SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Carphone Warehouse tycoon David Ross makes his son, 17, leading man at opera 

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He’s amassed a fortune nudging £700 million, owns a luxurious villa in Mustique and yet still finds time to chair not only the National Portrait Gallery but also the Royal Opera House.

But it appears that, at 55, David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, is preparing to share the burdens of office with the next generation.

He has, I can disclose, just appointed his son, Carl, to be the patron of Nevill Holt Opera, the opera house which Ross established at his Leicestershire estate in 2013.

Such an arrangement might not seem unusual for any self-made man intent on establishing a budding dynasty.

But it appears that, at 55, David Ross (right, pictured with Saffron Aldridge), co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, is preparing to share the burdens of office with the next generation

But it appears that, at 55, David Ross (right, pictured with Saffron Aldridge), co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, is preparing to share the burdens of office with the next generation

But the appointment represents a precocious advance for Carl — a lad of 17 who’s still in the sixth form at the same public school where his father befriended Charles Dunstone, his Carphone Warehouse co-founder.

Observers point out that it coincides with Ross’s recent appointment as the new chairman of the Royal Opera House.

‘David Ross has now gone to the Royal Opera House to raise money for opera, so who will be left to raise money for Nevill Holt?’ one of them muses.

‘A 17-year-old schoolboy with little, if any, experience.’

A new 400-seat auditorium was built at Nevill Holt in 2018 with a loan of £6.5 million from the David Ross Foundation. Nevill Holt Opera has still to pay back all the money and has secured terms to extend a loan repayment schedule over 50 years, by which time Carl will be 67.

Observers point out that it coincides with Ross¿s recent appointment as the new chairman of the Royal Opera House (pictured)

Observers point out that it coincides with Ross’s recent appointment as the new chairman of the Royal Opera House (pictured)

But Ross, who earlier this year ‘facilitated’ the holiday which the Prime Minister and Carrie Symonds enjoyed in Mustique, is unlikely to be perturbed by criticism.

His son is by his relationship with Shelley Ross, a pole-dancer who happened to share his surname but whom he never married.

Nevill Holt Opera describes Carl as ‘an excellent musician’, and says that he has been ‘highly involved’ with its work since it began.

Nicholas Chalmers, its artistic director, adds that Carl has ‘demonstrated his musicianship and talent on the Nevill Holt Opera stage on many occasions’, singing in La Bohème and Carmen, as well as performing as a pianist at various Nevill Holt events.

Less than 6? No need for the Police, Sting! 

The pandemic has provided Sting and his wife, Trudie, with creative inspiration.

The couple have been staying at their Tuscan villa this summer, as they do each year, but owing to social restrictions in Italy they are getting extra resourceful when it comes to entertaining themselves.

Film producer Trudie, 66, shared a picture of herself and Sting, 68, dining outdoors with a group of friends, all of whom playfully sport napkins on their heads — while Trudie adds a bowl on hers.

‘Still finding ways to have fun amongst friends,’ she explains, adding they didn’t wear masks as they are in a bubble.

Sting and his wife, Trudie, are getting extra resourceful when it comes to entertaining themselves due to social restrictions in Italy

Sting and his wife, Trudie, are getting extra resourceful when it comes to entertaining themselves due to social restrictions in Italy 

Maureen Lipman is feeling a little out of place among the cast of Corrie. The actress, 74 — whose late husband, celebrated playwright Jack Rosenthal, penned many classic episodes in the Sixties — stars as outspoken battleaxe Evelyn Plummer, and says: ‘The Coronation Street cast members are all gym bunnies who only eat pineapples and frogs’ legs and run 10k for charities, so I’ve got to keep up somehow.’

As a result, she’s taken up dancing. ‘I haven’t followed pop music for 30 years, but I’ve quite enjoyed bopping around the flat on my own,’ she adds.

‘It provides a bit of exercise as well.’

Screen star Jessica Brown Findlay is jumping for joy after marrying the man she met while playing a prostitute in the BBC drama, Harlots

Screen star Jessica Brown Findlay is jumping for joy after marrying the man she met while playing a prostitute in the BBC drama, Harlots

Ziggy weds his scarlet Harlot.. 

Screen star Jessica Brown Findlay is jumping for joy after marrying the man she met while playing a prostitute in the BBC drama, Harlots.

The Berkshire-born actress tied the knot with fellow actor Ziggy Heath just days before her 31st birthday this week.

Jessica, who shot to fame playing Lady Sybil Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey, met Ziggy in 2017.

She posted pictures from the intimate ceremony in London. She also shared one of herself energetically leaping onto a bed in a strapless red dress.

‘A weekend of dreams,’ she captioned it. ‘Small celebrations felt HUGE.’

She posted pictures from the intimate ceremony in London. She also shared one of herself energetically leaping onto a bed in a strapless red dress

She posted pictures from the intimate ceremony in London. She also shared one of herself energetically leaping onto a bed in a strapless red dress

Prince Charles is one of Britain’s most successful artists, and now he’s seeking people to follow in his brush strokes. Charles, whose watercolours have raised more than £3 million for his charitable foundation since 1992, is advertising for the next generation of artists to join the Royal Drawing School for one-week stays in November and December at Dumfries House, his stately home in Ayrshire. Instead of the usual four places up for grabs, social distancing means there will be just two. 

Dara scoots off to work for ex Edo 

Princess Beatrice’s new husband, Edo Mapelli Mozzi, is continuing to enjoy a close relationship with his former fiancee, Dara Huang.

The property developer, 37, who married the Duke of York’s 32-year-old daughter, in July, has enlisted architect Dara to help with his latest project in West London.

The 38-year-old mother of Edo’s son, Wolfie, four, shared a picture of herself on a scooter outside the office space owned by Edo’s company, Banda Property.

‘My new mode of transport and workwear visiting a gorgeous site,’ she captioned it.

Dara Huang shared a picture of herself on a scooter outside the office space owned by Edo¿s company, Banda Property

Dara Huang shared a picture of herself on a scooter outside the office space owned by Edo’s company, Banda Property

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