JUST good friends? A besotted, middle-aged man making a fool of himself with an uninterested younger woman?
Or new lovers in the first flush of a hot affair? Discuss.
Whatever the truth behind the photos of co-stars Dominic West and Lily James enjoying a day off in Rome, any flies currently residing on the walls of The Affair star’s family home are no doubt about to be privy to some, ahem, interesting conversations.
But that was before she’d seen the photos of him nuzzling the Mamma Mia! star’s neck.
Since then, a friend arriving at the West home in Wiltshire told assembled reporters Catherine was “shocked, heartbroken and devastated” and that: “She thought they had a good marriage and now it’s probably over.”
Hmmm. Let’s wait and see.
After all, pulling the marital rug from under the feet of four young children is a huge decision that needs some serious consideration.
Also, yesterday’s public display of we’re-still-togetherness suggests that, for now, Catherine is going along with the “nothing to see here” narrative.
But behind closed doors, 50-year-old Mr West will surely have a lot of explaining to do about the exact nature of his relationship with Ms James, 31.
For if it was my husband in these photos, there would be several areas of concern to address during my PowerPoint presentation entitled: “Tell me why I shouldn’t change the locks and dump all your stuff in this, ahem, lovely bedsit I’ve found you above a late-night rave venue?”
Here, using a three-tier system (© UK Government) is my assessment of the situation.
Exhibit A: His hand on her bare shoulder as he nuzzles her neck outside a cafe in broad daylight — Tier 3 — very high risk.
Exhibit B: Him fondly stroking her hair with a soppy smile on his face. Tier 3 — very high risk.
Exhibit C: His hand resting on her backside as they take in the sights. Tier 2 — high.
Exhibit D: Them hopping on a sightseeing scooter together. Tier 1 — medium.
Interestingly, in the majority of photos, Lily’s body language could be explained away as relatively non-committal, so perhaps it is a scenario of an older, married man chancing his arm to see how far he gets.
Regardless, Dominic’s very public PDA towards someone who is not his wife is still disrespectful to the woman who, while her husband is gallivanting around the world filming and generally having a good time, is home caring for their children.
After breaking up with the mother of his first child because he “wanted to play the field” and “wasn’t ready to settle down”, Dominic later rekindled his university fling with Irish aristocrat Catherine and they married in 2010.
But in subsequent Press interviews he’s made it clear he finds getting the kids ready for school quite a challenge and that he can be “quite moody”.
He adds: “I do wake up under a cloud quite a lot and if I’m not working I’m highly neurotic.”
Oh dear. It sounds like Catherine might actually be dealing with five children.
So who could blame her if, once the public spotlight has moved on, she eventually decides enough is enough and kicks him out?
Or maybe Dominic will realise he’s a very lucky man, with a gorgeous family, and finally grow up.
Time will tell.
Shielding season? It’s behind you
THRILLED to hear that the London Palladium’s legendary panto will still go ahead this year – albeit in socially distanced form.
With an established ensemble of Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, plus a different headline name each year (Elaine Paige and Dawn French were both brilliant), it’s been our family’s Christmas outing every year since 2016.
Sadly not this year because my mum is shielding.
However, she’s thrilled that others – and youngsters in particular – will still get the chance to enjoy it.
Which surely is a common-sense blueprint for the way forward?
Shield if you have to and let those at less risk get on with their lives.
The arts are not a hobby
THE late educationalist Sir Ken Robinson’s brilliant TED talk called Do Schools Kill Creativity? has been viewed 68million times.
He tells the story of a young girl deemed to be underperforming at school because she fidgeted and lacked focus.
Her mother took her to see a doctor, who switched on the radio, left the room and observed through the window as the girl moved in time to the music.
“There’s nothing wrong with your daughter,” he concluded.
“She’s a dancer.”
That girl became Dame Gillian Lynne, the feted ballet dancer and acclaimed choreographer who died in 2018.
But were she starting out today, her awe-inspiring career might never have happened.
Check out the ad aimed at those working in the already beleaguered creative industries.
Quite apart from the slightly sinister bracketed section, the unspoken inference is that this young woman should stop wasting her time doing pirouettes and get a proper job.
No matter that an accomplished ballet dancer of “Fatima’s” age would no doubt have been training for the past decade, missing parties with her friends and forgoing lie-ins to pursue something that’s a lifelong passion, not merely a hobby as this crassly suggests.
Success has many fathers, failure has none.
So those in power are denying all knowledge of this deeply insensitive message.
What’s the betting that gunsights are being trained on some poor work-experience sap?
Emily (or whoever) is going to be a scapegoat . . . she just doesn’t know it yet.
Defeat all but curtain
LET joy be unconfined: TV makeover show Changing Rooms is returning to our screens.
So gird your loins for neon-pink headboards, stripy kitchen cabinets, enough plumped cushions to ballast an ocean liner and, most glorious to behold of all, the decorative drapes hastily stapled in place in the dying seconds of the timed tasks.
Sometimes they were already falling down before the design team had even closed the front door behind them.
Moths put the boot in
BIG Eighties-style shoulder pads are making a comeback.
Not on me.
Already, er, blessed with the shoulders of an Olympic swimmer, any further widening would find me wedged in every standard doorway.
But I was heartened to hear the Nineties staple Ugg boots are also enjoying a resurgence, despite fashionistas once maligning them as “chavvy”.
My favourite pair have languished in the back of the wardrobe since last winter, but yesterday I reached into the darkened “shoes that time forgot” recess and pulled out . . . a handful of powder.
It seems a family of bloody moths have been living in the lap of sheepskin-lined luxury and my boots are no longer fit for purpose.
THE world’s first “happiness museum” to cheer people up has opened its doors in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Trouble is . . . we’re advised not to travel there, so we’ll just have to stay glum.
THE SUN SAYS
Boris’ ‘Three Tiers’ system is hardly the sensible middle-ground he thinks
Only Ant and Dec can stop Britain’s Got Talent being rant and dreck
Jeremy Paxman has acted like many men… told a loyal wife to get stuffed
How could anyone cash in on Covid with vile ‘scams’ to grab taxpayer money
It’s time Sturgeon forgave the English, I’ve even made up with Piers Morgan
Britain’s doomed to bankruptcy with ‘leaders’ who have fear in their eyes
V for a little victory
LAST week I wrote about the words and phrases that show our age.
Now linguists say certain hand gestures are dying out too.
If, like me, you make a scribbling gesture when asking for the bill in a restaurant, you are virtually extinct in the eyes of Generation Z.
Similarly, tapping your wrist when asking for the time, making a circular motion with your hand to indicate the winding down of a window and holding a finger and thumb to your ear to mimic making a phone call.
All of which prompt my children to berate me as: “So extra.”
But happily, the V sign continues to be understood across all generations.
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL email@example.com