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Tuesday 10 January 2012

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Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler has a baby by Anna Phoebe

Christmas comes early for Newsnight's Gavin Esler as his partner Anna Phoebe gives birth to their first child together.

Christmas comes early for Newsnight's Gavin Esler as his partner Anna Phoebe gives birth to their first child together.
Gavin Esler has had an 8lb 2oz baby daughter by Anna Phoebe, a young rock violinist who is his junior by more than a quarter of a century Photo: Alan Davidson

Barely four years after he separated from Patricia Warner, his wife of 28 years, Gavin Esler has had an 8lb 2oz baby daughter by Anna Phoebe, a young rock violinist who is his junior by more than a quarter of a century.

“Anna and Amelia Rose are both well,” the Newsnight presenter tells Mandrake. “Both families are excited and happy at this wonderful Christmas present.”

Esler left his wife for Phoebe and now lives with her in a townhouse in west London. Once described as “sex on a stick” because of her sensual violin performances, Anna admitted to having hypnobirthing lessons to help prepare for a “gentle, calm and natural birth”.

Silence is golden

There has been no shortage of theatre and even opera-goers who have taken exception to their fellow punters nattering during performances. It has reached a pretty pass now that a bishop is complaining about idle chatter during Mass.

“There is a time and a place for speaking and a time and a place for silence,” says the Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert, the Bishop of Aberdeen, in a letter to his flock. “We all understand about babies. Nor are we meant to come and go from church as cold, isolated individuals… We want to meet and greet and speak with one another …

“But it is a question of where and when. Better in the porch than at the back of the church. Better after the Mass in a hall or a room.”

Just desserts

Character witnesses for Michael Gove have been coming forward as my inquiry into the Education Secretary’s alleged cone-throwing during his reckless youth continues.

Quentin Letts, one of my predecessors as The Daily Telegraph’s diarist, recalls the young Gove working for him. “He arrived for work in a thick, tweed suit. He was quite portly in those days. He enjoyed a snifter at lunch — like the rest of us — and was a two-pudding man,” he says.

“His idea of the perfect woman in those days was, he announced one day, Lady Trumpington. We always thought he might become Benjamin — as in the film The Graduate — to Lady Trumpers one day.”

My inquiry continues.

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