Why are they famous?: Countess Victoria Spencer

Main claim: Ex-sister-in-law of the late Diana. In 1990, Victoria Lockwood wed Lady Di's younger brother, a ruddy-jowled junior country squire type no one had heard of until his sister became the most famous person on earth. While Earl Spencer recently fell from people's hero to cartoon villain, his ex-wife Victoria seems to have progressed from walking wounded to gladiatorial amazon of all matters post-nuptial. Now, after winning a pounds 1.8 million divorce settlement last November, the patron saint of wronged wifehood is suing her former solicitors for not securing her divorce hearing in the UK. Best of British to you, Countess.

Appearance: Highly strung adolescent boy recovered from an eating disorder. Female Thunderbird on a diet. Undernourished but pretty primate.

Sad Tidings: After the briefest of courtships, Earl Spencer proposed to Victoria Lockwood, a model he didn't know very well, thus creating the world's least thrilled-looking bride. Dressing in extremely strange medieval garb with fur trim and fancy crownlet, she failed to produce the usual repertoire of bridely beams for the cameras. In fact, an icy stare devoid of emotion was her best bridal effort. A few months later, the chubby-cheeked Earl was unfaithful with cartoonist and writer Sally Ann Lasson.

Heirs and Graces: Victoria was soon involved in factory farm motherhood, sinfully promoting the distaff line by her frivolous production of three infants of the female variety, Lady Kitty, Lady Katya and Lady Eliza, before the son and heir, Louis, Viscount Althorp, was at last created. There were unseemly whoops all round by triumphant Spencers oblivious to post-feminist sensibilities.

Thin End: Delivered of four infants in four years, our underfed and frowning protagonist knew no end to her troubles. Taking refuge in a rehabilitation clinic for her eating disorders and alcohol consumption, only to be cruelly snapped by photographers, Victoria then followed her husband to South Africa, where he enjoyed his mistresses and retired from public view. Last year's divorce brought triumph to Victoria while turning the public against her caddish ex. She is now thought to be genuinely happier and has put on a few desperately needed pounds. Hurrah.

Fame Prospects: Victoria has four 'O' levels, four children, and an aborted modelling career, so it's possible glittering professional accolades will have to wait. Clearly genuinely reclusive, we can but pray for a little Fergie amongst her offspring for the soap to continue. In the meantime, Victoria could become a feminist heroine, a divorce lawyer, or a Gladiator.

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