Tough times take their toll even in the lives of the biggest celebrities and, as our exclusive pics show, one of our national treasures is looking alarmingly skinny. Friends say that Heat magazine's weight has dropped by a scary 11 per cent, leaving its circulation at only 533,034.
This is nothing to the selling disorder that Heat overcame during adolescence, when the scales were tipped at a shocking 65,000 readers and the skeleton started to show, but friends tell us they are concerned by this latest scare.
Some sources put the dramatic loss down to Heat's break-up with the one man she really trusted: Mark Frith, who has edited Heat for eight years, who is said to have sensationally left the bereft mag.
Not only this, but there are whispers that cheating Frith is working on a tell-all exposé about his time with the bubbly nine-year-old. "I'm in shock," said close friend Kerry Katona about the betrayal.
What's in Mark's drawers?
The relationship between Mark and Heat seemed a match made in reality TV when Heat fell for his exclusive pictures of drunk Big Brother stars falling out of nightclubs and he showered her with celebrity confessions and stolen pieces of video footage behind the bike sheds. But could he have been using her? Friends say that all along Mark has had a secret book in his bottom drawer, and recently we received reports that he has been romancing a publisher. "I know exactly how Heat feels, you can't trust the scumbags," sobbed Geordie stunner Cheryl Cole at the weekend.
Mark was seen last night leaving the sumptuous home shared by the couple, after rumoured last-ditch crisis talks. But, although the pair will continue to live together until May, the relationship is thought to be irretrievable. "It's amicable," reported best mate David Walliams, who appeared in his trunks to talk to reporters yesterday. "They just grew apart. No one else is involved."
But other friends say that Heat has recently begun to feel resentful as Mark's flirting with the rich, powerful and famous became like an addiction. His new love, an 8"-2"-6" model known as "Memoir", will involve political tittle-tattle and a story of an alleged row with Gordon Brown, he brags. The Prime Minister was cagey last night, but aides revealed: "Nothing has happened but Gordon thinks he's fit."
Sources close to Heat think the split will not affect her career. "He ain't worth it anyway," said Kelly Osbourne when asked how Heat was coping. As it happened Heat had received pictures taken by a paparazzo that showed Mark wearing socks with sandals on a trip to the organic grocers and with an enormous zit right in the middle of his forehead. Many expect Heat to book an imminent evening out with Paris Hilton where Heat will reveal all without any knickers on and draw a crowd of fascinated hangers on.
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