Dame Esther Rantzen is stepping down as a trustee of the NSPCC after her children ‘stage an intervention and asked her to do less’
Dame Esther Rantzen (pictured above) has decided to step down as a trustee of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
After decades of indefatigable campaigning for children Dame Esther Rantzen has secured her status as a national treasure.
So her many devotees will be dismayed to hear that she has decided to step down as a trustee of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Dame Esther became a trustee of the NSPCC 12 years ago when it took over ChildLine, the helpline for children she had established in 1986 in response to the distressing stories of abuse she learned of while presenting That’s Life!, one of the BBC‘s most popular shows ever with regular Saturday night audiences of 18 million.
Her departure follows an internal inquiry by the charity’s vice-chairman, eminent retired civil servant Sir David Normington, 66, into the operations of ChildLine within the NSPCC.
During his time as Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education he reduced the Department’s workforce by approximately a third, in the process earning himself the nickname the ‘Smiling Assassin’.
Dame Esther insists that her departure so soon after Sir David’s internal inquiry is purely coincidental and that at 78 she feels the time has come to step back.
‘My children have staged an intervention, asking me to do less,’ she tells me.
‘Trustees normally serve nine years, I have done 12.
‘I was ready to stand down from the board two years ago on the 30th anniversary of ChildLine, but at the time ChildLine was going through radical changes so I agreed to stay on for another two years.’
Dame Esther remains President of ChildLine.
A spokesman for the NSPCC says: ‘You can be sure that Esther will be even busier than before, visiting Childline bases, speaking to staff and volunteers while continuing to bang the drum for thousands of children.
‘Mark my words, you’ll see her more than ever before. It just means fewer meetings!’
Duchess of York posts picture of Princess Beatrice on her 30th
The Duchess of York posted a picture of daughter Princess Beatrice on her 30th along with a throwback photo online of the young royal,(right), and her sister, Princess Eugenie (left), 28, as children
The Duchess of York posted a picture of daughter Princess Beatrice on her 30th birthday yesterday along with a throwback photo online of the young royal, right, and her sister, Princess Eugenie, 28, as children.
Prince Andrew’s ex-wife also happened to reveal the nickname she calls her firstborn, writing: ‘Happy birthday my Trixie-Belle so proud of you xx.’
The girls show their budding flair for fashion in matching floral dresses and headbands adorned with yellow bows.
Thick as thieves to this day, Bea will be maid of honour at Eugenie’s wedding to tequila salesman Jack Brooksbank in October.
Meteorologist leaves fortune to siblings
THE financial outlook, at least, is bright for the brothers of weatherman Philip Eden, who died in January at the age of 66.
I can reveal that the meteorologist left his entire fortune of £1.7million to his siblings, John and David Eden.
Figures released by the probate office in Birmingham show that Philip, who was chief weather presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live for almost 20 years, left a net estate of £1.73 million.
Philip, a prolific writer for newspapers, died from head injuries after a fall.
BBC News presenters appear in new political thriller
No fewer than eight BBC News presenters, including John Humphrys and Nick Robinson, appear as themselves in the opening episode of Bodyguard, the new BBC1 political thriller by Line Of Duty writer Jed Mercurio.
Let’s hope the cameos help top up the wages for the BBC’s big beasts required to take pay cuts.
Andrew Marr gets to grill Keeley Hawes’s ambitious Home Secretary in a recreation of his Sunday morning show.
‘Andrew is tougher on Keeley than he ever was with Amber Rudd,’ claims an insider.