Rod Stewart admitted he was “choked up” after learning Brendan Rodgers is quitting  to become the new Leicester City manager.

The Scottish giants released a statement on their official website on Tuesday morning to confirm they have granted permission for their manager to hold talks with the Premier League outfit.

Lifelong Celtic fan and rocker Stewart delivered an emotional reaction to the imminent departure of Rodgers.

‘I’m actually in Dubai. This has ruined my holiday,” Stewart told the Jim White Show on talkSPORT on Tuesday morning. “I actually got a bit choked up, I must admit. He was going to go sooner or later, he’s obviously a great manager, but I thought he would have seen out the next few months and got us the treble.

“There might be a lot of ill feeling at Celtic now among the fans about leaving us in the lurch. I also understand Pat Nevin’s point that this job came up and he’s got to take it.

“But, what about the Chelsea job? That could have come up. We can make history. I just think it’s going to cause a lot of happiness with the Celtic supporters. Hopefully, Scott Brown can step up and take command. I heard Neil Lennon’s coming back, which is great, but that’s only temporary.”

talkSPORT on Twitter

This has ruined my holiday." ? "I thought he would have seen out the next few months and got us the treble." "What about the Chelsea job? That could have come up too. I'm choked." ? @RodStewart is gutted that Brendan Rodgers is set to leave #CelticFC ☘️ https://t.co/AcIhntgmyM

Rod Stewart, 74, shows off his signature dapper style in silver tuxedo blazer as he enjoys rare outing with daughter Ruby, 31, in LA

He's one of the world's best-selling musicians of all time, with a career which spans nearly six decades.

And Rod Stewart, 74, enjoyed some downtime as he headed out for dinner with his daughter Ruby, 31, at Italian restaurant Sfixio in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday evening.

The Forever Young hitmaker maintained his signature rock star aesthetic as he donned a shimmery silver tuxedo blazer, tied in with black tapered trousers.

Quality time: Rod Stewart, 74, enjoyed some downtime as he headed out for dinner with his daughter Ruby, 31, at Italian restaurant Sfixio in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday evening

Complementing his dapper display, the singer teamed his crisp white shirt with a pair of patent platform loafers.

Model Ruby looked equally stylish as she sported a plunging red jumpsuit, embellished with star patterns throughout.

Adding height to her frame, the blonde wore a pair of black block-heeled boots and covered up in a fluffy cropped jacket. 

The singer, who is the daughter of Rod and model Kelly Emberg, wore her glossy tresses in a straight fashion and opted for a dewy make-up look.

Sir Rod Stewart and wife Lady Penny open new chemotherapy day unit at Rivers

Rocker Sir Rod Stewart and his wife Lady Penny were just what the doctor ordered to officially open a new chemotherapy day unit at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.

The couple, who live nearby in Sheering, are long-standing supporters of the treatment centre at the hospital, which is owned by Ramsay Health Care.

The event on World Cancer Day (Monday, February 4) officially unveiled the additional facilities for cancer sufferers.

They include seven individual bays, which can be used as a communal area by opening bifolding room dividers, and a double room for patients requiring a higher level of care and/or an inpatient stay. Rivers has had a private chemo service for the past 20 years.

As well as Sir Rod, 74, and Lady Penny, 47, the launch was attended by dignitaries including mayor of Sawbridgeworth and East Herts district councillor Angela Alder.

She helped Sir Rod slice and sample a celebratory cake watched by representatives of the Ramsay Health Care executive board, founding staff, consultants and members of the local healthcare community.

Across the country, Ramsay operates 22 private hospitals, 10 NHS treatment centres, neurological rehabilitation centres and diagnostic imaging services.

Chris Harbron, the hospital director, said: “‘We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all staff, consultants, local stakeholders and members of the community that attended our official launch event of the new chemotherapy day unit and for making it a truly superb evening.

“We were honoured to have Sir Rod Stewart and Lady Penny officially opening the unit and grateful for their ongoing support for Rivers Hospital.

“We look forward to providing the local community and beyond with a holistic patient experience and high quality of care with access to the best consultants and latest treatments. All in a new, modern and welcoming environment.

