SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Sarah Ferguson flies high with relaunch of her Budgie books

Who would have thought that as the career of former Royal Navy helicopter pilot Prince Andrew crashes and burns, his ex-wife would have the audacity to revisit one of the more colourful chapters of her life? Sarah, Duchess of York has, I can disclose, spent lockdown preparing to relaunch Budgie The Little Helicopter, the hero of her bestselling children’s books. ‘I’ve never been more proud than today to see my friend Budgie flying to the rescue,’ Fergie tells me.  Sarah, Duchess of York, is preparing to relaunch Budgie The Little Helicopter, hero of her bestselling children’s booksShe already has 45 children’s books to her credit and the Budgie books are in addition to the seven-book deal she signed in February with Serenity Press in Australia. Proceeds from the new book, Budgie — Turtle Rescue, will be divided between Sarah’s Trust, specifically to help the disabled, and to fight the global battle against plastic. Sarah wrote her first Budgie story after gaining her helicopter licence. It proved a lucrative creation. In the mid-1990s, when engulfed by marital troubles and financial difficulties, Budgie helped her fight her way out of the red, courtesy of an ITV adaptation and massive sales of spin-off products from the TV show, particularly in the U.S. Soon afterwards, Sarah cleared her debts — estimated at more than £4million. However the uncanny similarity to Arthur W. Baldwin’s 1964 creation Hector The Helicopter prompted the Duchess’s publisher to put out a statement chalking up any similarities to ‘pure coincidence’.   Prince Andrew, Duke of York, with Sarah Ferguson in June last year. The Duchess is continuing her writing career, while the Duke has been forced to step back from royal dutiesThe latest chapter in Budgie’s adventures couldn’t have come at a better time. Earlier this year, I revealed that Gate Ventures, the theatre investment company of which Fergie was until recently a director, faced debts of £10.3million. Since then, Sarah and Andrew have been sued by French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre for £6.7million, which, she alleges, remains outstanding from when they bought her alpine chalet in Verbier in 2014. As one of Fergie’s many friends says: ‘Budgie never gives up — neither does she.’ Prince Charles upped his exercise routine after recovering from a mild case of coronavirus earlier this year, but if inspiration lacks, he need look no further than his nimble goddaughter, India Hicks.  India Hicks has been sticking firmly to her yoga routine in lockdown in a bid to ‘stay sane’The entrepreneur, who was a bridesmaid at Charles’s wedding to Diana, has been sticking firmly to her yoga routine in lockdown in a bid to ‘stay sane’ — and reveals that her dachshund, Banger, has been joining in with his own interpretation of her downward dog pose. Sharing a video from her home in the Bahamas where she lives with partner David Flint Wood and their five children, India tells me: ‘Banger joins me regularly when I am stretching. During lockdown he was very loyal.’ Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox pines for life before lockdown. ‘It used to just be me and my dogs, relaxing and listening to Jeremy Vine of a lunchtime,’ the former ladette recalls wistfully. ‘Floating around my empty house while the kids were at school, it was lovely. ‘I’d put my key in the door after the school run, and it was this silent house, yay! Now I can’t bloody escape them.’Her three children, aged nine to 15, are eating the presenter out of house and home. ‘Weeks ago, I wrote a little sign that said, “Three biscuits maximum per day” on the biscuit cupboard, “And one small packet of crisps.” ‘Otherwise, because they’re at home all day, they’re just like a swarm of locusts.’ He killed bad guys and seduced countless women on screen, but former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is honing a more domestic skill set during lockdown. Armed with an abundance of locally grown produce at his home in Hawaii, the 67- year-old Irishman has been harvesting coconuts with the help of his model sons Dylan, 23, and Paris, 19.  Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan with sons Dylan (left) and Paris in HawaiiHis wife, the boys’ mother, film producer Keely, shared this picture of the trio whom she calls her ‘Birkenstock brigade’ because of their sandals — and reveals they are making ‘coconut water, coconut milk, coconut sorbet and coconut curry’.Ringo Starr is offering one lucky fan and their friend a 15-minute video chat with him on Zoom to mark his 80th birthday in July. Ringo also hopes that on his birthday everyone will continue his annual tradition of shouting out ‘Peace and love’ at noon, wherever you are. Just don’t ask Ringo for his autograph — he has refused to do that since 2008, saying then that he had too much to do. Don’t put your daughter on the catwalk if she’s still an early teen. So says Vogue cover star Yasmin Le Bon.  Yasmin Le Bon, left, with her daughter Amber Le Bon. Yasmin says she didn’t let her daughter start modelling until she was 18‘I didn’t let my daughter into the business until she’d finished her A-­levels,’ says the wife of Duran Duran singer Simon, whose daughter, Amber, 30, has since modelled for Moschino and Karen Millen. ‘She was 18, and I said, “OK now it’s up to you to make this choice.” ‘I, personally, wouldn’t have done it before. ‘I think it’s really distracting before that age.’ Tate director Maria Balshaw is a woman of many talents. Apart from being an art expert, she was a national level rhythmic dance gymnast as a child. ‘My mum took me to a class when I was little I’m sure because I was quite lively. That became a career as a child, I was in the national squad — my first art form was dance.’ Maria gave up dance in her teens. ‘Like many English girls, my legs weren’t quite long enough, so I let it go.’ 
Read More

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button