Joan prepares for fifth wedding


It will be her fifth trip down the aisle. And Joan Collins seems determined to make her latest wedding the glitziest so far.

No expense is being spared for Sunday's ceremony at Claridge's, with the total bill estimated at £100,000.

Miss Collins, 68, was at her Belgravia mansion last night putting the finishing touches to plans for her marriage to 36-year-old theatre boss Percy Gibson.

She has already had detailed discussions with Claridge's head chef John Williams, who has put together a three- course menu for the 170 guests invited to the reception in the Mayfair hotel's ballroom.

After smoked salmon canapes, they will feast on foie gras with green beans in vinaigrette followed by noisettes of lamb with cassoulet of beans and vegetables and a rosemary and sweet garlic jus.

Next will come a selection of desserts, then coffee and petits fours. Mr Williams is also understood to be creating a grand chocolate wedding cake for the couple.

The champagne and red wine will flow freely for celebrities such as Michael Caine and his wife Shakira, Roger Moore and girlfriend Christina Tholstrup, Jerry Hall, Sir Cliff Richard, Cilla Black and Shirley Bassey.

Gloria Hunniford, Christopher Biggins, nightclub owner Johnny Gold and Sir Elton John's partner David Furnish will also be there.

Sharon Stone was rumoured yesterday to be flying in for the reception.

Other Hollywood names on the guest list include Hart To Hart stars Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers and George Hamilton.

Miss Collins, who was 18 when she married first husband Maxwell Reed in 1952, will wear a pink silk gown by Hollywood designer Nolan Miller.

Mr Miller designed the costumes for the 1980s TV series Dynasty, transforming Miss Collins into power- dressing Alexis Colby.

She has been a devoted fan of his outfits ever since.

The actress and her groom will exchange 18-carat wedding bands in white gold designed by society jeweller Theo Fennell at a cost of £5,000 each. The bill for the reception will top £60,000.

But Miss Collins need not worry about that as a celebrity magazine has already stumped up £380,000 for the rights to cover the wedding.

The bride and groom-to-be were out on the town on Wednesday evening, turning heads at an auction of photographs for the Twin Towers Fund at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly.

Miss Collins, who was dripping with diamonds, looked positively radiant on the arm of her young lover.

Her three children - Tara Newley, 38, Sacha Newley, 36, and 29-year-old Katy Kass - are said to disapprove of her marrying a man who is three decades her junior.

But the actress has said: 'Quite frankly, I really like being married.

'I know there are no guarantees in life. But Percy and I both feel so strongly about each other that we are making this ultimate commitment.'

After her marriage to matinee idol Reed was dissolved in 1957, Miss Collins went on to wed Anthony Newley (1963), Ron Kass (1972) and Peter Holm (1985).