Just as the antics of Ronnie Wood and Paul Weller were rendering the timeless story of the ageing pop star who runs off with a girl half his age thoroughly boring, along comes Robin Gibb. The 59-year-old Bee Gees has livened up the script with the news that he has fathered a child, Snow Evelyn Robin Juliet Gibb, with his 33-year-old housekeeper.
The "Stayin' Alive" singer dodged questions on the subject at a Downing Street reception last week, which he attended with his wife of 23 years, Dwina. They have what they describe as an open relationship. He told reporters: "New life is heaven sent and a blessing. That is what I can say about children and life in answer to your question."
Sporting tinted sunglasses that were as much of a throwback to the Bee Gees 1970s heyday as Gibb's dedication to free love, the singer – complete with wig – looked every inch the ageing hippy. He attended the reception in his capacity as the first ambassador for the Diana Award, which aims to develop positive role models for society. The irony of this was not lost on some sections of the media, who condemned the singer and his missus as "the sordid Gibbs".
Their lifestyle has now been thrust under the microscope, with news that the baby's mother, Clare Yang, has moved out of the couple's Oxford mansion being taken as evidence that the arrival of Gibb's love child has proved too much, despite their unorthodox set-up. Yang has been the companion of Gibb, who has two grown-up children from a previous marriage, for eight years, living with the couple until before the birth of the baby last November.
Gibb's wife, Dwina, a bisexual whose interests include druidry and yoga, has previously said of her marriage: "We have an open relationship. Robin has had flings in the past with friends of mine and he talks to me about them. It doesn't worry me because I trust my friends. And I am, after all, his best friend as well as his wife and lover – and I'm sure we'll always be together."
While the arrival of baby Snow has upset the equilibrium in the Gibb household – it wasn't the sex, but the fact that it ended in a baby that appears to be at the crux of Mrs Gibb's unhappiness – it may have given a fillip to the Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's 20-year-old girlfriend, Ekaterina Ivanova. She recently announced that she was hoping to have children with the 61-year-old. In 10 years' time.