Few newcomers to this country match the kind of impact she’s made since arriving here 22 years ago.
But — inconceivable though it may seem to male admirers, a constituency which, at differing levels of intensity, has included everyone from acclaimed theatre director Sir Trevor Nunn to innumerable fans of reality TV shows such as Strictly and Celebrity MasterChef — the remarkable Nancy Dell’Olio will be hanging up her Christmas stocking alone.
And it’s prompted Dell’Olio — rarely hobbled by self-restraint — to launch a characteristically uninhibited assault on who, and what, is to blame.
‘The problem with Englishmen is their relationship with women,’ Nancy, 62, tells me. ‘A lot of them have been in boarding school,’ she adds. ‘They end up having problems with their mother which makes it quite difficult in how they can relate to a woman.’
The result, she says, is that Englishmen are very easily ‘trapped by useless women, normally because they are quite scared by a woman like me. They think I’m a dominating person but I’m not,’ adds Nancy, who memorably forgave lover, then England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, after he’d enjoyed successive affairs with Ulrika Jonsson and, later, Football Association secretary Faria Alam.
Nancy Dell’Olio, 62, says, Englishmen are very easily ‘trapped by useless women, normally because they are quite scared by a woman like me’
Nancy blames boarding schools for Englishman having ‘problems with their mother which makes it quite difficult in how they can relate to a woman.’
Nancy and Eriksson, 15 years her senior, parted company in 2007, ultimately paving the way for what is, seemingly, Nancy’s only romance with an Englishman, Sir Trevor Nunn. By the time of their 2011 tryst, Nunn, 22 years her senior, had been married and divorced three times, and fathered five children.
But he’d been spared boarding school, being educated instead at Northgate Grammar in his home town, Ipswich in Suffolk.
Contrary to her declaration in her 2007 autobiography — that ‘the best is yet to come, in life and in love’ — Nancy now says her priorities are far more practical. ‘Protection — that’s what I’m looking for. Protection. I don’t have the time for love. Love is giving and I’m not in a position to give anything at the moment. I would rather have a leader. I do like the German guys.’ Achtung!