowed on the tiny lake of Grasmere, near poet Wordsworth’s old home, if the plans are approved by the Lake District National Parks Authority. ‘Should the estate gain consent for these craft, then I would argue that the Lake District could and should lose its recently awarded status as a Unesco World Heritage Site,’ Bragg says. ‘I am surprised the Lowther Estate does not understand this. The previous earl was exemplary in his care for the district’s identity.’
Bragg adds: ‘It is ludicrous to call these things ‘gentlemen’s yachts’. They would end up as noisy, 24-hour music-throbbing, floating discos. By all means improve access, but not at the expense of destroying the nature, in every sense, of the Lake District.’
A Lowther Estate spokesman declines to comment, but a source tells me it believes these ‘small, electric solar-powered launches will provide a great deal of enjoyment for many people.
‘The opportunity to have recreational craft exists on many other lakes and works incredibly well without upset’.
Pret a pawter… Vogue pooch’s OSTRICH outfit
Vogue editor Edward Enninful is going all out to ensure his dog is at the cutting edge of fashion —though he may ruffle a few feathers along the way.
The 47-year-old dressed up his Boston Terrier, Ru — named after U.S. drag artist RuPaul — in a bright pink ostrich feather sweater created by British designer Christian Cowan, whose clients include pop stars Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey.
The outfit, made in collaboration with Max-Bone, the first branded pet clothing label, costs £72 — but Edward’s connections ensured he was exempt from having to fork out. ‘It was sent to him as a gift,’ the designer’s spokesman tells me.
Vogue editor Edward Enninful is going all out to ensure his dog is at the cutting edge of fashion —though he may ruffle a few feathers along the way
Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful pictured in December
Look out… Huw Edwards has a bee in his bonnet
The BBC news presenter complains about the Anglicised renaming of Welsh houses and places.
‘It’s been going on for years,’ moans Edwards, who is a proud Welshman.
‘So Porth Trecastell became ‘Cable Bay’ and the historic church of Nantcwnlle — now a private home — became ‘Dunroamin’.
‘I propose replacing London with its old name ‘Caer-lud’.’
Jeremy Irons’ actor son Max, who wed Tatler’s fashion director Sophie Pera last month, admits their lavish ceremony in Oxfordshire wasn’t what either of them originally had in mind.
Actor Max Irons and partner Sophie Pera attend the Topshop Topman New York City flagship opening dinner at Grand Central Terminal in New York City
‘We both planned to elope, but then the minute you invite one person all bets are off until it’s 150 people,’ he says.
The 34-year-old (pictured with Sophie) adds: ‘You know, it’s funny, I never put too much stock on marriage. I didn’t think it was a mark of dedication, a mark of devotion. I saw it more as a legal thing.
‘But then as soon as I got engaged, all these questions and uncertainties that people in their early 30s have about their life, direction and purpose — all those questions that I didn’t even really know were there, but were — evaporated instantly.’
Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack, Max’s actor parents, have been married for 41 years, so it seems staying power runs in the family.
‘I don’t want to sound corny now,’ Max adds. ‘But there’s a sense of warmth and hope and expectation at the prospect of a family and making a home myself. I don’t want to be saccharine, but I couldn’t be more pleased.’
Former Chancellor Lord Lamont usually likes to keep a low profile, but it does not always work.
He relates the time he jumped into a London taxi and the driver greeted him by name. ‘No, no, nothing to do with me,’ said Lamont. The cabbie was not convinced, insisting: ‘I know it’s you. I saved your life once.’
Lamont, intrigued, admitted his identity and asked the driver to explain himself. The man told him: ‘I was driving up St James’s Street with a passenger. You were crossing the road outside the Carlton Club and he said: ‘A thousand pounds if you run the b*****d over.’ ‘
Musician Mike McCartney recalls witnessing Reg Dwight’s transformation into Elton John at the launch of his brother Sir Paul’s post-Beatles band Wings. ‘I was in the gents, and this lad comes in and says: ‘Hi, Mike.’
‘I said: ‘Hi, Reg.’ And he said: ‘I’ve changed my name. I’m Elton now.’ ‘
Jagger clan’s very extended holidays…
Sir Mick Jagger has sired many children by different mothers but at least they all rub along just fine.
Model daughter Georgia May and son Lucas were together over the festive period. Lucas, 20-year-old son of Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez, posted a photo of himself embracing his older half-sister, the 27-year-old daughter of Jerry Hall.
The picture was shared alongside a number of other snaps which Lucas cryptically described as being somewhere in the Atlantic. It seems that their parents were dotted all over the world for New Year, with Sir Mick in the Caribbean with girlfriend Melanie Hamrick. Jerry spent time in Barbados with husband Rupert Murdoch and Miss Gimenez was holidaying in Bahia, Brazil.
Lucas Jagger with Georgia May Jagger. Sir Mick Jagger has sired many children by different mothers but at least they all rub along just fine
Lets’s talk about sex, says Nunn
Sir Trevor Nunn’s daughter, Laurie, creator of Netflix teen drama Sex Education, claims schools are failing pupils when it comes to teaching sex-related topics.
‘When I was at school, there was no mention of sex beyond: ‘You’re going to get pregnant and die’,’ says Laurie, 33.
‘And boys never learned about the female anatomy.’
Laurie, who grew up in Australia and whose mother is Sir Trevor’s second wife, actress Sharon Lee-Hill, says: ‘I hope we’re going to see a big change in schools soon.’
WEDDING BELLS: Tatler cover girl Sabrina Percy, who recently announced her engagement to moneyman Phineas Page, was in high spirits at Tom Ford’s bash for his Beau De Jour fragrance. ‘We’re thinking of getting married in June,’ she told me at Mark’s Club in Mayfair, where she was joined by pal Amber Le Bon. ‘We want to keep it small as possible so I can talk to everyone that comes.’
BACK HOME: The Favourite actor Joe Alwyn flew in from LA after appearing with girlfriend Taylor Swift at the Golden Globes. ‘I thought the jet lag would be much worse; I don’t think it’s hit me yet.’
NEW MUSE: Alwyn’s good looks seem to have inspired Ford, above with the star. The designer told me: ‘Joe’s beautiful — very much of today.’
STYLE QUEEN: Frankie Herbert, whose uncle the Earl of Carnarvon is Her Majesty’s godson, wore a Bec & Bridge metallic bronze mini dress.
ENGAGING COMPANY: Cover girl Sabrina Percy and pal Amber Le Bon
BOND IN BRONZE: Frankie Herbert
Now back in Westminster confronting Jeremy Corbyn across the despatch box, might not Boris Johnson have profited from longer in Mustique — if only to improve his tennis? ‘He’s got no backhand,’ a beachcomber tells me.
Perhaps the PM was distracted by the sight of Made In Chelsea’s Mark-Francis Vandelli. ‘Vandelli was wearing shorts so tight I’m surprised he could walk,’ winces my man with a tan.
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