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SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Make-up guru Charlotte Tilbury finds lockdown beauty spot for £1bn empire

She pulled off a stunning financial coup by selling a controlling share in her make-up and skincare empire in a deal valuing it at £1 billion — just seven years after she founded the eponymous company.

But the unstoppable Charlotte Tilbury, dubbed the Mariah Carey of Make-Up, has no intention of resting on her laurels.

Rather than allow her creative muse to ebb away during lockdown, the ever enterprising Tilbury is, I can disclose, currently running her empire from the island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya.

‘She’s renting a house,’ a fellow visitor tells me, adding that Tilbury’s example is being emulated by droves of London’s Notting Hill set.

Island fling: Charlotte Tilbury, pictured above, who is currently running her empire from the island of Lamu, off the coast of Kenya

The waterfront of Lamu Town off the shore of Kenya at high tide. Swashbuckling Old Etonian actor Dominic West headed to Lamu in January for a five-week stint

File photo taken on Lamu Island. Kenya has long been a refuge for the rich and famous ever since the days of the uninhibited ‘Happy Valley’ 1930s set, headed by the Earl of Erroll

‘They’re all camped here. Everybody’s just extended the length of their stay.’

Swashbuckling Old Etonian actor Dominic West headed to Lamu in January for a five-week stint after being snapped canoodling last autumn in Rome with the lissom Lily James. It is believed he was accompanied by his wife Catherine FitzGerald and their children.

Kenya has long been a refuge for the rich and famous ever since the days of the uninhibited ‘Happy Valley’ 1930s set, headed by the Earl of Erroll.

‘Most of the British visitors are in Shela,’ adds my informant, referring to the small settlement on the south-east side of the island, favoured by the late ‘Bunny’ Allen, a big-game hunter who helped the Duchess of Gloucester catch cheetahs and enjoyed affairs with Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner.

Tilbury, 48, who is married to film producer George Waud, will no doubt feel at home. She grew up on the party island of Ibiza, where her parents still live, and during her career has befriended both J.K. Rowling and Amal Clooney.

Her spokesman declines to comment on her Lamu interlude, which may now be drawing to a close.

‘I assume she and George are coming home soon because Charlotte has school-age children,’ adds my source.

Tilbury has two sons — Valentine, with Waud, and Flynn, by her former husband Charles Forbes. Both boys have Kate Moss as their godmother.

Tilbury, 48, who is married to film producer George Waud, will no doubt feel at home. She grew up on the party island of Ibiza, where her parents still live

Johnson drinks to Boris's health

Alan Johnson has discovered that having the same surname as the Prime Minister has its benefits.

‘My wife and I were at a restaurant in Crete when two other Brits stopped to talk to us,’ says the former Labour Home Secretary.

‘On the way out, they told the owner he should be honoured to have “the famous politician Mr Johnson” in his restaurant.’

Adds Johnson, who publishes his first novel, The Late Train To Gipsy Hill, in September: ‘The owner obviously didn’t follow British politics that closely because he thought I was Boris and insisted on treating us to a bottle of wine on the house. The rest of the evening he was pointing us out to locals.’

Lady Mary is brought down to earth with a bump! 

Reformed party girl Lady Mary Charteris has found that being pregnant can be a bumpy ride.

The 33-year-old daughter of the Earl of Wemyss and Catherine Guinness is staying in Mexico with her husband, musician Robbie Furze, with whom she is expecting her first baby this summer.

Lady Mary Charteris, daughter of the Earl of Wemyss and Catherine Guinness, is staying in Mexico with her husband, musician Robbie Furze, with whom she is expecting her first baby

‘I was escorted by security out of a major Mexican supermarket,’ she explains. 

‘Pregnant women and children are banned from buying food in Chedraui stores. It made me sad, confused and angry all at the same time.

‘I asked if I could find my husband to tell him I had to leave and they insisted on following me around to make sure I left the premises afterwards. Humiliating.’