“I am very proud of the team and what they have achieved creating the new unit and look forward to using this amazing resource for many years to come. On behalf of all of us at Rivers Hospital, thank you so much for your support.”

Sir Rod bought Durrington House, an 18th-century, 10-bedroom mansion in Sheering, for £4.65m in 2013 after selling property in Epping. The singer and his photographer wife, who is a regular presenter of ITV lunchtime show Loose Women, are familiar faces in the area following the enrolment of their sons at Bishop’s Stortford College.

     Rod Stewart and Live Nation Partner For           Exclusive Multi-Year Global Touring Deal

Today Sir Rod Stewart and Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s leading live entertainment company, announced an exclusive multi-year global touring partnership. The deal will have Live Nation produce and promote Rod Stewart’s concert events around the world including this summer’s sold-out UK stadium dates.

“First, last and always my job is giving fans the best show I have in me,” remarked Rod Stewart. “ With Live Nation’s backing, I’m able to show up and sing knowing that everything that has led up to me taking the stage has been done with cracking perfection.” Added Arnold Stiefel, chairman of Stiefel Entertainment and Stewart’s longtime manager: “Michael Rapino, Rick Franks and the entire Live Nation team are at the top of their field for good reason. Their single-minded focus on the fan and artist experience is second to none and we’re proud to be extending our partnership internationally.“

“Rod Stewart has been an iconic voice and worldwide touring force for over five decades,” said Rick Franks, Co-President of North American Touring. “Live Nation is proud of the relationship we’ve built with Rod over the years and we look forward to continuing to bring his legendary repertoire to fans around the world.”

Stewart will perform across the UK and Europe throughout 2019 and in 2020 will bring his concert tour to South America, Australia, Asia and New Zealand with Live Nation.  He plotted two extensive and critically-acclaimed North American tours over the summers of 2017 and 2018 with special guest Cyndi Lauper.

Rod Stewart suffered sleepless nights after Penny Lancaster stab threat

EXCLUSIVE: Penny, 47, was acting as a volunteer police officer for a new TV show when she was threatened with a syringe

Penny Lancaster was threatened with a syringe as she helped fight crime on the streets – much to the horror of husband Rod Stewart.

But the Loose Women star says she loved being a volunteer police officer for Channel 4’s Famous and Fighting Crime – and has even vowed to keep it up.

That may be bad news for rocker hubby Rod, who has already lost sleep over the dangers she faced.

Penny said: “When he watched me head off into the unknown each shift, he was worried.

“I’d come home from a long shift at four in the morning and he couldn’t sleep until I got home safely.

“He did begin to worry when he heard some of the stories I had to deal with.” Rod was supportive when she told him she was taking part in the show.

 

But she said: “I think he thought I might be back at the Yard dealing with stuff from afar, but as you’ll see I got stuck in, which made him very nervous.”

Penny – mum to Rod’s sons Alistair, 12, and Aiden, seven – said the family were her main concern when faced with danger.

She said: “When a woman was threatening to stab me, the first thing was, ‘I’ve got kids.’ When you’re under threat like that, you do start thinking about your family, but I carried on.”

Penny, 47, worked with officers in ­Peterborough, Cambs, for the show where she and fellow celebs – comedian Marcus Brigstocke, Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, Gogglebox star Sandi Bogle and TV presenter Katie Piper – pound the pavements as volunteers.

The experience drove home to her how underfunded and understaffed the police are.

She said: “There’s not enough of them and they need more money, plain 
and simple.

“How can we fight crime? If crime keeps growing, then we need more crime fighters. We need to tackle it and clean up the streets.

“Then find resources and methods to re-educate people that are in trouble to be better human beings, to make a difference in their lives.”

Now she hopes to undergo training to become a fully fledged volunteer.

She said: “I do want to carry on because I’ve never found anything else that is as rewarding as that.”

Young Star  Celtic - mad Rod Stewart's youngest son Aiden 7 is aiming for football glory already according to proud mum Penny

The singer's youngest, Aiden, seven, was filmed honing his skills on a pitch featuring a big Hoops flag behind the goals.

