Winslet’s ex Mendes falls for Trumpet Crumpet: James Bond director dates glamorous classical musician Alison Balsom

During his seven-year marriage to Kate Winslet, Oscar-winning film director Sam Mendes might have found his achievements were overshadowed by those of the Hollywood star.

Now, however, Mendes has found just the woman to help him blow his own trumpet. I hear that the 51-year-old James Bond director is courting glamorous classical musician Alison Balsom, 38.

So harmonious is his relationship with the blue-eyed blonde that he is said to be moving into a house the trumpeter has just bought for £1.9 million by the seaside in Dorset.

Mendes was married to Kate Winslet for seven years

 Director Sam Mendes, 51, has been courting glamorous classical musician Alison Balsom, 38 (right). He was married to Kate Winslet for seven years 

‘It’s the talk of the village,’ says one of Mendes’s new neighbours. ‘They have moved here because Alison loves sailing and is keen to teach Sam.’

While Mendes now has a classical lover, Winslet is married to Ned Rocknroll, with whom she lives further along the South Coast.

Long-legged Balsom, from Royston, in Hertfordshire, has a six-year-old son with top conductor Edward Gardner, 41, from whom she separated in 2011. Gardner, former music director of the English National Opera, now lives in Norway.

Builder’s daughter Balsom bought the 300-year-old former rectory last week in her name alone. The attractive detached four-bedroom home is just a few hundred yards from the beach. Cambridge-educated Mendes split up with Hollywood actress Rebecca Hall last year.

 Mendes is said to be moving into a house the trumpeter has bought for £1.9 million in Dorset

 Mendes is said to be moving into a house the trumpeter has bought for £1.9 million in Dorset

The 34-year-old star of movies Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Iron Man 3 is the daughter of celebrated theatre director Sir Peter Hall.

Mendes has a 12-year-old son with Winslet, 41, whom he divorced in 2010. Oscar-winning Winslet also has a two-year-old son with her third husband Rocknroll, who changed his name by deed poll from Ned Abel Smith.

Winslet’s third child is her 15-year-old daughter from her first marriage, to film director Jim Threapleton.

With secrecy befitting the director of 007 films Spectre and Skyfall, Mendes has conducted his romance with Balsom away from the spotlight, although he was pictured with his arm around her at a Suffolk charity event in April.

Balsom has spoken in the past about her fight to prove herself because she is a woman in the very male-dominated brass section.

‘I’ve always played the trumpet. And I’ve always been a girl,’ she pointed out. ‘Orchestral brass players can be very macho, with an intimidating group mentality.’

David Gandy made nearly £1 million last year

David Gandy made nearly £1 million last year

Often described as ‘the world’s most handsome man’, now David Gandy is rather rich to boot.

The model, whose name is on an M&S underwear range, made nearly £1 million last year. 

Newly published accounts show the business into which he channels his earnings, Fuimus, held £2 million, compared with £1.09 million in 2014. 

Sweetly, Gandy, 36, has made his father a director of the firm and his mother company secretary.


Public relations boss Matthew Freud, who is courting heiress Jemima Goldsmith, threw a lavish party at his £20 million London home last week, where guests included Sir Bob Geldof and comedian Sir Lenny Henry. 

It’s now clear that Freud, a key member of David Cameron’s ‘Chipping Norton set’, had a lot to celebrate. 

For his company, Freud Communications, has paid out a staggering £22 million dividend. 

Freud declines to comment on the huge sum, which is understood to have been paid to another of his companies. 

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