Daily Mail

A Good Life lived: King sends Margo to pal’s funeral


THIS is an honour that would have made Margo Leadbetter, the social- climbing snob she played in classic sitcom The Good Life, inordinate­ly proud: Dame Penelope Keith represente­d King Charles at the funeral of one of his favourite entertaine­rs, Kit Hesketh-Harvey, yesterday.

The dame, 82, who also played upperclass Audrey fforbes-Hamilton in To The Manor Born, led the mourners at the actors’ church, St Paul’s in Covent Garden, London.

Hesketh-Harvey, who died suddenly last month at the age of 65, was a cabaret star, lyricist and pantomime baddie. He used to perform for King Charles and yesterday his son, Rollo, read part of a letter the family had received from the monarch since his father’s death.

Rollo said: ‘King Charles speaks of a true polymath, much loved and admired, and whose wonderful humour and comic genius contribute­d so much to our general wellbeing. It’s a tragedy that he has been taken away from us all too early.’

Rollo and his sister Augusta were joined on the front pew by their mother, Kate Rabett, 62, a Bond girl, Hot Gossip dancer and ex-girlfriend of Prince Andrew.

She split up with Hesketh-Harvey during the pandemic after she became close to Old Etonian financier Ian Harrison.

Rabett and her husband shared a three-storey Georgian rectory in a Norfolk village for 35 years. Kit moved into the vestry of the church he owned across the road from their marital home. Yesterday, the family were joined in a packed church by up to 500 friends including best- selling author Lord (Jeffrey) Archer and Oscar winner Sir Tim Rice.

The lyricist, 78, arrived with his ex-lover Elaine Paige, the singer and actress. Princess Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, was among society figures including TV personalit­y Jodie Kidd, 44. Her elder sister, model and make-up artist Jemma, Marchiones­s of Douro, 48, was accompanie­d by her boyfriend, the financier Arpad ‘Arki’ Busson, 60.

Poignantly, one of the pall bearers was Kit’s nephew Henry Sands. His father, the celebrated actor Julian Sands, has been missing since January after disappeari­ng on a solo hiking trip in California. Henry’s mother is Sarah Sands, former editor of Radio 4’s Today programme and the London Evening Standard.

She recalled: ‘As Vanessa Redgrave once said, “Grief is a strange and unfamiliar landscape. We will all travel there.” ’

 ?? ?? Loss: Kit Hesketh-Harvey. RIght, Jemma Kidd and Arpad Busson
Loss: Kit Hesketh-Harvey. RIght, Jemma Kidd and Arpad Busson
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 ?? ?? Paying tribute: Sir Tim Rice and Elaine Paige
Paying tribute: Sir Tim Rice and Elaine Paige
 ?? ?? Mourning: Dame Penelope Keith
Mourning: Dame Penelope Keith

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