Another great shoot thanks to Dad and his only 7! ⚽️

2,312 Likes, 140 Comments - Penny Lancaster (@penny.lancaster) on Instagram: "Another great shoot thanks to Dad and his only 7! ⚽️"

The lad was being put through his paces by his dad and a pal, during "winter morning training."

Mum Penny caught two free kicks on camera - and her son displayed impressive technique.

She posted the first to Instagram with the caption: "Winter morning training for Aiden is working."

It is filmed from behind the goals as young Aiden lines up a free kick in front of a set of mannequins with dad Rod watching on.

 
 

Winter morning training for Aiden is working!!

1,174 Likes, 36 Comments - Penny Lancaster (@penny.lancaster) on Instagram: "Winter morning training for Aiden is working!!"

He manages to get it up and over the wall, before the keeper spills the ball into his net.

The second clip is more of a close up action shot.

Wearing a footie kit with number seven on the back, Aiden 'bends it like Beckham' as this time the ball soars through the air and lands perfectly in the top corner.

Penny this time wrote: "Another great shoot thanks to Dad and his only 7."

Why I’m joinıng the police (yes, really!)

Penny Lancaster tells how training to be a special constable for a new TV show made her determined to do it for real – but what does her husband Rod Stewart think of it all?

 

‘She said, “I’ll stab you with my needle”’

At the end of Penny Lancaster’s famously long legs, you’ll usually find some improbable strappy shoes. She’s generally all about the stiletto, or the sparkle. She is Mrs Rod Stewart, after all. How curious then to find she’s fallen in love with a very different type of footwear. She took her new fave shoes – well, boots, really – home as a memento after her latest adventure in reality TV. One can’t imagine Rod would be thrilled to have her stomping around the bedroom in them, but that’s beside the point. She feels tremendous in them. ‘I love my boots,’ she admits. ‘I had to give the uniform back. Obviously I couldn’t keep the stab vest or the radio, but I got to keep the boots. I hope I’ll get them dirty again.’

The boots in question are police ones, sensible black lace-ups with steel toecaps. They were issued when she took part in a show called Famous & Fighting Crime, which took celebrities (including Katie Piper, comedian Marcus Brigstocke and Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing), trained them as police special constables, then sent them out to provide assistance to regular officers.

A reality show too far? Penny’s experience suggested so, but in her words it’s a wake-up call, showing the reality of how hard our police work, and how much more help they need. After just a day of training, she found herself face-to-face (without expert back-up) with a drug addict who threatened to stab her. Cameras capture the stand-off as she chases the woman, a suspected shoplifter, and corners her on her beat in Peterborough. ‘It was terrifying,’ admits Penny. ‘I’d been out with another special officer, but there were two suspects going in different directions so we split up, one taking each of them. Mine was under the influence. She looked like I imagine a druggie would look, almost like a rabid animal. You want to help a rabid animal but you don’t want to get bitten.

‘When she said she was going to stab me, there was that pause, as if I was playing Fortnite with my kids, like I was in charge of a video game console. I said, “You want to stab me?” and she said, “With my needle. I’ll stab you with my needle.” I was aware of how vulnerable I was. I was unarmed. I was wearing a stab vest, but didn’t have a baton or a Taser gun or mace spray. I didn’t even have handcuffs, so I couldn’t actually arrest her, although I threatened to. I had to keep saying, “Stop! You’re making it worse for yourself,” while calling in my location on my radio. When back-up arrived, I’d never been so glad to see anyone.’

Police officers find themselves in these situations every day; civilians, never mind celebrities, rarely do. What does it feel like? ‘Petrifying. One part of me was think-

ing, “I’ve got children. I’ve got a husband. This isn’t a situation I can be in.” But on the other hand I couldn’t have been more comfortable. It felt like I knew I had to do it, and follow the rules about what I’d been told to do. It was quite surreal. It was only afterwards that I started to shake, and couldn’t stop.’ Penny might well be the last person you’d think of to be chasing down suspects like this. By her own admission she’s had a rather sheltered existence, working as a model before meeting Rod and being dropped into a cushioned, red- carpet life. The family split their time between their Essex mansion (where they’ve just had a swimming pool installed) and their Beverly Hills one. ‘I feel I live in a bubble at times,’ she admits. ‘I’m quite protected from this sort of real ity. I’m like the princess in the tower.’

