When Amanda Aspinall married pop star Daryl Hall, it was seen as the perfect match of English society and U.S. showbiz.
However, less than four years after Amanda filed for divorce, she has been found dead at the age of 61. She is understood to have suffered a heart attack.
‘The whole family is deeply shocked,’ a friend of the Aspinalls tells me.
‘The death was very sudden.’
Amanda was the daughter of late gambling tycoon and animal park owner John Aspinall, a close friend of the fugitive Lord Lucan. Her mother was Aspinall’s first wife, the late Scottish model Jane Gordon Hastings.
Daryl Hall is seen at Los Angeles International Airport on December 30, 2013 with Amanda Aspinall. He and Amanda lived for a time in London’s Chelsea
In 2009, Amanda married Hall, 72, who is in one of the most successful duos in pop history, Hall & Oates, with more than 60 million albums sold. He and Amanda lived for a time in London’s Chelsea and he seemed to enjoy her social connections, boasting in an interview in 2012 that his wife was related to the then Chancellor of the Exchequer.
‘I travel in unusual circles,’ Hall said. ‘George Osborne and his wife, Frances, are my cousins.
‘But I’m not gonna talk politics with George.’
Amanda had two children, March and Orson, with her first husband, Cosmo Fry, a hotelier and heir to the Fry’s chocolate dynasty. Their children, who are now grown-up, became so close to Hall that her daughter, March, joined her in performing backing vocals on two songs on his 2011 solo album, Laughing Down Crying.
‘I have an English family and I’ve lived in England for years,’ Hall said the following year.
‘They’re extraordinary people, and I have a great family.’
However, Amanda filed for divorce in August 2015 in Connecticut, where the couple lived at the time with her children, reportedly claiming that the marriage had ‘irretrievably broken down’ in court documents. Her parents’ marriage ended when she was eight years old and they underwent a bitter divorce on the grounds of her mother’s adultery.
Her father, known as Aspers, was one of society’s most mercurial characters and established the Clermont Club in Mayfair, where ‘Lucky’ Lucan and Sir James Goldsmith gambled.
Aspinall won custody of Amanda and her brother, Damian, and forbade them from seeing their mother again. The casino, and the safari parks he set up in Kent, are now run by Damian.
Best known as the ‘responsible adult’ in charge of Bungle, George and Zippy on Rainbow, TV presenter Geoffrey Hayes had a secret child in real life.
The will left by Hayes, who died last year aged 76, reveals that he had a son, Anthony, from whom he was estranged.
Best known as the ‘responsible adult’ in charge of Bungle, George and Zippy on Rainbow, TV presenter Geoffrey Hayes (pictured) had a secret child in real life
He wrote that Anthony will receive nothing from his £98,000 estate, ‘as sadly I have no ongoing relationship with him and have not seen him for many years’. Almost all will go to his widow, Sarah, with whom he had a son, Tom.
Despite his convincing portrayal of a flamboyant alcoholic in Withnail And I, Richard E. Grant never drinks. He is, though, a devotee of illegal substances.
‘I still smoke dope,’ the 61-year-old actor admits. ‘I love marijuana — it makes me laugh.’ So now we know why he included tones of cannabis in his men’s fragrance, Jack.
The smart set’s talking about… Granola heiress Angelica O’Donnell
With her kinsmen including the celebrated photographers Lord Snowdon and Patrick Lichfield, Angelica O’Donnell was always likely to make a name for herself.
And the daughter of food entrepreneur Lucy O’Donnell — who created upmarket granola brand LoveDean — is wasting no time, having established her own children’s fashion line by the tender age of 18.
Angelica O’Donnell (pictured) had established her own children’s fashion line by the tender age of 18.
It’s called Beany Baby clothes and is not the first time that Angelica’s tried to make money. ‘When I was a child I used to breed and sell tadpoles,’ she tells me.
‘I saved up to buy a lobster I called Lobby.’
Sadly, that enterprise ended in disaster. ‘I was deeply hurt when I woke up one day to find Lobby had eaten all my beloved tadpoles.’ Having left £38,790-per-year St Mary’s School Ascot, to which she won a coveted art scholarship, Angelica is to study international relations at St Andrews University. First, though, she’s travelling to Costa Rica to help save endangered turtles.
The trip will, however, mean she’s away from her Eton-educated boyfriend, George Agnew, 19.
His family is just as distinguished — his father is cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew, who was responsible for causing radio’s most prolonged fit of giggles.
It came after Aggers remarked on a curious dismissal during a match between England and the West Indies, in which Ian Botham’s inner thigh had brushed his stumps, dislodging a bail: ‘He just didn’t quite get his leg over.’