EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Dame Emma Thompson to swap grey Britain for Venice

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Dame Emma Thompson is set to swap ‘grey’ Britain for Venice as she plots move away from the UK

Dame Emma Thompson memorably once referred to Britain as a ‘a tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island’. Now, she plans to move to warmer climes, I hear.

The Oscar winner has said she wants to ‘settle in Venice’ after revealing she is spending increasing amounts of time in the Italian city.

Dame Emma said she had dreamed of living in Venice since childhood and was now spending a minimum of two months a year there.

For the time being, family ties mean she maintains a permanent base in Britain, but she plans to ‘settle’ in Venice. She says: ‘Since I was a child I have dreamed of living in a magical place like Venice. 

Now, I have realised my dream. I have moved into a house in the city and when I can, I spend at least two or three months there. And, in the meantime, I’m studying Italian, which I want to know and speak as best as possible.’

Weather: Dame Emma Thompson (pictured) once referred to Britain as ‘a tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island’

Actor: The Oscar winner has said she wants to ‘settle in Venice’ after revealing she’s spending more time in the Italian city

Speaking to Italian publication Il Gazzettino, she declares: ‘I still live in London, in the same street as my children and my mother, who is 91 years old and needs me, but my greatest desire is to settle in Venice for the whole year. Meanwhile, I’m happy to be able to enjoy the city for at least a couple of months.’

Dame Emma, 64, adds that she loves the fish market in Venice and is ‘crazy for Venetian and Italian food in general’.

She gushes: ‘Venice is not only a special city, the Venetians are too, they have a unique character. And I also understood why: the Venetians know what resilience is, they know how to resist everything.’

She was speaking in Venice while attending the Diane von Furstenberg Awards on the island of San Giorgio.

Earlier she had faced accusations of hypocrisy after appearing on board a luxurious £200million super yacht owned by Fox News Founder Barry Diller and his wife, the fashion designer Von Furstenberg.

Critics contrasted the luxury vessel with her appearance onboard a boat dumped in Oxford Circus as part of an XR climate protest in 2019.

Three years ago, she became an honorary citizen of Venice along with her husband, the actor Greg Wise, 57, who played the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma in Netflix hit The Crown. 

Lady Mary swaps DJ decks for dinner plates 

She was once described as London’s ‘posh wild child’ and got married in a semi-transparent bridal dress.

But now Lady Mary Charteris, 36, wants to make a name for herself as a domestic goddess. The Earl of Wemyss’s daughter has launched a home furnishings range, featuring napkins and bamboo plates, with socialite Alice Naylor-Leyland, 37.

 ‘Working with an old friend like Alice has been so great,’ the model and DJ (above) tells me. ‘It felt like we were 21 all over again.’

Famous: Lady Mary Charteris, 36, (left) wants to make a name for herself as a domestic goddess

Wedding day struggle for C4’s Sirieix 

He’s the charming front man on First Dates — a match-making show that has led to at least five weddings — but Channel 4 maitre d’ Fred Sirieix is struggling to get a date in his own diary.

The Frenchman has been engaged to his mysterious fiancee, publicly known only as Fruitcake, for more than three years. ‘We are still deciding on a date,’ Sirieix, 51, tells me at the opening of an ‘Endorphin Shop’ hosted by Neilson Beach Clubs in London’s Soho. ‘We’re working on it.’

Lovers: Fred Sirieix (left) has been engaged to his mysterious fiancee, publicly known only as Fruitcake (right), for more than three years

Obi-Wan’s clothes go under the hammer  

Fancy owning clothes worn by Ewan McGregor?

The Star Wars and Trainspotting actor is putting some of his outfits under the hammer to raise money for charity.

McGregor, 52, will sell them on his daughter Esther’s Instagram account. ‘Esther and I came up with an idea to have a big spring clean and to sell some of the clothes I’ve collected over the years and worn on red carpets and in photoshoots,’ he says.

Items include Adidas trainers he wore in the 2017 Trainspotting sequel.

Is Charles for the chop if Keir wins?

Uneasy may be the head that wears the crown if Labour wins the next election.

Labour MP Clive Lewis has revealed many senior figures in Keir Starmer’s party want King Charles to be ousted.

‘There are lots of members of Labour’s front bench who have no love for the monarchy,’ Lewis tells the i newspaper.

‘They don’t hate it, but they are not enthusiastic royalists by any stretch of the imagination. When I speak to colleagues, they go, ‘Oh, causing trouble again.’ I tell them, ‘Your views aren’t that different from mine,’ and they say, ‘I agree with what you’re saying but I’m not sticking my neck out.’

Best-selling novelist Zadie Smith has revealed why she went from being Sadie to Zadie at the age of 14. ‘I had a massive crush on a friend of mine whose name began with a Z, and he drew on everything, like exercise books, with a dramatic Z, and I kind of wanted it, so I took it,’ the 47-year-old White Teeth author tells the Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast.

He was spared the horrors faced by his grandfather, Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, in both World Wars. But Tom Assheton is finding Sadiq Khan’s London quite enough to contend with. Last week, as I disclosed, the co-host of the Bloody Violent History podcast tracked down a thief and alerted police, only to see the miscreant let off with a caution. 

But returning to his South London home on Sunday, the ex-Life Guards officer found his road barred by police. ‘There was a trail of blood,’ Assheton, 60, tells me, adding it’s difficult not to despair. ‘The police have been ‘wokerised’. So they have to nick people for taking photographs or other ‘hate crimes’,’ — referring to the case of a pensioner who was quizzed by police after taking a photo of a sticker saying ‘keep males out of women-only spaces’ on an LBGT+ poster.

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