She says she agreed to take part

in the Channel 4 project because the princess wanted a dose of ‘something else’. And guess what – she loved every minute of it. ‘You know that children’s show Mr Benn, where this ordinary man goes into a fancy dress shop and comes out wearing different outfits? I think of my life like that. I’ve had amazing opportunities to do new things before – like when I did Strictly – but working as a police officer felt the most rewarding.

‘It was like putting a mask on – or maybe taking a mask off. In that uniform, I wa sn’t Ro d Stewart’s wife. I wasn’t someone on the red carpet. I was doing a real job, making a real difference. By the end I didn’t want to take the uniform off. It sounds weird, but of all the things I’ve done in my life, it was the one job I felt was the most… me. Nothing else has ever given me such satisfaction.’

So much so that she is – honest to goodness – talking about training as a special constable in real life. ‘I want to do it. I’ve had a conversation with the sergeant and he said they’d love to have me join the force. The training for the real thing runs over 12 consecutive weekends, so I’m try- ing to figure out how I could do that. If I do qualify, I’d have to commit to 16 hours a month, which is very doable. I don’t think I’d do it in Essex where I live though. It’s a bit close to home. I’d probably go to Cambridgeshire, maybe Peterborough.’

How has this news gone down at home? It sounds as though Rod is still reeling. ‘When he first heard I wanted to do the show he said, “Brilliant. You go, gi rl.” But whe n it got underway and he realised what it i nvolved, he wor r ied more. He’s a worrier anyway. He’s always asking what time I’ll be home. If I go out with the girls, he’s always up waiting for me to get in, texting to check I’m safe.’

Surely he was climbing the walls when he heard about what she was actually doing (ie nearly getting stabbed)? ‘He was, but at the same time he could see how elated I was even talking about it. He said, “Your excitement is contagious.”’

Her children were less thrilled. ‘ My eldest Alastair, who’s just

‘Rod is strict about what he eats. He’s fit and virile’

turned 13, got a bit annoyed. He said, “Oh great, so now you’re going to be like a police mother.” I did get a bit more strict with them. One day he was arguing with his brother Aiden, who’s seven, and I put them in separate rooms and told them I was going to ask them the same questions. I was doing the interrogation-in-the-cells thing.’

Obviously when the officers in Peterborough heard that Mrs Rod Stewart would be joining them for their regular shifts, there were eyebrows raised. In the show the real police officers are filmed Googling her. Or should we say ogling her? ‘I think I’m in love,’ says one, temporarily losing his professionalism. Did they take her seriously eventually? ‘Very much so,’ she says. ‘Obviously you have to join in the banter. We all knew it was a weird situation.’

Never more weird than when the rookie officer joins the rest of the crew for a bite to eat. At home, Penny has a private chef who rustles up dinner for the family. Here? It’s a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The others can’t believe she’s never had a KFC before in her life. Nor has she heard of Nando’s. ‘What do they serve?’ she asks.

The moment where she first dis- covers the joys of the KFC Bargain Bucket is perhaps the funniest in an often tense show. ‘I don’t eat that sort of stuff,’ she admits now. ‘I’ve always thought if I’m hungry there are other options than fried food, but they live on it because they have to grab stuff fast. It’s doughnuts and coffee, for a quick energy boost.’

It’s amazing how quickly she takes to scoffing fried chicken from the bucket, though. She cringes a little today. ‘You forget the cameras are there. God knows what I look like, stuffing my face.’ Actually she looks happy, and – astonishingly – completely at home.

Today, we meet in a photographic studio she remembers working in 30 years ago. It’s a real trip down memory lane. ‘It does make you think,’ she says. ‘Who was that person? Do I even recognise her?’ Physically, yes, anyone would. Now 47, Penny is 6ft 1in tall and still head-turningly stunning, even without make-up (she turns up bare-faced). She has a mane of blonde hair and is in a green faux-fur jacket, and yes, she wears it well.

