He was the original creative mastermind behind Pink Floyd, but Syd Barrett left the band as they were about to achieve worldwide recognition, with his mental health having deteriorated in part due to his use of psychedelic drugs.

While Floyd went on to make classic albums such as The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, selling more than 250 million records, original lead singer Syd lived quietly in the basement of his mother’s house in Cambridge until he died of pancreatic cancer in 2006 at the age of 60.

Now, David Gilmour, who joined the group in 1967 shortly before Barrett’s departure, has voiced his regrets that he didn’t do more to support the struggling genius.

‘We probably did about as much as we could have, although we were all very young,’ says Gilmour, 77. ‘But I have a regret or two . . .’

Speaking in the new documentary, Have You Got It Yet? The Story Of Syd Barrett And Pink Floyd, the guitarist explains: ‘I never went to see him, even though his family kind of discouraged it — and I regret that I never went up to his house and knocked on the door.

‘I think both Syd and I might have gained something out of one or two people popping round to his house for a cup of tea.’

David Gilmour, who joined the group in 1967 shortly before Barrett's departure, has voiced his regrets that he didn't do more to support the struggling genius

David Gilmour, who joined the group in 1967 shortly before Barrett's departure, has voiced his regrets that he didn't do more to support the struggling genius

David Gilmour, who joined the group in 1967 shortly before Barrett’s departure, has voiced his regrets that he didn’t do more to support the struggling genius

Syd Barrett left the band as they were about to achieve worldwide recognition, with his mental health having deteriorated in part due to his use of psychedelic drugs

Syd Barrett left the band as they were about to achieve worldwide recognition, with his mental health having deteriorated in part due to his use of psychedelic drugs

Syd Barrett left the band as they were about to achieve worldwide recognition, with his mental health having deteriorated in part due to his use of psychedelic drugs

Barrett founded Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright in 1965

Barrett founded Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright in 1965

Barrett founded Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright in 1965

Barrett founded Pink Floyd with bass guitarist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright in 1965.

Waters admitted in 2011 that he hadn’t spoken to Barrett for 30 years before his death.

‘I do think of him,’ he said. ‘He didn’t want contact with me or anybody from the band.

‘He wanted to be left alone in Cambridge. He burned brightly — but not for very long.

‘And I was always extremely sad that he succumbed to the mental illness that he succumbed to.’

Joe Wicks became the nation’s favourite PE teacher in lockdown — but he irritates one of the original television fitness experts. 

‘Mad Lizzie’ Webb, who got the country exercising on TV-am in the 1980s, tells me: ‘I’m used to kids saying, ‘We was’, but diction is important. About Joe Wicks, sometimes that does grate, his voice.’ 

Webb, 74, who has published an autobiography, Mad About The Boys, adds: ‘People criticise very much the level, the tone of his voice.’ 

Has Damian bet his shirt on a new career?

Forging a second career as a singer-songwriter, Damian Lewis appears to have a trendy new wardrobe to match.

The Homeland star, 52, who’s received largely positive reviews for his debut album Mission Creep, was spotted wearing a striking blue, leopard-print shirt as he took his chocolate cockapoo out for a walk in London.

The Homeland star, 52, who’s received largely positive reviews for his debut album Mission Creep, was spotted wearing a striking blue, leopard-print shirt as he took his chocolate cockapoo out for a walk in London

The Homeland star, 52, who’s received largely positive reviews for his debut album Mission Creep, was spotted wearing a striking blue, leopard-print shirt as he took his chocolate cockapoo out for a walk in London

The Homeland star, 52, who’s received largely positive reviews for his debut album Mission Creep, was spotted wearing a striking blue, leopard-print shirt as he took his chocolate cockapoo out for a walk in London

Lewis — whose wife, Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory, died of cancer in 2021 aged 52 — admits he’s still scarred from his teenage attempts at music-making with pals at Eton College: ‘I remember a school assembly where they played one of our songs over the tannoy.

