WHEN a married, middle-aged man is caught out having an affair there are usually two options that present themselves.
Option A: He gets kicked out pronto. Or Option B: Things have to change.
Option A usually involves a rented bedsit in a dodgy area, the imminent arrival of a buggy in the communal corridor when his thirtysomething lover suddenly decides she wants a baby and, of course, the bi-weekly visitations from a couple of sullen teenagers who, understandably, feel that dad’s been a bit of a chump.
Option B requires utter compliance on a lengthy tick list headed: How I’m Going To Make Amends for Being Such An Arse. Or words to that effect.
When Bake Off star Paul Hollywood first admitted to having an affair with his US co-presenter Marcela Valladolid in 2013, he and wife Alexandra split up.
However, after he admitted the affair was “the biggest mistake of my life” (tick), the couple, who have a 16-year-old son, decided to give their marriage another go. Now, four years later, they have released a joint statement to say they have split for good.
So what went wrong?
Until one of them provides more detail, it remains guesswork. But recent events suggest that maybe Paul didn’t quite grasp the post-affair rules that need to be followed if a wronged spouse’s trust is to be rebuilt.
Aside from the vital remorse, they include patience, transparency, no furtive glances at your mobile phone, no shutting your laptop lid as soon as your spouse walks in to the room, no unexplained late nights out (particularly if alcohol is involved), no talking about personal issues with anyone other than your spouse and, most of all, absolutely no flirtatious behaviour with a member of the opposite sex, however harmless.
A couple of weeks ago, Paul was photographed giving a goodbye kiss to former Bake Off winner Candice Brown following a charity event.
Others were present and say it was totally innocent. Fair enough. But that’s not the point.
As I wrote at the time, “Given that Mr Hollywood is now back on track with wife Alexandra after his much-publicised affair . . . he should perhaps desist in future from clasping the back of a woman’s head when leaning in for a supposedly chaste goodbye.
“It’s very Hollywood. And I’m not talking about his surname.”
In other words, a man trying to keep his post-affair marriage on track would either stay away from the event, invite his wife too or, if she didn’t want to go, turn up, shake a few hands and be in a cab home as soon as the last award had been presented.
Instead, he pitched up at the after-party and sat outside (in full view of the paparazzi) drinking champagne with Candice and others until the early hours.
Which, however you look at it, is hardly the behaviour of a man trying to put his wife’s mind at rest.
FORMER One Direction star Harry Styles performed at the famous Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China, this week.
The show, which will air on US TV later this month, involves prescriptively “perfect” models showing off the latest range of boudoir-esque undies for peachy-thighed young women to choose from.
And of course, young Harry could select his next girlfriend too.
Welcome to the past
HOLLYWOOD practices have been put under the spotlight following the revelations about producer Harvey Weinstein preying on young actresses.
But sexual assaults aren’t the only issue. How women are presented on screen is part of the problem too.
An analysis by the University of Washington of 800 screenplays has revealed that gender stereotypes are the same as 60 years ago, with men portrayed as “powerful” and women as “timid”.
The study shows that male actors also spend more time on screen than their female counterparts and speak more.
And that’s not the half of it.
Check out the photo from the set of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson and former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan.
While he’s in practical combat trousers and a khaki shirt, she’s wearing a skimpy pair of shorts and a belly top.
As you do.
Meanwhile, the current issue of US Vanity Fair includes a photograph of singer Jennifer Lopez with her baseball player boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.
Mr Rodriguez is fully clothed, while his hand is lifting up Ms Lopez’s dress to reveal her admittedly impressive derriere.
Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree as her fans feverishly debated the, er, issue of whether her suspiciously elevated bottom crease meant that the image had been retouched.
But surely, of far greater concern is why, against the current backdrop of women collectively voicing their frustration at being treated like sex objects, one of Hollywood’s most powerful women has chosen to depict herself in this way?
- NEWS that Donna Air, the on-off girlfriend of the Duchess of Cambridge’s brother James Middleton, is taking part in Dancing On Ice has led certain sources to suggest they have finally split for good, as she would “never risk embarrassing the royals by joining a reality contest”.
Oh, I don’t know.
As James’s Uncle Gary has just pleaded guilty in court to punching his wife in the face during a boozy argument, I think Donna’s skating on thin ice pales in to insignificance.
- OPERA singer Katherine Jenkins has apologised to hotel guests after making “elephant noises” while warming up her voice for her tour. One imagines they were thankful for the clarification.
INSURER The Co-op has advised that we should all avoid placing presents under our Christmas trees in a bid to deter burglars.
Alternatively, the police could try catching a few habitual thieves earlier in the year and then we could all just enjoy our festive season without having to alter our traditional, law-abiding behaviour.
- THE Cinderella-style Debenhams Christmas ad ends with Ewan McGregor saying to camera: “As for happy ever after, well, who knows?”
As he’s just dumped her for a younger woman, Mrs McGregor might have an answer to that.
- STRICTLY Come Dancing pro Brendan Cole is reportedly still fuming with new judge Shirley Ballas after their on screen run-in and is rumoured to be ignoring her backstage.
No doubt she will see that as a result.
- MEMO to air stewardess Lucy Sargeant, who is suing BA for £750,000 after being “traumatised” by an engine setting on fire during a flight: Isn’t that one of the more extreme eventualities you were trained to deal with?
[boxout featured-image="4968425"]THIS shot of former England and Chelsea striker Dennis Wise jumping out of a helicopter in the opener to the excellent I’m A Celebrity . . . reminds me of the ripple effect when I put my “of a certain age” hands in one of those turbo-charged dryers.
It’s reminiscent of the wind-whipped sand-dunes in Lawrence of Arabia.