EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Family tragedy as prominent entrepreneur Daniel Pittack who stood by Sir Philip Green during the BHS scandal dies aged just 48
When Sir Philip Green was engulfed in a storm of criticism after he sold BHS to a serial bankrupt, many friends and associates deserted the ebullient retail tycoon.
However, one person who stood loyally by him was businessman and London restaurateur Daniel Pittack.
Now, however, billionaire Sir Philip and his wife, Tina, have been left devastated as Pittack has died suddenly at the age of just 48.
As recently as a fortnight ago, he was pictured looking healthy and happy on holiday with his family in Italy. But friends say he had an underlying heart condition.
‘Forever wasn’t long enough,’ is all Pittack’s wife, the socialite Jacqui Brantjes, felt able to say in a message shared with friends on social media.
Heartbreaking: Jacqui Brantjes, pictured with her husband Daniel Pittack, said: ‘Forever wasn’t long enough’
The couple, who ran a trendy pizza chain and an art gallery in London’s Marylebone, recently celebrated their tenth anniversary as well as their son’s bar mitvzah, the initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has reached the age of 13.
Tearful tributes have poured in from Pittack’s famous pals including top model Christina Estrada, who told Brantjes: ‘This is the saddest news. Sorry I cannot be with you now.’
TV presenter Tania Bryer comforted her: ‘So sorry for your devastating loss, Jacqui.’
Businessman Paul Kemsley, who regularly appeared on US reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alongside his wife, Dorit, says: ‘He was always the first to call me when I landed in London, the first to say, ‘Let’s go eat’. He never accepted I didn’t want Chinese food for breakfast.’
The former vice-chairman of Tottenham Hotspur football club, Kemsley adds: ‘He was just a powder keg of love and energy. I am going to miss him so much.’
Like Sir Philip Green, Pittack shares family ties with the East End of London’s rag trade. His father was the prominent textile merchant Philip Pittack, who supplied quality cloth to Savile Row tailors, the film industry, and to celebrated designers such as Dame Vivienne Westwood.
Cleese was Rotten to me, moans Sex Pistol
Punk rocker John Lydon has discovered something that many of us already knew — in private, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese is a far cry from his amusing, on-screen persona.
‘He’s been rather standoffish with me in the past — not that I care,’ says the Sex Pistols star, known as Johnny Rotten. ‘It was a charity event years ago. We’re in the green room, and he says, ‘What’s that sort of person doing here?’
‘And there was no humour in him.’
Lydon adds of the former Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda star: ‘I always remember that standoffish, sticky-toffee, ‘snobby’ thing with him.’
Real self: John Lydon has discovered something that many of us already knew — in private, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese (pictured) is a far cry from his amusing, on-screen persona
TV’s racey Francesca adds to her stable!
ITV racing pundit Francesca Cumani gave birth to a boy last summer, named Teddy, but the sleepless nights caused by a newborn haven’t put her off having another baby.
The presenter, 40, is pregnant again, as she showed in this photograph taken at Glorious Goodwood in which she is cradling her blossoming bump in a tweed blue dress. ‘You’re like a baby-making machine,’ jokes one fan.
This will be her second child with her boyfriend, Ironman triathlete Max Johnson, 38, and she also has a seven-year-old son, Harry, with her ex-husband, Australian polo player Rob Archibald.
They split due to the couple’s job commitments as Rob is based Down Under while Francesca works here.
Mother: ITV racing pundit Francesca Cumani (pictured) gave birth to a boy last summer, named Teddy, but the sleepless nights caused by a newborn haven’t put her off having another baby
Cumani also dated her ITV Racing co-host Oli Bell for two years before they split in 2020.
Bell galloped off in another direction, forming a close bond with Hayley Turner, Britain’s most successful ever female jockey.
Hayley regularly rode for his uncle, the Derby-winning trainer Michael Bell.
Why Sophie’s strait-laced drama us such a ‘sensual experience’
Buttoned-up attitudes of the past made society far sexier, claims Sophie Winkleman, who plays Lady Susan Worcester in costume drama Sanditon, set during the Regency period.
‘Just the way you compose yourself, the way you speak the words, we are in such a casual era,’ notes Sophie, real-life wife of Lord Frederick Windsor, son of Prince Michael of Kent.
‘To go back to some kind of formality, you realise how oddly sexy it is, because everything’s so out there in this current century. There’s actually no intrigue at all, so going back to then, when everything had to be so covered up for the sake of propriety, everything ripples under the surface. It is quite a sensual experience.’
Paloma is in hot water over bikini ‘blasphemy’
Pop star Paloma Faith is well known for her eccentric sense of style but her choice of swimwear on holiday has prompted a backlash from some fans.
The singer, 42, has shared a snap from her trip to Majorca in which she’s wearing a SSENSE ‘holy trinity bikini’ which has the words ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ emblazoned on the top and ‘Holy Spirit on the briefs.
Bikini backlash: Pop star Paloma Faith (pictured) is well known for her eccentric sense of style but her choice of swimwear on holiday has prompted a backlash from some fans
‘As a Christian, I think that bikini is actually a bit offensive,’ one fan tells her, while another remarks: ‘That’s blasphemous. You have lost my support.’ A third says: ‘I don’t love the word placement on your bikini. It’s tacky and disrespectful.’
Despite her surname, Faith, a former coach on TV talent show The Voice, has said she’s an atheist, declaring: ‘I don’t believe in marriage or religion really. I just think it feels like a trap.’
Isn’t it curious how these people always choose to offend Christians?
When they co-starred in classic 1980s drama The Thorn Birds, Australian actor Bryan Brown had to compete for Rachel Ward’s affections with a conflicted priest played by Richard Chamberlain.
Now, Ward has revealed the secret to her real-life marriage to Brown, 76: ‘The reason it works is because I don’t ever let Bryan get away with s***,’ explains Ward, 65, granddaughter of the 3rd Earl of Dudley.
‘We also split the chores. I could never be married to a man who I felt was not taking his share of duties.’
Henry Cheape, who played a key role in his friend Prince William’s romance with Kate Middleton by renting them a cottage on his family’s estate when they were at St Andrews University, is embarking on a daunting adventure.
The Scottish businessman, 42, is to row solo 3,000 miles across the Atlantic on his own to raise £250,000 for conservation and environment charities and promote the importance of sustainability.
‘There’s no doubt it is going to be a mammoth challenge,’ he admits. ‘I’m not only taking on the physical might of the ocean, its weather systems and all that can throw at you, I’ve also got the mental challenge of enduring that on my own.’
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