It is the trend.’. His former ­girlfriend Tessa Dahl remembers thinking ‘he wasn’t quite right’ when she ­telephoned Dempster ‘and he kept pausing, then ­repeating himself — he was pretending that he was ­trying to make himself clear, but you could tell he was covering ­something up’. He was married twice, first to Countess Emma Magdalen de Bendern, a daughter of Count John Gerard de Bendern. Dempster, who used a hat only in later years to conceal his bald patch, was one of the bright-eyed thrusters connected with Jocelyn Stevens's Queen magazine. An admiration for Mohammed Fayed of Harrods soon soured but an initial scepticism about Princess Michael was transformed by a flattering lunch invitation to Kensington Palace. In 1991, for instance, ­Princess Diana’s brother, Viscount Althorp, who had been married for 16 months to the model Victoria Lockwood, rang him to confess to a one-night stand with an old flame, the journalist Sally Ann Lasson. Lucien Freud nagged Nigel Dempster for racing tips. Legendary gossip columnist Nigel Dempster has died after a long illness, the Daily Mail said. Dempster retired from his Daily Mail column in 2003 but was retained by the paper until his death. ‘He would have hated Ascot now,’ said Nicky Haslam. These included The Princess Margaret: A Life Unfulfilled, Heiress: The Story of Christina Onassis, and Behind Palace Doors, written with Peter Evans. He was now drinking more, writing less, and spending thousands on bad horses, often his own. She would never have divorced him, she said, had she known he was ill. The suit was dropped after Mr. Wilson resigned. He started to get drunk regularly, and he made other people write his columns instead of him. And when his long-standing deputy Adam Helliker declared one afternoon his intention to resign, Dempster responded by punching him hard on the mouth. Now they wear no hats at all.". In Grovel a crisper style was evident. He and his second wife Lady Camilla, whose title made him so proud, moved into separate houses. Now they expose themselves. Nor had he lost his ­ability to charm the great and the good, while ­revealing matters that many of them would have preferred to sweep under the carpet. After he collapsed one day while playing golf, Dempster consulted doctors again. Straying peers and medallioned playboys came to fear a call from the dauntless, dapper Dempster. Junior reporters were expected to accompany their boss to exhaustingly liquid lunches at Launceston Place, there to hear stories that grew no more entertaining in the retelling. To order a copy at £15.30 (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720. It's a real Chestburster!

He married first, in 1971 (dissolved 1974), Emma de Bendern, the daughter of a count and a grand-daughter of the 11th Marquess of Queensberry. An amused Princess chose to believe this tall tale. As the column lost its verve and (through death) many of its regular characters, he still relayed "hot" updates about the Earl of Lichfield, the Linleys and the Aga Khan, but the items were never quite as interesting or disobliging as they might once have been. Like many of his subjects he had become notable only for his name. He could no longer carry on ­working and his final column in the Mail appeared on October 7, 2003. At Phoenix Park in Dublin he was barracked by an aristocrat after reporting that the man was known to friends as "Handbag". "Good on yer, Nigel," went up the Romany cry. In 1975, he published the story of Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s resignation three months before it happened.

At London's Harry's Bar (classic Dempster territory) King Hussein of Jordan and King Constantine of Greece were seen "queueing" for an audience at Dempster's table.

Dempster- famously- gave his father's forenames as 'Eric Richard Pratt' in his 1986 Who's Who entry (cue 'Private Eye' jokes on Dempster being a 'prat', etc etc); one would think he'd know his own father's name. Nigel Dempster represented a newspaper figure who existed in his hey-day, the 1980's and 1990's, in England, long after his US counterparts - Cholly Knickerbocker, Suzi, etc - stopped writing. Nigel Richard Patton Dempster was born in the city of Calcutta, India, on November 1, 1941. But when told that he was writing his swan song, she changed her mind. He was not an easy colleague. He disliked champagne but had a camel's thirst for chablis. Moment foul-mouthed female anti-Trump protester, 24, is arrested in NYC for spitting in cop's face and... Biden is expected to win in Nevada despite having less than 1% lead over Trump and the final results are not... Trump leads Biden by 2.6% in Pennsylvania with 89% of votes counted and the final results may not come until... Trump's lead shrinks in Georgia from 18,000 to 13,000 as race narrows with just 50,000 votes left to count.