‘A good friend of mine cackled so loudly, so ceaselessly throughout the song that everyone else started laughing as well and I just sat there, in the middle of the audience, stuck in some dystopic nightmare. It rocked me, actually.’

Lewis has been given musical encouragement by the singer Alison Mosshart, frontwoman of cult U.S. garage rock duo The Kills, with whom he has been going out.

Before McCrory died, she urged her husband to find a new girlfriend, telling him: ‘Love isn’t possessive.’

Queen Elizabeth would not have been amused by royal bank Coutts’s treatment of Nigel Farage, claims ex-BBC royal correspondent Michael Cole. 

‘The late Queen would be appalled to know her bank was discriminating against customers in good standing, without telling them what was going on,’ he says. 

Cole tells The Oldie magazine’s website that he closed his account a decade ago. ‘I sensed it was all going wrong behind the Coutts pepperpot façade in the Strand. So I sacked the royal bankers.’

Stop glorifying models with eating issues, pleads Adwoa

Kate Moss once memorably declared that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, but a leading member of fashion’s next generation has slammed the business for glorifying models with eating disorders.

‘We only have to look at certain photos or fashion shows and we see the pressure that is put on us,’ declares Adwoa Aboah, who was on the cover of Edward Enninful’s first edition as editor of Vogue.

Kate Moss once memorably declared that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, but a leading member of fashion’s next generation has slammed the business for glorifying models with eating disorders

Kate Moss once memorably declared that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, but a leading member of fashion’s next generation has slammed the business for glorifying models with eating disorders

Kate Moss once memorably declared that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’, but a leading member of fashion’s next generation has slammed the business for glorifying models with eating disorders

‘When you know someone is unwell, when you know someone is suffering with disordered eating, but they are praised and celebrated within the industry and they work even more, that in itself is an uncomfortable thing to get your head around.’

Adwoa, 31, whose parents are fashion agent Camilla Lowther, cousin of the late 8th Earl of Lonsdale, and location scout Charles Aboah, adds on Ruthie’s Table 4 podcast: ‘That’s where sometimes the pressure for me lies. It isn’t that I want to be unwell, it’s just that I see people doing well because of it.’ 

Is the romance finally over between Shirley Ballas and her ‘toyboy’?

Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge, 62, admits that while she and stage actor and dancer Danny Taylor, 50, are still ‘good friends’, they haven’t actually seen each other ‘for months’.

The pair got together in 2019 after meeting in panto, with divorcee Shirley — who is about to become a grandmother — often declaring less than subtly that she was waiting for a proposal. But she has now changed her mind due to Taylor’s unwillingness to tie the knot, the pair’s long separations because of work, and the fact that she now lives with her mother.

‘The only pressure I felt was my own — it was me who was rushing to get married,’ she admits.

‘Then things changed last year — my mum moved in and Danny’s not in a place to get married. We’re good as we are.

‘We both travel, so I haven’t seen him for months, but we’re good friends and that works.’

The definition of ageing for Jenny 

Perennial English rose Jenny Seagrove admits she hates seeing herself on screen nowadays — especially in high definition.

‘In my business, it is very hard to look older,’ says the Judge John Deed star. ‘I’m 66, and do you know I feel lucky to have made it this far? I’m not going to complain. I’m very fit, my brain is still working.

Jenny Seagrove admits she hates seeing herself on screen nowadays — especially in high definition

Jenny Seagrove admits she hates seeing herself on screen nowadays — especially in high definition

Jenny Seagrove admits she hates seeing herself on screen nowadays — especially in high definition

‘I really don’t want to go down the facelift route. I’ve just finished shooting a wonderful film, My Sister’s Bones, and when I saw the rough cut, I just went, “Oh, no, do I look like that?” It’s shot in HD, everything shows, and you just go, “Oh, God!” And you do start thinking, “Perhaps I should do that little facelift”.’

Seagrove, meanwhile, is unrepentant about being in so many productions staged by her boyfriend, theatre impresario Bill Kenwright. ‘I know it will be good because I know I’ll be looked after,’ she says.

 

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