EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Pummelling of Andrew's wallet is hardly terminal

EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: The pummelling of Prince Andrew’s wallet is hardly terminal and he could be reimbursed if he’s evicted

Granted a 75-year lease on Royal Lodge in 2003, Prince Andrew spent £7.5million of his own money on repairs and refurbishment. As a result, the Crown Estate waived any rent due for the entirety of his tenancy. And if he surrenders the lease before 2028, the Crown Estate is liable to reimburse him for his capital outlay on the Lodge. Andrew also has legacies from the Queen, Queen Mother and Prince Philip, as well as a constant supply of free meals ferried from the Windsor Castle kitchen to Royal Lodge. The pummelling of the disgraced prince’s wallet, threatened by his brother, is hardly terminal.

Granted a 75-year lease on Royal Lodge in 2003, Prince Andrew spent £7.5million of his own money on repairs and refurbishment

Dame Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise nearly suffered a ‘do you know who we are?’ moment at Sunday’s Baftas when they were corralled behind a rope outside the Royal Festival Hall and denied access. ‘This is mad,’ sighed Dame Emma, who was nominated for best actress for Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. They’d arrived late and had to wait for ten minutes while William and Kate were seated. Alas, Emma didn’t win, pipped at the post by Cate Blanchett.

Sir Philip Pullman, woken from his slumber by the BBC’s Justin Webb on early morning radio to defend Roald Dahl amid allegations of censorship, instead gives Dahl a post-mortem kicking: ‘I haven’t read his books in years and I don’t want to again,’ he fumes. ‘He should be allowed to fade away.’ Reciting a litany of authors including Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson, he adds: ‘They don’t get a look in because of the massive commercial gravity of Dahl.’ Surely the author’s His Dark Materials gets a peep in?

Jemima Goldsmith, feverishly promoted her film What’s Love Got to Do with It?

Jemima Goldsmith, feverishly promoting her film What’s Love Got to Do with It?, is asked if her parents Lady Annabel and the late Jimmy Goldsmith could have arranged a marriage for her. ‘I’m not sure if my parents were the go-to people to pick functional, sane partners,’ replied Jemima, pictured. ‘My parents would never have been able to agree. I come from a long line of unsuitable matches. Both my parents eloped the first time they married and also got divorced from those people.’

Paul Merton, clearly anticipating the eventual demise of the 33-year-old jaded Have I Got News for You format, shares his future TV plans with Radio Times: ‘Britain’s favourite sheds,’ he says. ‘Then a spin-off series on toolboxes. Then – fingers crossed on this – a show on what I’ve got under my floorboards.’ Don’t doubt the po-faced Merton – he managed to persuade Channel 5 to commission two series on motorhoming.

Rally driver Sir Peter Graham-Moon, who has died aged 80, so offended his wife with his womanising in 1992 that she poured five litres of paint over his BMW, cut four inches from the right sleeves of his 32 Savile Row suits and hand-delivered 70 bottles of his vintage wine – including a £5,000 1961 Chateau Latour – to her neighbours’ doorsteps. She then founded The Old Bags Club for abandoned wives.

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