SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Ella Ross, 24, admits she was deemed too fat

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Model Ella Ross, 24, admits she was deemed too fat for the industry despite her slender Size 8 frame

Despite starring in the Duchess of Rutland’s new fashion campaign, model Ella Ross admits she’s been deemed too fat for the industry.

‘A few years ago, while working for a client, I was put into a dress that was a size four. I was, and am, an eight,’ says the 24-year-old, who is dating the Duchess’s son and heir to Belvoir Castle, the Marquess of Granby.

‘I obviously struggled to fit into it, but we shot it anyway. A week later, I got the classic email starting with, ‘Hey babes!’ from my agency at the time with an image of me in that dress.


Model Ella Ross, 24, admitted that she had been deemed too fat for the industry and was once put in a dress that was a size four even though she was an eight

‘They told me: ‘We think you should be going to the gym a bit more’, and that I needed to ‘tone up’. We all know what that really means.’

She adds: ‘I want to put an end to this by talking so that others feel comfortable to do so.’

Jude Law and son find their calling!

Actor Jude Law’s debut film with his son, Rafferty — which was shot entirely on iPhones during lockdown — has proved much more than just a bit of family fun.

The Hat, directed by Darren Strowger — who is the boyfriend of Jude’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost — has won the Spirit of the Festival Award at the Raindance Film Festival. Jude and Rafferty, 24, play father and son in the short.

‘Mad proud of everyone who was involved in the edit and during lockdown, where we got up all them early sunrises to shoot and put such a special piece together,’ says Rafferty.

Ravi’s girls go for Grammies

Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, the daughters of the late sitar player Ravi Shankar, have both been nominated for Grammy Awards

The late sitar player Ravi Shankar would be proud of his musician daughters, Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, who have both been nominated for Grammy Awards.

Mercifully, they can avoid sibling rivalry at the ceremony in January as Anoushka, whose mother was Ravi’s second wife, 

Sukanya Rajan, is contending for Best Global Music Album while Norah — daughter of concert producer Sue Jones — is vying for Best American Roots Performance.

‘I can’t believe I’ve been nominated,’ says mother-of-two Anoushka. 

‘I’m so happy Norah is also nominated.’

While Norah already has nine Grammys under her belt, Anoushka, though nominated seven times before, has none. ‘Will it be next time lucky for me?’ she asks.

Perma-tanned former cricketer Shane Warne is bowled over that his youngest child has now finished school. 

‘It means no more school fees, drop-offs, pick-ups and fighting for a car park space,’ he says, adding to that list: ‘Parent-teacher nights, sports all over Melbourne three times at weekends, school plays, events, making lunches, sports gear, blazer and being a taxi — oh and an ATM.’ 

The 51-year-old, who was once engaged to Elizabeth Hurley, admits: ‘It’s sort of sad, too, as they were fun times and will be great memories for all of us.’ 

Warne has son Jackson, 21, and daughters Brooke, 22, and Summer, 19, with ex-wife Simone Callahan. 

Elfin Cate to zone out in her very own magic space 

Cate Blanchett, 51, one of the world’s most revered actresses, is intent on creating a ‘meditation room’ in the grounds of the country house which she and her playwright husband, Andrew Upton, acquired four years ago in Sussex

The breadth and intensity of her performances have made Cate Blanchett one of the world’s most revered actresses, earning her a brace of Oscars.

But that doesn’t mean that she is helplessly addicted to the spotlight — far from it, in fact.

I can disclose that the 51-year-old elfin actress and star of the Lord Of The Rings is intent on creating a ‘meditation room’ in the grounds of the country house which she and her playwright husband, Andrew Upton, acquired four years ago in Sussex.

This is no routine matter of converting an existing room in their seven-bedroom, £3 million property. 

Instead, the couple envisage demolishing a ruined cottage and shed to create an ‘ancillary’ building of ‘the highest architectural quality’, looking out over the splendour of the Sussex Downs.

The new, stone-built addition, will be ‘a place [in which] to enjoy quiet and proximity to nature’, with its own walled lavender garden.

No wonder she wants peace and quiet as she clearly needs to take a break from her challenging film roles such as Blue Jasmine, in which she played a formerly rich New York socialite who has fallen on hard times, losing her marriage and her sanity.

Blanchett came to meditation comparatively recently, after discussing its merits with a ‘very dear friend, one of the best actors in Australia. 

I told him I was worried about that because don’t you need to have that slight tension in your body to be onstage? Don’t you need to have a hunger?

‘And he said it actually allows it to be there more. The fact that he said that, I thought, OK, I’ll give it a go.’

Let’s hope her local council, now considering the application for the new building in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is similarly appreciative.

Blanchett and her husband, says their planning agent, ‘are creative people and it is beneficial for them to have a place to work that is tranquil and inspires through the beauty of the art, architecture and landscape setting’.

Bow ties at half mast…

My much admired former predecessor Paul Callan, who has died at the age of 81, would have enjoyed the affectionate tributes to his life in Grub Street.

A colourful and larger-than-life character with a booming voice to match his flamboyant bow ties, Callan was for two years editor of the Daily Mail diary in the early 1970s. 

He took on the role soon after this newspaper’s relaunch as a ‘compact’ in 1971, helping to create the modern gossip column — and along the way hiring a relatively unknown Nigel Dempster as his deputy.

The ample-girthed Callan combined an acerbic wit with a cheerful disregard for convention. 

During the Queen’s historic visit to China in 1986, his booming observation that the celebrated Terracotta Army were ‘slightly more animated than the Duke of Edinburgh’ did little to endear him to Palace courtiers.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years Steffi, former London news editor of NBC News, daughter Jessica, son Jamie and two grandchildren.

Helena’s new power dress – black silk PJ’s

Dame Helena Morrisse, 54, said she couldn’t resist the black-silk-and-gold-star PJs which cost £460 from Morgan Lane

City supermum Dame Helena Morrissey can’t resist the allure of working in comfy clothes during lockdown.

‘As someone who has focused on clothing to wear outside the house all my adult life, I couldn’t resist these black-silk-and-gold-star PJs,’ says the 54-year-old mother-of-nine, sharing this picture of herself in the £460 Morgan Lane set.

‘They are less pyjama, more party,’ she insists. ‘To do them justice, I’ve teamed them with embellished mules instead of slippers. 

They feel heavenly and totally self-indulgent — but if not now, when?’

Elvis Costello is glad he didn’t throw out his LPs. ‘We’ve won the battle now that vinyl is a superior medium for music,’ the singer argues.

‘It’s probably better than CD and it isn’t any less durable than CD, which can also be damaged and scratched.’ And of streaming? 

‘What is a stream but radio without all the unpleasant talking?’ One hopes all those burbling DJs who have loyally played Elvis’s songs for decades don’t take offence.

Having missed out on a celebrity partner in this year’s Strictly, professional choreographer Neil Jones is recording video messages for fans — at £25 a pop. Could this be why? 

Latest figures reveal that Neil, ex-husband of fellow dancer Katya Jones, has just £7,000 in his company accounts — and half of that belongs to Katya. 

Accounts for The Joneses’ Ltd, the business the pair set up in 2016, shows they have less than £4,000 each in total assets.

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