EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Selina Scott snubs BBC Breakfast reunion

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Selina Scott snubs ‘out of date’ BBC Breakfast’s 40th anniversary reunion bid

The normally placid waters of BBC Breakfast have been whipped into a maelstrom by Selina Scott, who launched the show with the late Frank Bough. She’s rejected producers’ invitation to join in its much-hyped 40th anniversary celebrations next week.

I hear that BBC bosses are asking producers why they failed to attract Selina onto their sofa in Salford, Greater Manchester, to join in with a look back at the opening-day broadcast. ‘It’s like Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark,’ one senior executive fumes.

BBC Breakfast has been trailing its celebration programme with frequent images of Selina’s disgraced co-presenter Frank Bough, who was sacked from the show after he was discovered in a Mayfair brothel. This promotion is understood to have scarcely helped entice Selina back.

Despite her antipathy towards Bough, who tried to seduce a fellow presenter on the programme and boasted about the size of his ‘manhood’, this is not the reason viewers will miss Selina when the programme is broadcast on Tuesday.

Selina Scott with television presenter Frank Bough as she leaves Breakfast Time

She tells me: ‘The trouble with the BBC is that it no longer inspires women like me. We are of interest only if we are forever tripping down the Yellow Brick Road, reminiscing about the past, or fronting cookery shows.

‘It’s got to be all memory lane or we’re history to them. Many women who continue to live challenging lives refuse to bend the knee to these out of date and, frankly, laughable TV stereotypes. We prefer to look ahead rather than forever harking back.’ Selina was poached by the BBC from her job as anchor at ITN and paid a then-huge £1,000 a week, which led to questions in Parliament about her salary. At the time, she was the most glamorous woman on television and attracted as much press attention as Princess Diana, whom she was said to resemble.

I can also reveal another reason why Selina said ‘thanks, but no thanks’: after she had agreed, following much persuasion, to take part in Breakfast’s 25th anniversary, she so impressed the production team with her handling of the live show, they urged the editors to rehire her. Alas, this never happened.

‘It’s not that she feels rejected,’ a friend tells me. ‘She’s not looking back in anger, but they do say revenge is a dish best served cold.’

Selina tells me: ‘I shan’t be watching, but I wish the show well.’ 

Ramsay snaps up Matt Hancock lover Gina’s former family home

The set for Gordon Ramsay’s new ‘toughest cooking competition ever’, Next Level Chef on ITV, looks like a dank, multi-storey car park. When the fiery Glaswegian finishes work, he prefers somewhere much more inviting.

I can reveal that the potty-mouthed cook, 56, has just spent millions on a five-bedroom Edwardian house in one of London’s most desirable areas.

He and his wife, Tana, 48, are understood to have bought the property from Gina Coladangelo and her estranged husband, Oliver Tress, the founder of upmarket homeware and clothing chain Oliver Bonas.

Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana are understood to have bought the property from Gina Coladangelo and her estranged husband, Oliver Tress. Pictured: Gordon and Tana Ramsey at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, Tate Modern, London, September 3, 2019

I can reveal that the potty-mouthed cook, 56, has just spent millions on a five-bedroom Edwardian house in one of London’s most desirable areas

Gina, 45, left Tress, with whom she has three children, for former health secretary Matt Hancock, 44, who competed in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! ‘Ramsay’s been spotted round there, measuring up,’ one of his new neighbours in South-West London tells me.

The house was not known to be on the market and the price has not been disclosed. Zoopla puts its value at up to £4.75 million.

Tress and Gina paid £3.8 million for it in 2015.

A similar property in the same street, with a 90ft garden, is currently on the market for £4 million. The TV chef is understood to have paid cash.

Ramsay, who has an estimated fortune of £175 million, already owns a huge house, said to be worth £7 million, less than a mile away.

His spokesman declines to comment but he may have bought the house because of extensive works currently being undertaken at his other London pad.

Last year, he, Tana and their five children were reported to have temporarily moved out after work began on a super-basement.

