British actor Idris Elba is not just one of our most successful Hollywood stars.
He has also made a name for himself as a respected DJ who has performed at Ibiza superclubs and huge festivals around the world.
However, the Londoner has revealed that when he was asked to provide the musical entertainment at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding reception in Windsor, Meghan insisted on taking control.
The American former actress, 40, told Elba, 49, what songs he should play in his set.
‘Meghan had sent me a playlist, so I knew what she wanted already,’ he explains.
The Luther star, who has performed as a DJ for the queen of pop Madonna and even collaborated on a track with Sir Paul McCartney, notes that those were all ‘high-pressure gigs’.
British actor Idris Elba is not just one of our most successful Hollywood stars. He has also made a name for himself as a respected DJ who has performed at Ibiza superclubs and huge festivals around the world
However, when he’s asked which he found to be ‘most stressful’, he replies: ‘The wedding, no doubt. This wasn’t like my cousin’s wedding.’ The evening celebration was held at Frogmore House, the Grade I listed former home of Queen Victoria’s mother.
‘This wasn’t at the community hall — the reception,’ says Elba, who made his name in celebrated US crime drama The Wire. ‘This was a big, big deal.’
He adds of the Sussexes: ‘They’re good friends and I wanted to make sure they had a great time, so there was a lot of pressure.’
The night-time reception had already proved controversial. While show business pals including George Clooney and James Corden were invited, some of Harry’s oldest friends were left wondering why they hadn’t made the guest list.
Those who failed to receive invitations included Tom Inskip — known by his friends as ‘Skippy’ — with whom Harry had been best friends for years.
Skippy reportedly served as a protective figure throughout the Prince’s teen years, and was even at his side during Harry’s infamous Las Vegas holiday in 2012.
The smart set’s talking about… Delevingne’s calling the midwife
With the society models Cara and Poppy Delevingne for sisters, she could have easily swanned into a similarly glamorous career. But cerebral Chloe Delevingne is shunning the spotlight to become a midwife instead.
Chloe, the 36-year-old daughter of property developer Charles and his wife Pandora, tells me she’s studying midwifery at University College London Hospitals.
‘It’s a lot more full-on than I thought, but I’m loving it,’ she says at a Mayfair party. ‘In January, I’ll be in the hospital full-time. My sisters are creative; science was always my thing.’
Chloe — who has two children, Atticus, seven, and Juno, six, with husband Edward Grant — adds: ‘I started years ago, but then I got pregnant. Now they’re both in school full-time, so I’ve gone back.
‘There’s a lot of pressure — it’s like, “I’ve got to not f*** up”.’
Tax trouble for Windsor MP
hey is the Tory MP with a £4.5 million mansion who was once mooted as a successor to David Cameron, so this will come as a surprise.
I hear Adam Afriyie is facing court action from an HMRC bankruptcy petition over unpaid tax. All is revealed in newly filed court documents.
It’s not the first time that Afriyie, 56, who has been MP for Windsor since 2005, has faced such a petition. Two years ago, he faced similar legal action as it emerged that he was renting out his Grade II listed mansion in Old Windsor for £1,950 a night on Airbnb. It was an embarrassing blow for the former shadow minister, who lives in the village with his second wife, Tracy-Jane (below), a barrister and ex-wife of crime minister Kit Malthouse.
Before that, the marketing agency Axonn Media — which helped make Afriyie worth up to a reputed £100 million — was separately plunged into insolvency.
Afriyie tells me: ‘I will, of course, pay any tax that is due.’ His spokesman explains that the petition is subject to legal challenge.
Singles mingle as Spencer twins join the Tatler set
Princess Diana’s twin nieces, Lady Eliza and Lady Amelia Spencer, have lived in London for only a few months, but are already the most sought-after party guests there.
And Earl Spencer’s 29-year-old daughters tell me they’re struggling to cope with the social whirl. ‘We’re still getting used to the fast-paced life of London,’ Lady Eliza admits. ‘It’s fun, but it’s all just beginning for us.’
The sisters, who were dressed by Michael Kors for Tatler’s Little Black Book party at Tramp nightclub in St James’s, previously lived in South Africa. Having joined the caviar and oysters circuit, they have yet to sample more working-class fare. ‘We haven’t had a chance to try the fish and chips, but we will,’ Lady Eliza insists.
Other guests celebrating the return of the Tatler party for society’s most eligible singletons, after a four-year absence, included the daughter of Sotheby’s boss Lord Dalmeny, Celeste Primrose, 18, and Wimbledon champ Boris Becker’s son, Elias, 22.
Elias is studying film in New York and tells me he wants to be a film actor. ‘I would love to be a superhero,’ he says.
Long suffering Strictly star Anton Du Beke was often partnered with celebrities who had no chance of winning, and only reached the final twice in 18 years. So now he’s a judge, he’s delighted to declare: ‘I’m guaranteed to make the final. I can’t tell you how excited I am.’
The dancer, 55, took over from Bruno Tonioli, who had said he was ‘gutted’ not to be in the judging line-up. But Bruno hasn’t been forthcoming with tips, as Anton says: ‘I haven’t spoken to Bruno, no. He’s busy doing the US show, which has already started.’ Let’s hope excitable Bruno doesn’t think Anton has trodden on his toes.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have 13 million Instagram followers, are keen to cement their online popularity. They are advertising on the royal website for a digital communications officer who will ‘support [their] official social media channels’.
Their team includes David Watkins, who helped Prince Harry and Meghan grow the Sussex Royal Instagram account. The Queen banned the Sussexes from using ‘Sussex Royal’ when they quit royal duties.
Brand new name for Russ’s Mrs
Anarchic, anti-capitalist lothario Russell Brand, who admitted to once sleeping with nine women in a single night, is finally embracing convention.
The comedian married Laura Gallacher, sister of TV presenter Kirsty, in 2017 and now they have made a surprising disclosure.
His wife has confirmed that she has taken his surname and wants to be known as Mrs Laura Brand. Laura, 34, has just filed a change of name for her role as a shareholder in Brand’s personal company, Pablo Diablo’s Legitimate Business Firm.
Brand, 46, who has two children with Laura, was previously married briefly to American pop star Katy Perry and his ex-girlfriends include Jemima Goldsmith, the film producer.
Anarchic, anti-capitalist lothario Russell Brand, who admitted to once sleeping with nine women in a single night, is finally embracing convention. The comedian married Laura Gallacher, sister of TV presenter Kirsty, in 2017 and now they have made a surprising disclosure
(Very) modern manners
Her extended family have the run of some of our finest stately homes, such as Broadlands in Hampshire, where the Queen and Prince Philip honeymooned. But Daisy Knatchbull, 29, is venturing into uncharted waters. I hear the Savile Row women’s tailor is living on a houseboat on a London canal.
‘She’s loving life on the water,’ one of her friends tells me. The 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma’s great-granddaughter (above) enjoys defying convention — she once arrived at Royal Ascot in a morning suit and top hat.
Mary Berry serves up a dog’s dinner
Who’d have thought that Mary Berry, of all people, would serve food that had previously been between the slavering jaws of her pet dog?
The former Bake Off star has made a shocking confession. ‘Once when the family were coming round, I roasted a turkey crown and laid it out with all the trimmings,’ she says.
‘The bell went and as soon as I turned my back to open the front door, Wellington, our black retriever, jumped up and pulled the turkey from the plate to the floor.
‘After a dramatic shout from me I quietly scooped it up, trimmed the edges, covered them with parsley and popped it all back on the table. Who would know? As you can tell, we love our dogs.’
Mary does not disclose whether she informed her guests.