Dear Stephanie de Sykes: Yes, you have got news for us - far too much of it about the bust-up between you and Angus Deayton. The TV gamesmaster scores all the points for keeping his cool, says an irritated agony aunt
Friday 28 October 1994
'Millionaire Angus was as mean and miserable as Victor Meldrew'. Those are the headlines on some of the revelations of the 'torment' you say you suffered at the hands of your ex-boyfriend Angus Deayton, the witty, prissy host of Have I Got News for You. But it's funny . . . whatever you say about the man, he still comes out ahead in the whole messy affair.
Why? Because he's remained silent as the grave. From his thin, zipped-up lips, even the phrase 'No comment' has not, as far as I know, escaped.
He must have a will of steel. Because your complaints sound pretty wild. On the meanness front, do you really expect a man to support you and your two kids? We're all big girls now, Stephanie, and you particularly, as a professional singer. If you wanted security you should have insisted on marriage; as it was, when you went broke, he handed over the thousands you needed.
And if you think a man who goes round the house turning off unwanted lights is a skinflint, all I can say is, you should be so lucky. Unlike most men, who tend to leave lights and fires blazing in unoccupied rooms, Angus sounds responsible and ecologically sound.
The alleged physical violence is another matter. But if you will go around jumping on a chap's Porsche, kissing another man in front of him, and confessing to pummelling, cuffing and kicking him when in a rage, it would be a saint of a man - or, indeed, woman - who wouldn't lash out. Not very admirable, but all your revelations tell us is that, like most couples breaking up, you both behaved unspeakably.
But writing about the break-up in the papers is a different game. It is cold-blooded and vengeful. Perhaps you thought that if you took a leaf from Princess Diana's book and went public about your partner's behaviour, Angus would take the Charles route by reacting in print and making an utter prat of himself.
But unlike our future king, who rose to his wife's bait by putting his side of the story in his biography - and has reaped worldwide criticism for his low-grade behaviour - Angus has kept his cool. True, it must be a kind of torture for him. He must have the patience of Job not to roll up his sleeves, get into the tabloid ring and Reveal All.
But whatever kind of monster you make him out to be - and, frankly, he just sounds like a man driven to distraction by your behaviour (no wonder, as you reported, he called you a 'f***ing drama queen') - his dignified silence is his salvation.
You have got news for us; Angus has no news for us at all. When it comes to emotional games, the winner is often the one who simply grows up and refuses to play.
Yours sincerely, Virginia Ironside (Photograph omitted)
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