She's young enough to be your... girlfriend

Messrs Jopling, Weller and Robinson prove that when it comes to women, older men are not always wiser
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The Independent Online

And this week's Ronnie Wood Award for the man who proves that there's no fool like an old fool goes to... Well, unusually, the competition is a dead heat.

Maybe it was an excess of Christmas spirit that had gone straight to their neglected seasonal places. Maybe something about the New Year makes them think about time passing – and resolve to halt its inexorable progress, Canute-like, by behaving like teenagers. Maybe they were just really, really drunk. But, last week, the New Year's Day photos of drunken revellers had nothing on the images of their better-known elders and betters.

The first to make an exhibition of himself was 45-year-old Jay Jopling, formerly a respectable gallery owner and father of two who was married for 11 years to the artist Sam Taylor-Wood. We should have known something was up when, after their separation was announced, he formed a friendship with wild child Lily Allen, 23. She subsequently trilled that she prefers older men because they are so much more "sensible". Which just goes to show how much she knows. Now, Jay 'n' Lily have been seen lolling on a yacht off the coast of St Barts. He lay on the deck looking surprised and somewhat pleased with himself; she attempted to mount him.

Their behaviour looked quite grown up, however, compared with the way that Paul Weller and his new beloved celebrated in Prague last week. Like Jopling, Weller has recently separated from his partner (and mother of two of his children), Samantha Stock. Like Jopling, he is old enough, at 50, to know better. And to have learnt how to take his ale. So perhaps it was a strange reaction to his Sanatogen that made him crash into a bar with his 23-year-old girlfriend Hannah Andrews, demand to sing with the local act and then fall flat on his face in the street in a heap of old bones. The posture of his lady friend left onlookers in no doubt that he did not fall for her on account of her taste in underwear. Yesterday, meanwhile, Tony "Baldrick" Robinson, 62, announced his engagement to Louise Hobbs, 27. His new mother-in-law will be four years younger than him.

Where will it all end? David Attenborough snogging Katy Perry (and her liking it)? Barry Cryer with Alexandra Burke? Michael Parkinson ditches the lovely Mary and heading to Ibiza with Sarah Harding? At least she could teach him how to take his ale.