This really takes the biscuit! Her former SAS officer husband Simon Mann was famously slung into prison for five and a half years following an alleged ‘Wonga Coup’ in 2004 against President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea.
Now Amanda Mann has launched her own financial coup, transforming herself into a domestic goddess by creating a baking empire and selling home-made cookies across the UK.
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Amanda Mann has launched her own financial coup, transforming herself into a domestic goddess
With Old Etonian Simon once more on a confidential mission in Africa — ‘but not locked up,’ Amanda assures me — she has used the lockdown to productive effect to earn her own wonga (slang for a wad of cash).
Like so much in the couple’s extra-ordinary life together, there is a random element to her venture.
Simon Mann with his wife Amanda
‘My niece and I were cooking chicken curries for our local GPs,’ explains Amanda.
‘The doctors, including a close friend who’s in A&E, were talking about their teams, so I asked how many were in the team. He said 30. So we started doing cookies.
Former SAS officer Simon Mann
‘They’d been given masses of food, but they hadn’t been given home-made food — best quality chocolate and all the gorgeous things that go into the cookies.’
Word soon spread near the Manns’ home on the edge of the New Forest, so Amanda began taking orders on social media.
‘But we couldn’t keep up with the orders on Instagram. Then my niece, Anoushka, who’s only 14, said what we need is a website. Two weeks later, she’d built the website herself.
‘We’ve now got a big following in Scotland, Newcastle, Birmingham, Wales and Ireland,’ adds Amanda, who despatches the £18 boxes of 12 cookies in 100 per cent recyclable packaging.
One of the favourites among the Manns Cookies collection is the ‘Rude Box’. When correctly aligned, its cookies spell: ‘Sod off Covid!’ She may even find time to pop one in the post to President Obiang who, remarkably, is now a Mann family friend.
Baroness Bra takes the plunge to wed her billionaire
Fourth time’s the charm for lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone, aka Baroness Bra.
The 49-year-old reveals she has finally married billionaire businessman Doug Barrowman, 55, after having postponed their wedding three times owing to the pandemic.
Michelle, who has three children from her marriage to former business partner
Michael Mone, tied the knot on Saturday in front of 90 guests at Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man, which has fewer Covid restrictions than the mainland.
Michelle Mone, aka Baroness Bra reveals she has finally married billionaire businessman Doug Barrowman, 55, after having postponed their wedding three times owing to the pandemic
‘It really was magical and I loved every minute,’ says Michelle, who wore a plunging white
Suzanne Neville dress. ‘The only downside was that our family and friends who live outside the Isle of Man couldn’t be there.’
She and father-of-four Doug became engaged two years ago and have lived together on the Isle of Man for the past three. Their first date was aboard his £30million superyacht, which was used to film an orgy for the Sky TV series, Riviera.
Super-duper arrival for Superdry tycoon
Multi-millionaire Superdry boss Julian Dunkerton, 55, is celebrating a super arrival with his 33-year-old second wife, fashion designer Jade Holland Cooper.
Revealing they’ve named their daughter Saphaïa Isabella, Jade says: ‘I can’t describe the overwhelming feeling of joy and love.’
‘Overwhelming joy and love’: Julian and Jade Dunkerton
To avoid any exposure to Covid-19 ahead of the birth, the couple — who married in a lavish wedding in 2018 — were isolating in the £14,000-a-night palatial two-bedroom Royal Suite at Claridge’s Hotel in London’s Mayfair.
Baby Saphaïa can look forward to an opulent nursery at her parents’ Georgian manor house near Cheltenham, which has a spa, gym and sauna, and boasts an infinity pool which is the biggest private pool in the country.
SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Revealing they’ve named their daughter Saphaïa Isabella, Jade says: ‘I can’t describe the overwhelming feeling of joy and love.’
Most charities struggle to make a penny when they’re first created, but Sarah, Duchess of York is already raising a fortune in donations.
Fergie, 61, set up Sarah’s Trust to support frontline workers during the pandemic. And it has raked in £141,000 in its inaugural year, according to accounts.
Could this be a chance for ex-husband Prince Andrew to make a comeback through helping her?
A friend of the Duchess insists the charity is very much her project.
The Crown has slipped, says ex-Palace insider
As the Queen’s private secretary for four years, Sir William Heseltine was a witness to many of the monarch’s key moments in the 1980s.
And he says The Crown’s depiction of those events is utter nonsense.
He can easily identify ‘a multitude’ of major and minor errors in the hit Netflix drama, from improbable utterances and events to settings, dress and behaviour.
‘I don’t approve of this kind of programme being made about living people — mixing fact and fiction in such a way that most viewers will believe that even the worst inventions are gospel truth,’ he says.
Sir William, 90, is not depicted in the series. Instead, Sir Martin Charteris (played by Charles Edwards) still runs the Royal Household, even though he left in 1977.
It is just one of many inaccuracies, including the depiction of frosty relations between Her Majesty and Mrs Thatcher.
‘It is absurd to think that Thatcher might ever have lectured the Queen on her supposed errors, and almost equally absurd to imagine Her Majesty taking her prime minister to task,’ Sir William adds.
‘It is [also] monstrous to suggest that the family could have been rude to the Thatchers on their first stay at Balmoral.’
Iris left out in the cold to face laws of nature
Jude Law’s model daughter Iris is happy to suffer for her art as she braves a chilly autumn for her latest sartorial stunt.
The 20-year-old, whose mother is Sadie Frost, posed in front of a tree in London wearing nothing but a £230 pink Stella McCartney bodysuit after the designer asked her to reinterpret the word ‘intimacy’ as part of a lockdown project.
Jude Law’s model daughter Iris posed in front of a tree in London wearing nothing but a £230 pink Stella McCartney bodysuit
‘This photo represents intimacy in so many ways for me,’ says Iris, whose boyfriend, Jyrrel Roberts, took the picture.
‘Near sunrise, freezing cold, my bare feet on the grass and the intimate connection with the earth through the sustainable background of the bodice.’
Jodie Whittaker said an emotional farewell to her Doctor Who co-stars Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole, after shooting this year’s Christmas special.
‘Just knowing it was the last scenes for myself with those actors, both of them had to carry me to my trailer. I’ve not cried like that for such a long time,’ she reveals.
Would her Time Lord predecessor Tom Baker have displayed more of a stiff upper lip?