Paul O'Grady 'always gets a big hug and kiss' from Queen Consort

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Paul O’Grady hails Queen Consort’s warmth and reveals he ‘always gets a big hug and kiss’ when he meets the King’s wife

The Duchess of Sussex moaned about the Royal Family’s supposed personal formality on her Netflix series, claiming: ‘I was a hugger. I didn’t realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits.’

Yet the Queen Consort likes nothing more than a cuddle.

‘Camilla’s a really funny woman — you can have a great laugh with her and you don’t feel like you’re on ceremony,’ says TV personality Paul O’Grady.

‘I always get a big hug and kiss from her, too, which always shocks everybody.’

Camilla is greeted by Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady, during her visit to Battersea Brand Hatch Centre on February 2

‘Camilla’s a really funny woman — you can have a great laugh with her and you don’t feel like you’re on ceremony,’ says TV personality Paul O’Grady

‘I always get a big hug and kiss from her, too, which always shocks everybody,’ said Paul O’Grady

This could set the cat among the pigeons at the achingly ‘woke’ Brit Awards.

I hear Hollywood star Johnny Depp, scourge of feminists since his sordid court case with ex-wife Amber Heard featured claims of domestic abuse, has made the longlist for not one, not two, but three music prizes, thanks to his collaboration with English guitar legend Jeff Beck.

‘Depp would liven up an increasingly dull event, but the Amber Heard case means female artists would probably refuse to share the stage,’ an insider tells me.

Depp’s potential inclusion at the ceremony, at the O2 Arena in London in February, would send shivers down the spines of executives at ITV, which is screening the event.

Johnny Depp looks on during a hearing at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 3 this year

Johnny Depp (pictured at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York), scourge of feminists since his sordid court case with ex-wife Amber Heard featured claims of domestic abuse, has made the longlist for not one, not two, but three music prizes

British rock guitarist Jeff Beck (left) and Johnny Depp (right) perform on stage at the Helsinki Blues Festival, Finland, on June 1

The channel has become more politically correct under chief executive Carolyn McCall, former boss of The Guardian, who has presided over the departure of stars including Piers Morgan and Eamonn Holmes.

Morgan left after refusing to apologise for calling the Duchess of Sussex a liar.

At this year’s ceremony, organisers abolished gender categories, such as Best Male Artist and Female Artist, ‘to be as inclusive and relevant as possible’.

Depp, 59, has made the longlist for three categories, as a result of his album with Beck, 78, entitled 18. They are: album of the year; best group; and alternative/rock act. These will now be whittled down to a shortlist.

While the Brit Awards was once known for debauched behaviour, such as then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott having iced water poured over him by the band Chumbawamba, this year’s ceremony was dismissed as a ‘snoozefest’ hosted by comic Mo Gilligan.

Escape to the shops

Escape To The Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge have escaped France to do their Christmas shopping in London

Escape To The Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge have escaped France to do their Christmas shopping in London.

With Angel’s bright red hair and Dick’s bushy beard and handlebar moustache, they were easily recognisable as they wandered the streets of Mayfair, carrying a shopping bag with ‘The Chateau’ written on it.

Dick, 63, and Angel, 44, bought 47-room Chateau-de-la-Motte, in the Loire Valley for £280,000 in 2015, after selling their two-bedroom flat in East London for £400,000.

Their adventures restoring the castle on the Channel 4 show have attracted audiences of up to three million.

Sir Mick Jagger has always boasted impeccable musical taste. Could that explain his assault on one half of I’m Too Sexy novelty duo Right Said Fred?

Recalling his role as one of Jagger’s backing musicians in the film Running Out Of Luck, Richard Fairbrass recalls: ‘We ran through the track for two or three hours, and Jagger said: “I want to be physical during this, so I’m going to come up and hit one of you.”

‘He pushed me so hard I hit the wall. For a small dude, he packed a punch. He made it sound like it was going to be a slight tap, but it bloody wasn’t.’

But Richard’s brother Fred is unsympathetic. ‘You are very hittable,’ he says.

Jack Whitehall making travel documentaries with his father is surprising, given that Michael Whitehall never enjoyed family holidays.

The comedian says: ‘Me, my mum and brothers and sisters would go off and do things, and he’d just sit in a villa reading The Times or books about Mussolini.’

Katherine Ryan attends the TV Choice Awards on November 14 this year

She once won the Funny Women Award, but there’s another title of which Katherine Ryan seems most proud.

The 39-year-old comedienne was named as Hertfordshire’s sexiest woman last year and she’s desperate to hold on to her crown.

The star of the Channel 4 hit 8 Out Of 10 Cats, who lives with civil partner Bobby Kootstra and their two children, jokes: ‘If I am beaten by any of the hideous losers in my village I will move.’

If his constituents have lost track of Matt Hancock now he’s finished I’m A Celeb, and announced he’s standing down as an MP, I can give them an update.

On Monday, he was tucking into shepherd’s pie and champagne at Jeffrey Archer’s Westminster penthouse, for one of the novelist’s legendary Christmas parties.

Ministers Andrew Mitchell and Nadhim Zahawi were there, as were Bake Off’s Prue Leith and prison chaplain Jonathan Aitken.

But another guest was perhaps more to Hancock’s taste — ex-Chancellor, George Osborne, who has amassed a fortune and recently paid £10 million for a house in Notting Hill. 

Sir Winston Churchill never did anything by halves — and nor, judging by the splendour of her wedding, does his great-granddaughter, Flora Soames, who has married ceramic artist Alexander ‘Blondie’ Macdonald-Buchanan.

No fewer than 17 bridesmaids and page boys were in attendance, while platoons of Soameses and Churchills — plus, of course, the couple’s two-year-old daughter, Lily — joined them and friends for dinner at Flora’s family home in North Norfolk, followed by some exuberant dancing.

‘It was the happiest day of our lives,’ says acclaimed interior designer Flora, 40.

She suffered heartbreak in 2018 when her boyfriend, voice coach Anthony ‘Ant’ Gordon Lennox, died aged 48.

Richard E. Grant may not have won an Academy Award, but he didn’t leave the Oscars empty-handed when he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor gong in 2018 for his performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Asked what his Oscars goody bag comprised, the Withnail And I star reveals: ‘I was offered a facelift, a trip to the Antarctic, a holiday in the Greek islands, Botox, lip fillers… a lot of cosmetics. And I’ve had all of them, as you can see.’

He did take the trip to Mykonos but adds his daughter snaffled the cosmetics.

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