DIARY - Marital skeleton unexpectedly steps out of the cupboard in Africa

Venessa Holtham, head of public affairs at Text 100, inadvertently caused a stir when she visited Cape Town to catch up with an old friend.

Venessa Holtham, head of public affairs at Text 100, inadvertently

caused a stir when she visited Cape Town to catch up with an old

friend.



On her first day in the city Holtham finished drinks at a five-star

hotel, put her sun glasses on and strolled outside. A stunned Holtham

then bumped into ex-husband Steve Hardwick, former senior adviser to

deputy prime minister John Prescott.



Hardwick was with his mother, his sister, ex-Labour party press officer

Iain Hepplewhite and Tony Sopholclides, a current Prescott adviser.



Holtham and Hardwick managed to have a quite civilised chat but Holtham

thought her ex seemed unusually shifty, which left her wondering what

exactly he was up to in the shadow of Table Mountain. The truth only

dawned on the flight back to Blighty. ’I ran into Dan Hodges, Glenda

Jackson’s son, who’d also been in Cape Town and who’d been a guest at my

wedding to Steve,’ says Holtham.



Hodges spilled the beans and it turned out that Hardwick was in South

Africa to get remarried. Understandable then that Holtham’s presence

should be so unnerving. She assures me that it was a total coincidence.



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