A strange marriage even if the price is right

It could be a wedding tailor-made for the tabloids, but have James Major and Emma Noble got a lot to learn about love?

NO ONE in their right minds gets engaged after only knowing each other for only three months. So is the engagement between John Major's son, James, and former topless model, Emma Noble, the act of obsessive sexual madness? It could be true love, of course, or is it, as seems more likely, a publicity stunt with about much substance to it as the recently bruited idea that Chris Evans is Anthea Turner's new love?

It may sound cynical, but you can't get away from the fact that James is hoping to set up his own nightclub and, as we all know, many entrepreneurs will stop at nothing to get publicity for their ventures. Emma, on the other hand, was at the time of their meeting a hostess of Bruce Forsyth's The Price is Right TV game show, and makes no bones about her ambition to be a TV presenter. When she first met him she was reported as saying: "This looks like a great photo-opportunity."

And you only have to look at photographs of them together to suspect that things just don't look right. Most people engaged to be married prefer dignified pictures of themselves looking as though they are embarking on a lifetime adventure. They don't get themselves snapped snogging on a sofa, she (who says she is 24 but is, in fact, nearly 27) in a bright pink dress, all strings, cleavage (enhanced last year), and little else except leopard-skin high heels, he in trendy white T-shirt and cool jeans. To me, they don't look like a couple in love; they look like a couple on the make.

Miss Noble has told how she and James are hurt by the stories that have cropped up about their relationship. She said: "We know the truth, our friends and our family know the truth." James has attacked the liars who have spread the gossip saying: "There's a lot of lies that have been printed but we all know the truth and just ignore it." And what of the parents? They are "delighted" of course. But what else could they say? I bet underneath it all Norma is chewing her nails and rather wishing her son could find someone more serious to settle down with. Emma's father said it was "fantastic news". But I bet he wants his daughter's happiness at heart and must wonder if this is really the way to get it.

Recently, Anthea Turner - another C-list celebrity - went off with Grant Bovey, a businessman with three children. His wife, Della, didn't take it lying down. The whole affair generated huge publicity for all three protagonists, and now, after enormous coverage, including 14 pages in OK! after the couple's reconciliation, Ms Turner's profile is even higher, and Mrs Bovey is, wait for it ... to host her own TV show. Was that just a publicity stunt? Who knows, but it certainly made the Boveys financially better-off. Similarly, her association with James has done Emma no harm at the bank.What are we to make of all this? Using affairs, marriage and divorce as mere publicity stunts is fine, as long as no one else gets hurt. But someone always does.

Often there are children, parents and grandparents to consider. As members of an older or a younger generation they may believe in marriage and not imagine that anyone could use it cynically. And using marriage and engagement as some kind of public relations tool doesn't do society any good either. It demeans the very ceremonies that are its mainstay. Marriage is about love, relationships, children, and commitment. It shouldn't be used to further people's careers and get them more publicity and dosh.

True, the pair may be genuinely in love, but if not there is something truly repulsive about using the build-up to a service and commitment that many people feel is blessed by God, for your own commercial ends. I give their engagement a couple of months. And if I'm wrong, I give their marriage no more than a year. One can only hope they don't have children or, if they do, they won't use them in more self-serving photo-opportunities - as the Bovey's did in OK!. If the pair had any dignity, they would ban all pictures and interviews from now on. Fat chance.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all