The couple also own holiday homes in California and Cornwall, where, at one point, they had three properties.

The house was not known to be on the market and the price has not been disclosed. Zoopla puts its value at up to £4.75 million. Tress and Gina paid £3.8 million for it in 2015. Pictured: Oliver Tress and Gina Coladangelo in September 23, 2014

The smart set’s talking about… Keeping up with reality star Lady Sitwell

Forget Keeping Up With The Kardashians, will society be able to keep up with Martha Sitwell?

I hear the former ‘face of Royal Ascot’ has signed up for a docu-series about her fascinating life.

The ex-wife of film-producing baronet Sir George Sitwell confirms that work has begun. ‘We’ve done a couple of days filming,’ the daughter of late gastronome Justin de Blank tells me, declining to provide more details.

The socialite, 42, gave birth to a son when she was 17 and decided that the baby should be raised by her aunt.

She admits that Prince Harry’s soul-baring has, though, made her nervous about disclosing details of her private life: ‘The Harry memoir made me think, “Oh, God, do people need to know that?” I’m just incredibly honest at all times and happy to cover most things.’ 

Forget Keeping Up With The Kardashians, will society be able to keep up with Martha Sitwell (pictured)?

Queen’s private gift to wedding day troopers

While Prince Harry’s spent all week whining in American television studios, staff at Windsor Castle have been reminiscing about how pleased his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, was with his wedding.

I hear that, a couple days after he married Meghan Markle, four young troopers were busy brushing down and washing their horses in the stables at Windsor when they suddenly felt someone was watching them. When they turned round to look, the Queen was there, with a smile on her face.

Of course, they bowed politely, and she told them, ‘I am most happy with my boys on the wedding day. You kept the horses at the right distance from the carriage, and there were no accidents or problems with the horses. In fact, I’m so pleased with the way you handled the horses that, out of my own purse, I am sending all four of you on holiday to Canada. To stay with the Canadian Mounties.’

A source tells me: ‘They were all thrilled and had a wonderful, unexpected break from duties.’

Idris and wife Sabrina steal the show in Milan

IDRIS ELBA and his model wife, Sabrina, took a leaf out of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s style book yesterday when they arrived at the Gucci show at Milan Fashion Week.

The couple sported co-ordinated clobber, just as Prince William and Catherine had displayed a united front in complementary emerald green and navy outfits during a visit to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital the previous day.

At the fashion show, Luther star Elba, 50, made a bold sartorial statement in a dapper turquoise suit.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at the Gucci show during Milan Fashion Week , January 13, 2023

Meanwhile, Sabrina, 34, who married the actor in 2019, slipped into a bespoke, turquoise and red leather chevron dress from the Italian fashion house.

Sabrina has said it’s not just a sense of style she shares with Elba.

‘Our values are connected,’ she insists.

‘We have the same interests and we have the same comedy sense.’

Has Jerry Hall tired of country life — even the £11million Oxfordshire pile, near Henley, which was part of her divorce settlement when her six-year marriage to Rupert Murdoch ended last summer?

I hear that the former model has just withdrawn her application, in the name ‘Mrs Murdoch’, to build a rather spiffing stable block with east and west wings and covering nearly 2,800 sq ft — twice the floor space of an average house.

Hall, mother of four of Mick Jagger’s eight offspring, declines to comment. But it’s difficult to imagine the Texan, 66, spurning the saddle for long. She once said she liked a ride at least three times a week. A clue that, henceforth, she’ll be mounting up elsewhere?

Here’s some tasty news to cheer up King Charles as he reels from Prince Harry’s unsavoury revelations. A Balmoral butcher is planning to celebrate his Coronation with a special sausage — and it won’t have a trace of ginger. While his mother’s 1953 ceremony was celebrated with Coronation chicken, H. M. Sheridan at Ballater, which has held two royal warrants, is making sure the event goes with a banger. ‘It will be a sausage fit for a king,’ butcher Barry Florence tells me. ‘His Majesty particularly likes lamb, so that is a bit of a clue, but it will feature many of his favourite things.’ 

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