EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Is Prince Andrew pitching a return to public life?

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Is Prince Andrew pitching a return to public life? Never doubt his ardent belief that he can

Ever since giving his ‘car-crash’ interview to Emily Maitlis back in 2019, he has suffered a series of humiliations as institutions which once boasted of his patronage have hurried to consign their association with him to the dustbin of history. But never doubt Prince Andrew’s ardent belief that he can โ€“ and will โ€“ one day resume a purposeful role in public life.

Proof of this, were it needed, has now surfaced in public โ€“ courtesy of Pitch@Palace, the Duke of York’s Dragons’ Den-style scheme which introduced young entrepreneurs to those with cash and connections.

Although it shed the Duke’s name from its website nearly four years ago โ€“ and moved out of Buckingham Palace โ€“ Pitch@Palace shows no sign of disappearing into the proverbial sunset. Indeed, I can disclose that accounts published this week show that it has nearly ยฃ500,000 in shareholder funds and retains an office in Pall Mall, just a stone’s throw from St James’s Palace โ€“ and a slightly longer one from Buckingham Palace.

Although Andrew is not a director, he is named by Companies House as having ‘significant control’ of the business. An accompanying note explains that its ‘strategic direction remains under review’.

There’s no question that Andrew, 63, sees himself shaping that strategy โ€“ perhaps not immediately but certainly before long. ‘The Duke believes that it would be a great mistake to give up on Pitch@Palace,’ one of his friends tells me. ‘The project did fantastic work, helping generate millions of pounds worth of business, and it would be a tremendous waste to throw it away. It is exactly the sort of project that Britain needs to get a bit of dynamism back into the economy.’

Pitch@Palace is the Duke of York’s Dragons’ Den-style scheme which introduced young entrepreneurs to those with cash and connections

Although Andrew is not a director, he is named by Companies House as having ‘significant control’ of the business

Ever since giving his ‘car-crash’ interview to Emily Maitlis back in 2019, Andrew has suffered a series of humiliations

Andrew could scarcely have put it better himself. ‘We’re all cogs in a huge bloody machine, yeah? Some of us have the advantage of being able to activate more cogs than other people. That’s all it is,’ he reflected in an interview โ€“ a year before his chum Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in custody in New York while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

Strictly’s Angela gives Birt a kick!

Angela Rippon, who turns 80 next year, stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with her jaw-dropping high kick.

Angela Rippon, who turns 80 next year, stunned Strictly Come Dancing viewers with her moves

Yet the former newsreader says she was informed that her time in the spotlight was up when she turned 50 by then BBC director-general John Birt.

‘He managed to be a misogynist and an ageist in one statement,’ she says at the Television and Radio Industries Club Christmas lunch at the Londoner hotel, where she received a lifetime achievement award.

‘To John Birt, when I was 50, you said I’d had my day. I’m now 79 โ€” and I’m not finished yet.’

The Smiths star Morrissey announced a special guest at his concert Down Under this week. ‘She was born and raised in Melbourne and she changed everybody’s lives,’ the singer said. ‘Do you know who she is?’ Someone shouted: ‘Kylie.’ But the concert-goer wasn’t Miss Minogue.ย 

‘Germaine Greer,’ Morrissey said, adding: ‘She’s banned now by English academia because she’s too intelligent and she speaks common sense.’ย 

Last year, I reported that the author of The Female Eunuch, 84, had moved into a care home, after returning to Australia.

The Smiths star Morrissey announced a special guest at his concert Down Under this week

Family drama behind Davina’s French romance

Davina McCall once admitted that her troubled relationship with her mother, Florence Kock, saw them take drugs together on two occasions.

Now, the 56-year-old is trying to come to terms with her past by applying to become French like her late mother.

‘Yesterday was a huge day,’ she declares online next to this selfie of her under the Tricolore and EU flag. ‘I went to the French Embassy to start the process of getting my French passport.’

When the Long Lost Family presenter was three, Florence moved back to France, leaving Davina with her grandparents.

‘It was very emotional,’ she says. ‘I’ve always felt a huge affinity with France, but I had a complicated relationship with my French mum, and, I can’t explain why, but this feels very healing. Like I’m acknowledging I am half her. And it feels good.’

Davina McCall, 56, once admitted that her troubled relationship with her mother, Florence Kock, saw them take drugs together on two occasions

The 56-year-old went to the French Embassy to start the process of acquiring her new passport as she comes to terms with her troubled relationship with her mother

Spandau Ballet stars Martin and Gary Kemp take a jab at Prince Harry in their new BBC Two ‘mockumentary’, The Kemps: All Gold.

The 1980s pop stars play warring brothers in the satirical comedy, to be screened over Christmas, with Martin publishing a ‘whinge memoir’, titled Afterthought, in a desperate bid to regain the spotlight. And, just as in Harry’s memoirs, Spare, there is a dramatic kitchen kerfuffle involving a dog bowl.

‘We can do and say things with each other that probably people who aren’t brothers would worry about,’ Gary says at a screening at the BFI Southbank in London.

Spandau Ballet stars Martin (pictured: right) and Gary Kemp take a jab at Prince Harry in their new BBC Two ‘mockumentary’, The Kemps: All Gold

How Hockney put Hanks into orbit

Hollywood legend Tom Hanks credits a chance meeting with David Hockney for inspiring him to launch his new immersive exhibition, The Moonwalkers, in London.

The show at the Lightroom gallery in King’s Cross, chronicles Nasa’s Apollo space missions. ‘I walked into this space not knowing what I was going to see and experience,’ Hanks says of Hockney’s exhibition, Bigger & Closer (Not Smaller & Further Away), which featured his works projected on to screens around visitors. ‘I walked into a David Hockney painting as he was painting. It was a mind-blowing experience.’

Hockney was among guests including Succession star Brian Cox and Spice Girl Geri Horner at the launch do.

Hollywood legend Tom Hanks credits a chance meeting with David Hockney for inspiring him to launch his new immersive exhibition, The Moonwalkers, in London

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