The Archer Affair: Why did Archer try to conceal a dinner with a friend and colleague?

ANDRINA COLQUHOUN, a blond, blue-eyed former debutante, has proved to be a fateful dinner companion not once, but twice. In 1974, Ms Colquhoun was stood up on a dinner-date with Lord Lucan the night his nanny was murdered and he disappeared.

Now she has been revealed as the "close female friend" Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare asked Ted Francis to protect by lying. There is a baffling question. Why would Lord Archer hide a date with Ms Colquhoun, his former personal assistant? That the two were together should be no surprise. She was well-known as a friend and close colleague of Lord Archer when he was a Conservative Party deputy chairman.

Andrina "Andy" Colquhoun, aged 33 in 1986, was known in high society circles. She was wealthy in her right and attracted to powerful risk- taking men. She had been Lord Lucan's last female companion and was waiting for him at the Clermont Club that night in 1974, when Sandra Rivett died. Ms Colquhoun, stepdaughter of Peter Meyer of the Meyer Montague timber company, denied she was Lucan's lover.

She went on to work as a society photographer and became became Jeffrey Archer's personal assistant in the early 1980s. The novelist's wife, Mary, remained at home in Cambridge, while the vivacious Ms Colquhoun acted as hostess at parties in his penthouse overlooking the Thames.

When Lord Archer travelled abroad, Ms Colquhoun went with him. Lord Archer's biographer, Michael Crick, says her duties included cooking on trips to the Caribbean that sometimes lasted six to eight weeks while he was writing his blockbusters. The arrangement ended in 1985.

Nigel Dempster, the gossip columnist at the Daily Mail, said "a condition" of Jeffrey Archer's appointment as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party was "that he regularises his personal affairs".

When Ms Colquhoun left, she acquired Lord Archer's BMW and its famous numberplate ANY 1 which became a familiar sight around her Oxfordshire home. Mary Archer, who had resigned as a Cambridge academic, took over as his hostess. He hired a male personal assistant, David Faber.

Ms Colquhoun is said to have dined with Lord Archer at the Sambuca Restaurant in Chelsea a year after she had left his employ. It was a date so sensitive the peer felt forced to ask Mr Francis to lie to keep it secret. Lord Archer says he did not want Ms Colquhoun dragged into the libel trial.

He was also reported to have been a visitor to his assistant's Oxfordshire cottage when she worked for him. Ms Colquhoun was said to have made no secret of her "admiration" for her employer.

She went on to work for Terence Conran. Her marriage to gambler-businessman Bob Waddington in 1990 was celebrated with a party at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They have one child.

Yesterday she appeared in tears after being confronted by reporters at the house in the Oxfordshire village of Sandford St Martin where she had been staying.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living