With rancorous divorces, bankruptcy and a child conceived with a Russian waitress on the stairs of a Mayfair restaurant, Boris Becker’s personal affairs have attracted almost as many column inches as his illustrious career.
Now, the tennis superstar’s rollercoaster life story is to be turned into a television series for one of the streaming giants, I can reveal.
‘Becker’s life has absolutely everything,’ says my man with the clapperboard. ‘While some sportsmen and women have fascinating careers, Becker had youthful glory, glamour and riches, as well as lots of heartache.
Tennis superstar Boris Becker’s rollercoaster life story is to be turned into a television series for one of the streaming giants (Pictured: Boris with Lilian de Carvalho enjoying a family holiday in Ibiza)
‘He would be paid well for his role in the programme and it would certainly lead to other lucrative projects.’
Born in Germany, Becker shocked the world when he won his first Wimbledon singles trophy as an unseeded 17-year-old in 1985.
He went on to triumph in SW19 twice more, as well as collecting another 46 singles titles in a career spanning more than two decades.
Before he retired from playing tennis in 1999, he was one of the richest sportsmen in the world, with an estimated fortune of £35 million.
Now 53 and living in Wimbledon, the BBC commentator has been married twice: firstly to German model Barbara Feltus; secondly to Dutch model Lilly Kerssenberg.
He has four children with three women and is currently going out with Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, a political risk analyst in her 30s, pictured.
It’s understood that the programme will be a co-production by two companies: Venture Land and Passion Pictures.
The Oscar-winning studio has made documentaries in the past about Becker’s fellow Wimbledon champ Sir Andy Murray and paralympian-turned-killer Oscar Pistorious.
Mine’s a pint of Allsopp
She’s one of the most familiar faces on television, and now Kirstie Allsopp will have drinkers toasting her name.
I hear that her cousin, Jamie, is reviving her family’s brewery, which had been defunct for the past 62 years.
The Old Etonian’s given up his career as a hedge fund boss to be a full-time brewer. He’s bought back all the Allsopp trademarks from Carlsberg and BrewDog and is turning on the taps next week at Samuel Allsopp & Sons, which was founded in 1730.
‘Kirstie will be getting a special discount code, so she can buy beer at cost,’ he tells me.
The original Allsopp brewery in Burton upon Trent is now owned by Carling so Jamie has found another in Sheffield. And he hopes his two children from his ill-fated marriage to top model Jacquetta Wheeler may take over the family business.
‘My five-year-old, Samuel, knows I am making beer, but I would be just as happy if my daughter, Edie, who is only two, took it on as well.’
Last year, Jamie paid £750 for a bottle of the family’s ale dating from 1875, but he has no plans to drink it. ‘My father said it was quite disgusting.’
Probably not the best advertising slogan in the world . . .
Hirst’s pooches join pet-set on private plane…
Who needs cattle class? When it comes to demonstrating the art of going on holiday in style, Damien Hirst has taken the lead.
The world’s richest artist chartered a private jet and made sure his three French bulldogs, Pablo, Chapo and Blanco, had seats of their own.
This holiday snap was shared by the Turner Prize-winner’s girlfriend Sophie Cannell, 27, who is 29 years his junior and lives with him at his £36million, 14-bedroom home in London’s Regent’s Park.
Damien Hirst pictured with his girlfriend and three French bulldogs on a private jet
This holiday snap was shared by the Turner Prize-winner’s girlfriend Sophie Cannell, 27 (pictured right), who is 29 years his junior and lives with him at his £36million, 14-bedroom home in London’s Regent’s Park
‘Holiday with my bears,’ the former ballerina tells friends.
To enhance their enjoyment of the high life, the dogs were served platters of fruit and vegetables.
I hope the pampered pooches realise how lucky they are: most animals Hirst encounters are pickled in formaldehyde.
(Very) modern manners
First there were reports of rowdiness at Punch and Judy shows and fears of deckchairs being wielded as weapons on South Coast beaches; now I hear yobbishness has even reached the country’s snootiest sports enclave.
This week, the Hurlingham Club held a special meeting to discuss the decline of manners at their Georgian clubhouse and 42 acres next to the Thames in Fulham.
