SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Miranda Hart praises Meghan Markle for speaking about her woes in ITV documentary - after revealing her own battle with anxiety
At least the Duchess of Sussex can count on the support of fellow actress Miranda Hart.
The comedian and Miranda star says Meghan Markle's acknowledgement in an ITV documentary that her life as a royal has been a struggle is commendable.
'It would have been so easy for the Duchess to brush it aside, pretend she was OK really, but her 'yes' shows the power and courage and strength of vulnerability,' says Miranda.
Hart has talked about her own battle with agoraphobia and crippling anxiety, which she said was 'like wading through treacle'.
At least the Duchess of Sussex can count on the support of fellow actress Miranda Hart (pictured)
The comedian and Miranda star says Meghan Markle's acknowledgement in an ITV documentary (pictured) that her life as a royal has been a struggle is commendable
Mick and Eric pipe up to help buy $650,000 church organ
You wouldn't think of rock legends Sir Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton as church-supporting kind of folk.
Old Jumpin' Jack Flash and Slowhand are more readily associated with their hedonistic ways — Jagger for his relentless womanising and unconventional fathering, and Clapton for his former hard-drinking and heroin-addicted lifestyle.
But I can reveal that the two rock icons have delighted parishioners in their neighbourhood of Chelsea by responding with kindness to help with an urgent church organ appeal.
You wouldn't think of rock legends Sir Mick Jagger (pictured) and Eric Clapton as church-supporting kind of folk
Jagger, 76, and Clapton, 74, who both have homes a mere Bible's throw from Chelsea Old Church, have quietly donated to the appeal for the Grade I-listed building overlooking the Thames.
The church, which has been the venue for numerous celebrity weddings and funerals over the decades, has taken four years to raise £650,000 for a new hand-crafted organ. The old one had been in situ for 70 years and was falling apart.
Hundreds of well-heeled locals chipped in large donations, and by sponsoring some of the 2,168 gilded pipes.
Jagger has held a candle for Chelsea ever since moving into a flat at 102 Edith Grove in 1962 with fellow Stones Keith Richards and Brian Jones. He has owned a mansion in Cheyne Walk for many years, while Clapton lives in a Georgian terrace house near the church when he's not at his Surrey estate with his family.
The organ has been handmade by a team of master craftsmen at the Devon headquarters of William Drake Ltd, organ makers by appointment to the Queen. The firm has previously built organs for St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
The organ will be christened at a series of concerts in the coming weeks — although it is not known if Jagger or Clapton will be in attendance.
Parishioner Rob McGibbon, who was part of the fundraising committee, said: 'It has been a huge effort by the local community to raise the money, but to get the support of Mick and Eric was a wonderful bonus.
'We reached out to them and they both responded immediately and generously. They clearly have a deep affection for the church.
'The next step is to get them to do a gig together at the church accompanied by the organ.'
Eco protesters interrupt breakfast at Theo's . . .
Even the elegant environs of Theo Randall's restaurant at the five-star InterContinental hotel in Mayfair were not immune from environmental protests last week.
I can reveal that a well-heeled, elderly couple sat down to breakfast before all hell broke loose.
'They had a slap-up meal, thanked everyone, then went out into the hotel lobby and set off the fire alarm, screaming: 'This hotel's on fire!' says my source. 'Everyone was evacuated.'
Guests at Theo Randall, breakfasting on roast organic pork sausage, mashed avocado and goats' curd on sourdough toast, were directed to the exits.
It is not known if the couple, who were believed to be members of Extinction Rebellion, paid for the meal. 'There was an Oil & Money conference at the hotel, so it was full of gas guzzlers,' adds my source.
A hotel spokesman tells me: 'They caused quite a bit of chaos as everyone had to vacate the building, but luckily the issue was resolved and we weren't out of business for long.'
Dame Joan Collins says her granddaughter Miel — by daughter Tara Newley — is a chip off the old block when it comes to fending off unwanted male advances.
'I think we have a long way to go still,' says Dame Joan, 'but I'm glad to see that younger women won't put up with any of that.
'My granddaughter, who's 21, works in a restaurant. There are lots of people who come in and make passes at her or say suggestive things. But she tells me: 'Oh, I just ignore them or elbow them.'
Sharon has a basic instinct for true love
Twice-divorced Hollywood star Sharon Stone (pictured) says she would never dabble in casual hook-ups
Twice-divorced Hollywood star Sharon Stone says she would never dabble in casual hook-ups.
'It would be false to say the happiness of my solitude doesn't sometimes come with the melancholy of aloneness,' explains the 61-year-old star of the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct.
'But no one is going to find the beauty of genuine love through flagrant promiscuity.
'I would say — this is speculative at the moment — that should I have a lover, I would think sex would be better because it would come from love.
'Sex for the sake of sex at this point in my life is not interesting.'
I can't cope with hangovers now, says Gaby, 55
TV presenter Gaby Roslin (pictured) has revealed the real reason she's given up alcohol
TV presenter Gaby Roslin has revealed the real reason she's given up alcohol — she can't stand the hangovers. The 55-year-old has been teetotal for more than a year and is enjoying the benefits.
'I used to enjoy drinking, I'd have a couple of glasses of prosecco or an Aperol spritz,' she told me at the Walk The Walk charity fashion show at the V&A museum. 'But I just didn't want the hangovers any more — they get really bad in your 50s.
'I walk several miles every day, I write shows, I produce and I don't want to take a day out of my life, because life's too short. I'm so much happier without it.'
Shirley Ballas is still dropping heavy hints to her boyfriend Danny Taylor, whom she met last year when they appeared in panto together.
The Strictly judge, 59, would like Danny, 46, to pop the question sooner rather than later.
'I'm so excited for my first Christmas with him,' she says. 'I'd love Danny to ask me to marry him this Christmas.' No pressure, then.
Pop star Ellie Goulding, 32, reveals she's not focused on having children
Pop star Ellie Goulding, 32, who wed Old Etonian art dealer Caspar Jopling last month, reveals she's not focused on having children.
Asked if she's thinking about it with her 27-year-old husband, she replies: 'Not particularly.
'As you can imagine, it's been a non-stop question.
'I hate being made to feel like that's what I'm supposed to be doing on this earth.
'I see things differently in today's world.'
Mum Pearl cuts model Daisy from fashion ads
Nepotism does not rule OK, as model Daisy Lowe has discovered.
The former Strictly Come Dancing star has been axed from her fashion designer mother Pearl Lowe's latest ad campaign after accusations that she was receiving special treatment.
'Although she's so perfect and has the most beautiful body, I had a few comments from people asking why I always use my daughter,' admits Pearl, who became pregnant with Daisy following an affair with British rock singer Gavin Rossdale. 'I thought: 'Come on! Come out of your comfort zone'.'
The former Strictly Come Dancing star (left) has been axed from her fashion designer mother Pearl Lowe's (right) latest ad campaign
'Although she's so perfect and has the most beautiful body, I had a few comments from people asking why I always use my daughter,' admits Pearl. Pictured: Daisy Lowe
But the 49-year-old hasn't strayed too far, as she's still hiring the daughters of famous musicians, including Dylan Weller — whose dad is Modfather Paul Weller — and now Tigerlily Taylor, 25-year-old daughter of Queen drummer Roger.
Adds Pearl: 'I think Tigerlily looks fantastic — she's quirky, but also womanly and rock 'n' roll.'