Pandora: Floyd's divorce hits home hard

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The Independent Online

While the state of Gordon Ramsay's marriage dominates the headlines, I hear that his fellow chef Keith Floyd is counting the cost of a painfully expensive divorce.

The High Court ruling will force the thirsty televisionpresenter to put his beloved Provençal home on the market, with his fourth wife Tess entitled to 75 per cent of the sale proceeds.

Floyd, who failed to attend the recent hearing after claiming ill-health, has also been ordered to pay her a lump sum, believed to be more than £50,000, plus costs.

"Keith has been absolutely hammered," says my source. "This is even worse than anyone expected. It's obviously a massive blow if he's going to lose his home. Quite what he does now is anyone's guess."

Tess's friends insist the verdict was a fair one, adding that she had received "next to nothing", despite working as Keith's assistant for a number of years.

Floyd's current manager, Stan Green, who has had an increasingly strained relationship with his client over the past 12 months, is similarly unsympathetic.

"If that is what the judge has awarded Tess, then she has got what she deserves after everything she has put into the business," he said.

Beckinsale warms to the press

A truce, of sorts, between Kate Beckinsale and her Fleet Street tormentors, following her role as a reporter in the upcoming film Nothing But The Truth.

The doll-like actress – who once claimed that speculation about her appearance made her long to wear a burqa – says that a spell spent shadowing gossip hacks on the Los Angeles Times has enlightened her as to the virtues of our ephemeral tittle-tattle.

"We are slightly sort of under the 'us and them' thing. It's a little like enemy lines – but when I was there I found it was amazingly similar to acting," she says. "It was quite nice to go, 'I kind of get it more than I thought I would.'"

She adds: "People complain about paparazzi and the paparazzi go, 'Well, you put yourself out there.' I had to have my character sort of think that way."

Indeed, Kate. Pandora could not have put it better herself.

Tatler's clothes out of style

Tatler's tweedier subscribers are in for a shock when they pick up their copy of the January edition on Thursday. I see the society rag has swapped its usual Sloaney image for something altogether more racy.

The cover, pictured, features well-bred indie kids Kimberly Stewart, Peaches Geldof and Leah Wood, all posing in the buff. Shot by musician-turned-photographer Bryan Adams, the girls were apparently quite delighted with the concept.

"Bryan had the idea," the magazine explains. "A few eyebrows were raised but Kimberly and Peaches were in. Leah ran in crying 'I'll do it!'"

Cowell plays shy for a change

Here's a turn up for the books: Simon Cowell has finally had enough media attention. The X Factor judge, pictured left, has requested a break from press scrutiny after finding a tracking device fitted to his car. "It is a step too far," says Cowell's publicist, Max Clifford. "He's been in this business for years. We're not making a song and dance about it, but it is unlawful. He is not a suspected terrorist.

"We've found out who the journalist is and we have decided to send out a note to the other papers asking them to refrain from that sort of thing."

Davis green with envy over arrest

Having sacrificed his Shadow Cabinet career in the name of liberty, it seems David Davis can't help feeling a tad envious in the wake of Damian Green's arrest. "David would have revelled in being arrested over an issue like this," a pal chuckles. "He would have loved taking the fight to the Government. He is actually rather jealous that Damian is getting all this attention."

Opik placed on 'Celebrity' brief

Mercifully, perhaps, there has been little evidence of Lembit Opik's efforts to tackle global terrorism. The quirky politician told me recently that, since he had failed to land the Liberal Democrat presidency, he planned to use his time negotiating "peace talks" with al-Qa'ida. But I'm reassured to find him returning to somewhat safer pursuits. "I'm going on This Morning to talk about Brian Paddick on I'm A Celebrity..." he enthused yesterday.

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