Simon Danczuk found love in a restaurant in Rwanda when he met beauty therapist Claudine Uwamahoro while on a business trip. Now, the former Labour MP has also found God.
I can disclose that Danczuk, 57, was christened before he exchanged vows at the weekend with Claudine, who’s 28 years his junior.
The couple had their marriage blessed in a service at the Central London Seventh Day Adventist Church, two months after their traditional wedding in Kigali, the central African country’s capital.
‘I’ve always been spiritual, but I’d never been baptised,’ Danczuk tells me. ‘I’d never been aligned with any particular church until now.
‘Having been a politician, I’ve attended lots of different sermons and services in lots of different denominations – this is one of more enjoyable ones. It’s not a happy-clappy type of Christianity, but it’s quite wholesome.’
Simon Danczuk found love in a restaurant in Rwanda when he met beauty therapist Claudine Uwamahoro while on a business trip
Danczuk, 57, was christened before exchanging vows at the weekend with Claudine, who’s 28 years his junior
Danczuk, who is now an author and broadcaster, says he was not forced to join the American denomination by Claudine, known as Coco, who’s a follower of Seventh Day Adventism. ‘There was no pressure on me from my wife to join the church or anything. Coco would have been fine if I’d been Catholic or Muslim.’
Danczuk was previously married to Sonia Rossington, the mother of his two adult children, but that ended after ten years amid accusations that he ‘bullied’ her into sex – which he has always vehemently denied.
He then married Karen Burke, named the ‘selfie queen’ for posting pictures of her cleavage online. The couple, who have a teenage son, split in 2015 after three years following reports that he had had sex with a 22-year-old woman in his constituency office. He tells me: ‘I was always faithful while we were together.’
After the split, he was caught sending inappropriate texts, describing himself as ‘horny’, to a prospective employee aged 17. The messages led to his suspension from the Labour Party. Danczuk later said younger women were his ‘Achilles heel’ and that he had had counselling for sex addiction.
He tells me: ‘I think Christianity provides a good framework for a marriage. ‘It has made me a better man. It’s made me more conscious of what’s right and what one should do in life; it’s made me more focused on family.’
Members of the public still confuse Dame Emma Thompson with Natasha Richardson — even though the Hollywood star died in a skiing accident in 2009, aged 45.
Dame Emma’s husband, the actor Greg Wise, explains people approach his wife quite often and: ‘She gets, ‘Natasha!’ She’s been everyone. People get a little bit overexcited and their brains go a bit strange.’
Members of the public still confuse Dame Emma Thompson with Natasha Richardson — even though the Hollywood star died in a skiing accident in 2009, aged 45
He adds: ‘We had a wonderful moment in a restaurant. ‘An American woman at a table nearby glanced at Em, smiled and nodded. We get that a lot.
‘As we were leaving, she said, ‘Barney’s, isn’t it? You sold me my bra in Barney’s.’
Never doubt Boris Johnson’s ability to bounce back from a fall. ‘One time, I took Boris hunting with me,’ recalls Charles Moore, his editor at the Daily Telegraph, on the Scribehound website. ‘He was very brave, having never ridden before except a donkey on Blackpool beach. Literally, as soon as he got on, he fell off the other side.
When Boris became editor of The Spectator magazine, Lord Moore persuaded the future prime minister to let him write a hunting column
For the rest of the day he went on a leading rein. Jenny, in our hunt, who led him, proudly claims to be the only woman who could ever control Boris.’ And when Boris later became editor of The Spectator magazine, Lord Moore persuaded the future prime minister to let him write a hunting column. ‘That was great, because, apart from anything else, it meant that I could travel everywhere and take a hireling at the expense of The Spectator.’
Unusual Halloween bash from castle restorer and former Saatchi ad man Surrey Garland. Tonight, he’s holding the first communion service for 400 years at the ruins of Snodhill Castle, Elizabeth I’s Herefordshire love-nest. It’ll be an open-air event — with vicar in wellies.
When Princess Leonor of Spain graduated from UWC Atlantic in May, her fellow students cheered loudly at the boarding school in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, known as the ‘hippy Hogwarts’.
As she celebrates her 18th birthday today, the future queen (below) can expect a more formal reception at a Spanish Parliament ceremony, where she will swear allegiance to the Constitution before receiving the medals of Congress and the Senate.
When Princess Leonor of Spain graduated from UWC Atlantic in May, her fellow students cheered loudly at the boarding school
Yesterday, it was revealed her grandmother, Queen Sofia, had not been invited to the ceremony. Her scandal-prone husband, Juan Carlos, who lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, abdicated in favour of son Felipe in 2014.
Both grandparents are expected to attend a private event later.
It looks like Richard Osman had a good motive for giving up his role as the presenter of TV’s Pointless game show to concentrate on writing crime novels.
The 52-year-old author of best-sellers including The Thursday Murder Club has reported a £1.4 million first trading profit at the business he set up last year, Six Seven Entertainment.
Richard Osman had a good motive for giving up his role as the presenter of TV’s Pointless game show to concentrate on writing crime novels
The company netted £1.8 million in assets in the 13 months to March 2023, according to newly filed accounts. That amounts to £4,900 per day. Clearly crime does pay for some.
Downton Abbey may appear to have little in common with the cobbles of Weatherfield, but the stately home series was set in the North of England because of Coronation Street’s enduring popularity.
Peter Fincham, the ITV director of television who commissioned Julian Fellowes to create Downton, reveals: ‘I said to him [Lord Fellowes], ‘Where is Downton Abbey, where in the country?’. And he basically said, ‘Where do you want it to be?’
Downton Abbey may appear to have little in common with the cobbles of Weatherfield, but the stately home series was set in the North of England because of Coronation Street’s enduring popularity
‘So I said, ‘Well, because the ITV audience love Coronation Street, they love Emmerdale and so on, can it be in the North?’ And he said, ‘All right, I’ll put it in Yorkshire’.
‘So, if you watch Downton Abbey, you’ll get occasional references to ‘going shopping in Ripon’ or ‘taking the train from Leeds’. This is entirely because of this conversation.’
Speaking on the Have You Seen? podcast, Fincham adds: ‘I always think it’s the least convincing thing about it, because Highclere Castle is near Newbury [in Berkshire] and it feels the least northern series ever made.’