Handcuffs at the ready... Dornan’s dad nicks a part

Fifty Shades Of Grey star Jamie Dornan could soon be fighting over roles with his own father now that Professor Jim Dornan has landed a part in ITV’s Marcella.

The retired obstetrician and gynaecologist, who had considered becoming an actor in his youth, plays a deputy chief constable in the second episode of the latest series, which stars Anna Friel and was shot near his home in Belfast.

‘It was pure chance,’ says Jim. ‘I was dining with my cousin at General Merchants on the Newtownards Road when the director asked his companion who I was, because I was familiar-looking.

‘He told her he’d like me for a wee cameo, so that was that. I did have about two lines as well, but they seem to have ended up on the cutting room floor.’

Professor Dornan also had a cameo in The Fall, in which Jamie played a serial killer.

Will dog diet be a hit or Les Mis?

F1 racing champion Lewis Hamilton set tongues wagging last year when he revealed he’d put his dog, Roscoe, on a vegan diet.

Now West End star Samantha Barks is putting her Cavapoochon, Ivy, on an even more extreme regime. ‘I’m excited for Ivy to try a raw food diet,’ says the Les Miserables star, 30. ‘I’ve heard there are amazing health benefits for dogs.’ 

Samantha, who will play Princess Elsa in the new stage production of Disney’s Frozen, once tried to deter others from eating fish by plunging into a tank of cold water for a campaign by PETA. 

‘I’m excited for Ivy to try a raw food diet,’ says West End star Samantha Barks, 30. ‘I’ve heard there are amazing health benefits for dogs'

Sir Peter Viggers, who became a symbol of the MPs’ expenses scandal after trying to claim taxpayers’ money for a floating duck house, left just over £190,000 in his will. 

Probate documents reveal that Viggers, who died aged 82 last March, left his entire estate to his widow, Jenny. 

He had previously donated his £1,645 duck house to charity. He had also claimed £30,000 for ‘gardening’ over three years. He later said the ducks had never liked their palatial home.

Wild swimmer Minnie faces a costume drama

Hollywood star Minnie Driver can’t wait to strip off again, as soon as her local bathing pond re-opens after lockdown.

‘I’ve just moved back to London from California,’ says the 51-year-old actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Good Will Hunting. ‘In California, I would swim in the sea every day, rain or shine.

‘It’s the thing I miss most, so I went to the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath to do some wild swimming. Everybody’s naked. Nobody cares. It’s glorious.’

‘I’ve just moved back to London from California,’ says 51-year-old Minnie Driver, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Good Will Hunting

Socialite Alexandra Tolstoy hopes her life experiences will inspire the younger generation. 

‘I’ve been asked to give a talk at Roedean School. The theme is the empowerment of women,’ says the 47-year-old daughter of writer Nikolai Tolstoy. 

‘At 18, I was sent alone to live in Moscow for six months, not speaking a word of Russian and with no friends. It’s been in the tightest corners that I have performed the best.’ 

Roald Dahl’s granddaughter, model-turned-children’s author Sophie, is not the only one in the family to inherit his love of words. For Sophie’s cousin, Chloe, has been moved to verse during lockdown. 

Describing herself as a ‘collector of words’, Chloe, 30, who was born in Florida to Roald’s daughter, screenwriter Lucy Dahl, and water-ski instructor, Michael Faircloth, categorises her writing as ‘romantic poetry’. 

Lines include: ‘If I had myself one great big wish, it would be to spend forever getting lost in the layers of your kiss.’

Dame Jacqueline Wilson might be brilliant at cooking up plots, but she admits that she is to be found wanting on the culinary front. 

‘For years and years I’ve said I’ll try baking, but the furthest I get is simply watching The Great British Bake Off,’ she says. ‘I’m not really domesticated.’

Dame Jacqueline Wilson, pictured above in 2014, might be brilliant at cooking up plots, but she admits that she is to be found wanting on the culinary front

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