It says the discussions were about ‘dealing more effectively with rudeness and poor behaviour’.
One member tells me: ‘I blame it on the pandemic. Some people started to ignore the rules, by sitting on the lawns, for example, and this led to confronations.’
Yikes! I do hope none of this is witnessed by Prince George and Princess Charlotte when the Duchess of Cambridge takes them to Hurlingham for their tennis lessons.
Sky’s Kay is finally lost for words at steamy strip show
Newsreader Kay Burley thinks nothing of tackling evasive politicians, but she was the one left squirming at a West End show.
The Sky News presenter went to Magic Mike Live at the Hippodrome Casino and didn’t know where to look when one of the bare-chested hunks from the titillating strip show came up close to her.
Kay Burley ‘lost for words’ at Magic Mike show in London’s West End
When I ask her about her big night out, she will say only: ‘Unicorn, unicorn, unicorn!’ I am told that’s the ‘safe word’ audience members are told to use if things get out of hand.
Anyway, it’s good to see Burley out again. She was suspended from Sky for six months after she admitted breaching coronavirus restrictions when celebrating her 60th birthday with fellow broadcasters.
Womble’s dark family history of lust and murder!
As the man who wrote the tune for Seventies children’s show The Wombles, Mike Batt is used to gentle stories about furry creatures. Now, the composer is struggling to come to terms with an altogether darker tale.
He’s just discovered that his grandfather was murdered by his lover. The shocking fact was uncovered during some research he did into his family tree earlier this month.
Arthur Jennings was found dead in London’s Belsize Park in 1941, having been shot three times by his mistress, Jeannie Marti, a pantomime artist. She shot herself the next day.
The incident was covered up by his family. ‘When you’re a kid and you only have your granny, you don’t ask questions about what happened to your grandad,’ he says. ‘It was one of those questions where you started asking about it, but then stopped halfway through because you knew what the response would be.’
Matt Smith, who lived with the Mamma Mia 2 actress until last year, says he insists on girlfriends accompanying him on long road trips
Has The Crown star Matt Smith let slip the reason why he and actress Lily James ran out of road?
Smith, who lived with the Mamma Mia 2 actress until last year, says he insists on girlfriends accompanying him on long road trips.
‘I love driving and I love going on driving holidays,’ Smith says, comparing himself to Alan Partridge, the car-loving comedy character played by Steve Coogan.
‘There’s a touch of Partridge in me, I suppose.’
The former Doctor Who star adds of his trips: ‘The ones I’ve done have been with incumbent girlfriends.
‘The most recent one I did in a small Italian car — nothing too fancy. I love being able to get back out on another adventure straightaway.’ Parp parp!
Will it be a Pelly good year for Harry pal’s U.S. vineyard?
Prince Harry is not the only one seeking happiness across the Atlantic.
I can disclose that his old friend and ‘court jester’ Guy Pelly has bought a vineyard in Virginia, Merrie Mill Farm, with his American wife, the Holiday Inn heiress Elizabeth Wilson.
‘We were in Charlottesville for a friend’s wedding when we became enchanted by Virginia,’ says Pelly, who is Prince Louis’s godfather.
Guy Pelly has bought a vineyard in Virginia, Merrie Mill Farm, with his American wife, the Holiday Inn heiress Elizabeth Wilson (Pictured together with their children)
‘While Elizabeth oversaw the restoration and renovation of the main house, I took to the fields. Merrie Mill Farm and vineyard has been a true labour of love.’
Pelly, who visited Harry and Meghan in California last year, lives at the farm with their daughters, Willow and Clementine.
When I reported in 2018 that the urbane former nightclub boss was planning to move to rural America, his pals could scarcely believe it.
Prince Charles’s cousin Jeremy Lascelles is celebrating a coup. Lascelles has signed the multi-million selling singer Emeli Sande to his revived Chrysalis Records label.
‘What a thrill it is that she has chosen Chrysalis to release her next record,’ he says.
Sande says she’s ‘thrilled’ to join Chrysalis, once home to Spandau Ballet and Blondie. Read All About It, as Emeli sang on her No. 1 single.