New Year, New divorce statistics and the first off the publicity starting blocks was Peter Powell and his celebrity invention, Anthea Turner. Once described by Bruno Brooks as a real go-er in the bedroom (shortly before she dumped him for his mate, Peter), and by Lynda Lee Potter as "a bulging-eyed, grinning pixie in a semi-waking nightmare", Anthea was the sales reps' choice, a kind of Geri-atric Spice for the middle aged generation.
All streaks and teeth, Powell first coaxed her on to our screens armed with a cornflake packet, a bent loo roll and a Blue Peter badge before spreading her like a rash over the GMTV sofa and her co-presenter Eammon Holmes. Theirs was not a happy liaison. In a discreet moment Eammon, himself no stranger to marital breakdown, described how the presenting pair were often mistaken for the comic duo Hale and Pace, a confusion Eammon felt was mainly due to Anthea's facial hair problem. Yet despite the old saying that you'll never get very far with a beard, Ms Turner swiftly moved on to become one of the most powerful people in England, the person with our future in her hands, the presenter of the National Lottery.
This job netted her a cool pounds 1.5 million pounds per year, a luxury dream pad in Twickenham (Georgian, electronic gates, finished to their own specifications), a hair-do following ("the Anthea") and a stream of noxious interviews describing how she really did have it all. Peter ,as always, was smiling by her side.
Eventually, though, his wife and protege had had enough. The money was good but the early mornings were playing havoc with her complexion so she quit, taking a sun-kissed break on a deserted island before re-emerging, after a quick bikini-clad splash in the tabloids, to force feed us her next big thing, All You Need Is Love. Someone should have told Anthea that all you really need is talent; the show was a flop after one pilot airing. Undeterred, she had her blonde bits re-touched and bounced back with a new game show, Round The World. But she seemed, thankfully, to be losing her appeal: this vehicle has so far drawn the lowest figures for any show of its kind this decade. Anthea, it seemed, had only managed to marry her way to the middle.
The celebrity features were drying up, the endless Q&As on how she managed to run her house, iron her hair, apply her make up and keep her man happy were all a fading memory. Then, on New Years day, enter one Grant Bovery, father of three, hubby of her best mate, qualified helicopter pilot, would- be football club owner and maker of educational films, most notable of which was the information packed Hookers - Sex For Sale, and Anthea is back. "What has happened between Grant and me," she said in a press statement (naturally), "was born out of circumstance and our emotional response to it has been beyond the control of either of us." So, Bruno Brooks was right all along. Peter Powell clearly wasn't delivering the goods and her mate's hubby, trained as he is in the art of educational movie making, was up for it. The question here has got to be: so what?
Is there any chance that we will be spared yet more soporific details of this painfully provincial life? Sadly not. A cursory glance through the papers this week shows that the Turner publicity machine, ironically still run by poor old Peter, is firmly on track again. Her sister Wendy, presenter of Pet Rescue, said she thought the break up was "for the best", while Anne Robinson said, yes, she too has had a marital breakdown, and urged Mrs Bovery to get her hair streaked, lose half a stone and screech her story from the roof tops.
Mrs Bovery is now the most wanted woman in Britain. Her place in Max Clifford's diary is assured. While Peter sits at home explaining how he still loves his wife. According to Lynda Lee Potter, the only solution is for Peter to "throw Anthea over his shoulder, and hiss through clenched, manly teeth: `You're staying with me'. Should anyone feel like loaning the diminutive Powell a pair of shoulder pads they could do us all a favour. As long as he promises never to bring her back again.Reuse content