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SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Harry Potter film whizz will work his magic on Nobel Prize winner 

Having made millions after he secured the rights to J. K. Rowling‘s books about a child wizard, Harry Potter film producer David Heyman is now pinning his hopes on an artificial being who longs to find a human owner.

I can disclose that Heyman has snapped up the rights to Sir Kazuo Ishiguro’s most recent novel since he won the Nobel Prize for literature, even before it comes out next month.

‘David knows a hit film when he sees it,’ a source tells me.

Ishiguro’s novel, Klara And The Sun, tells the story of Klara, an ‘Artificial Friend’ with ‘outstanding observational qualities’, who watches browsers from her place in a shop, hopeful that one child or parent will eventually choose her as a companion.

Harry Potter film producer David Heyman with Emma Watson at Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2016

‘When the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans,’ says the publisher, Faber.

One early reader said: ‘It is an edge-of-the-seat futuristic thriller that reinforces the power of human love even in an era where humans can be gene-edited.’ 

Ishiguro is known for literary surprises having done a detective thriller as well as a novel with Joycean overtones.

It won’t be the first of his novels to be adapted successfully for the big screen. 

After The Remains Of The Day won the Booker Prize, it was turned into a hit film starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Emma Thompson that was nominated for eight Oscars.

Heyman has snapped up the rights to Sir Kazuo Ishiguro's most recent novel since he won the Nobel Prize for literature

Heyman has snapped up the rights to Sir Kazuo Ishiguro’s most recent novel since he won the Nobel Prize for literature

His latest book has echoes of his dystopian science fiction novel Never Let Me Go which became a film starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield.

When Ishiguro won the Nobel in 2017, the award said his books ‘uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world’ and were driven by a ‘great emotional force’.

His last novel was 2015’s The Buried Giant, which followed an elderly couple who set off in search of their son in a semi-mythical version of ancient Britain, home to ogres and dragons.

The usually amiable broadcaster Mariella Frostrup admits that lockdown’s left her in a frenzy of angry frustration.

‘I live in a permanent state of resentment, fuelled by everyone in my household’s inability to tidy up,’ says Frostrup, who shares a home in Somerset with her husband, human rights lawyer Jason McCue, and their two children. 

‘I feel disproportionate rage at empty packets of digestives left in the cupboard. Why is nobody in my family capable of putting packaging in the bin?’

Will Crumble play Cupid for Katya?

Katya Jones, 31, who split up with her husband Neil Jones after she was spotting kissing comic Seann Walsh, is relying on her black Shih Tzu Poodle, Crumble, to find romance

Katya Jones, 31, who split up with her husband Neil Jones after she was spotting kissing comic Seann Walsh, is relying on her black Shih Tzu Poodle, Crumble, to find romance

Strictly pro Katya Jones split up with her husband, dancer Neil Jones, after she was spotting kissing her on-screen partner, comic Seann Walsh.

Now, she’s relying on her black Shih Tzu Poodle, Crumble, to find romance. 

‘The perfect story would be going on a walk with Crumble, seeing somebody with a dog as well and having eye-contact with them,’ says Katya, 31.

‘I truly believe Crumble can be the one to help me find a potential partner.’

Dame Tessa’s widower opens up about new love Pandora

Dame Tessa Jowell’s widower, David Mills, has spoken for the first time about his romance with artist Pandora Mond, a bohemian aristocrat 15 years his junior.

‘Her husband died five years ago, so we both understand what it is like to have lost the love of our lives,’ the lawyer, 76, says in a private message to friends.

‘But happiness can be refound, different but not less real, and I feel very fortunate.

One or two friends have met her, and I hope all will do so when social gatherings are possible again.’

Pandora is the daughter of industrialist the 3rd Lord Melchett and the author Sonia Melchett. She has two children from her marriage to former rock drummer Nicholas Wesolowski.

Former Culture Secretary Jowell lost her battle against brain cancer in 2018. Mills had two children with Tessa: musician Jess and Matthew, who is married to food blogger ‘Deliciously Ella’ Woodward.

 At least Maria is in the pink…

Prince Harry's art dealer pal Alex Gilkes was able to whisk his new fiancee, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, off to the Bahamas

Prince Harry’s art dealer pal Alex Gilkes was able to whisk his new fiancee, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, off to the Bahamas

While we were still shivering on Valentine’s Day, Prince Harry’s art dealer pal Alex Gilkes was able to whisk his new fiancee, Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, off to the Bahamas.

Old Etonian Gilkes, 41, who got engaged to the 33-year-old Russian two months ago, was able to do so because the couple are based in California and not subject to British restrictions on unnecessary travel.

Boasting about their stay at the five-star Amanyara Resort in Turks and Caicos – a favourite of Kim Kardashian where a standard pavilion costs £1,650 per night — Maria shared a picture of herself by the beach in a £120 pink Left On Friday swimsuit. 

She jokes: ‘The beach cove is way too photogenic — taking all my pink thunder away.’

Children’s author Francesca Simon admits she struggled to get her head round British attitudes towards class. 

The Horrid Henry creator, who moved to Britain from America, says: ‘I couldn’t understand that normally in Britain, for a lot of people, if you have family who worked in factories and have a very working-class background, this would be something they would want to hush up.’ 

She adds, in the Trollope Society journal: ‘The class system made no sense to me.’

Jamie’s private premiere 

Jamie Dornan

The actor with his  musician wife, Amelia Warner

Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan (left) and his wife, Amelia Warner (together, right), 38, dressed up in Hawaiian-themed gear when he hosted his own party at home for his new film, Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar

With red carpet premieres off, Fifty Shades of Grey hunk Jamie Dornan hosted his own, more intimate party at home in the Cotswolds for his new film, Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar.

The 38-year-old and his musician wife, Amelia Warner, 38, dressed up in Hawaiian-themed gear for the occasion as they settled down on an inflatable shell to view the comedy set in Florida.

Let’s hope Amelia didn’t mind seeing him kiss his co-star, Kristen Wiig, on screen.

She has admitted she couldn’t bring herself to watch him in the steamy adaptation of E. L. James’s bestsellers.

She was famously the cooking protege of Gordon Ramsay, but Michelin-starred chef and television star Angela Hartnett has nominated the less fashionable Delia Smith as the cook who influenced her most growing up. 

Neglecting even to mention Ramsay, she says of Smith: ‘With Delia, it was her great way of explaining everything to make it easy if you are just starting out. I have yet to discover one of her recipes that doesn’t work.’

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson has written a novel, The Late Train To Gipsy Hill, about a man on the run from Russian agents and Scotland Yard. 

Just don’t expect the cops to come out in a good light. 

He’s sensitive about the boys in blue after his marriage ended with the discovery that his wife, Laura, had been canoodling with his police bodyguard. 


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