She orders two boiled eggs and a sausage for breakfast, and spears the sausage cheerily as she talks of one significant change from the old days – she can eat. Back when she was modelling, she says, she used to lie about having her period and feeling bloated on swimwear shoots, just to excuse the slight roundness to her belly.

Perhaps old habits die hard, because she’s still conscious of not always looking the way people expect Penny Lancaster to look. ‘I’ve put on nearly three stone since I had my kids,’ she says. ‘I weigh about 12 and a half stone now – more than my husband. It’s fine because I’m tall. I can carry it off. But I do wear a size 14, sometimes a 16. I think people still expect me to be a ten.’

She’s painfully aware of where she carries those extra pounds. ‘It shows, particularly in my face. I’ve always had quite a chubby face. In the early days people would say, “You still have your baby fat.” Well, it never went. I mean, it’s a good thing now, because people my age are pumping stuff into their face to plump it up, and I don’t need to. But I don’t like what’s happening with the jowls and the neck and the waistline.’

Her husband, of course, has been the same weight forever. ‘He’s been 12 stone for as long as I’ve known him. He’s so good. When he eats, he’ll just eat what he needs off the

plate, whereas I wolf it all down. He’s very strict, conscious about his weight, health, longevity... That’s why he’s still going. It’s partly genetics too. His whole family are trim, so Rod’s going to be around for a lot longer. I’ll be struggling to keep up with him, I think.’ She does admit that the famous Stewart fitness (‘He’s very fit and virile,’ she says, with a laugh) has taken a battering of late. Persistent footballing injuries have meant Rod can’t run around on the pitch with his boys as much as he would like. ‘He gets really frustrated by that. He just wants to be out there. In his head he’s 20.’

Their marriage is clearly in great shape, though. They’ve been together for 20 years now, defying all the naysayers who thought Rod Stewart was incapable of happy-ever-after. What’s the secret? After a few hours in her company, I’d suggest it has much to do with the fact that she works hard at it. ‘It’s a mission. It’s a job, really, to make it all work.’ Not for her the guff about stars aligning and marriage being a blessing. ‘I think it’s bizarre when people say, “Oh, when you’re in love, just let it be.” No! the reason it’s got to that stage in the first place is because you’ve worked at it, so you have to continue that effort.’

She talks me through the logistics of arranging a forthcoming family holiday where some of Rod’s children, ranging f rom ages 37 to seven, will be in attendance. ‘It’s tricky because they live in England, LA, Nashvi l le, al l over, but we’re all going to be together.’

Most women would balk at having to be nice to all the exes and entertain the whole clan at Christmas. ‘I knew what I was getting into,’ she says. ‘It wasn’t a case of, “Oh, there’s a lovely guy I’ve met and now we’ll disappear and create our own life together. No. There was a life before me, and I’m a considerate person. I take pride in making sure everyone is happy. And it worked. It sort of worked.’

It was a deliberate move to make their Essex mansion the primary home for Penny’s two boys. She’s clearly determined they won’t live in the ‘LA bubble’. They have a more ‘normal’ life than I imagined they could have out in the country. Alastair is allowed to travel one stop by train to the next village, or hang out with his mates in the local kebab house. ‘I’m strict about knowing who he’s with,’ she says. ‘If he goes to a party I need to have the parents’ phone number, but he does have some freedom. He’s part of a community here. He mixes with differ- ent sorts of people. Yes, he’s at private school, but he also does football and swimming, so he has a diverse group of friends. We wanted that.’

She says her sons want to be ‘normal’ too. ‘It’s still difficult, because of the narrow lane that we live on, for him to just hop on his bike and go and meet his friends, but I’ll drop him off. We have a Transit van, and he makes me d r ive that , throwing the bike in the back. He’ll say, “Don’t bring the Bentley, Mum.”’

It’s a very different lifestyle to the one Rod’s older children enjoyed in LA. Deliberately so? ‘Yes. I think when you do everything second or third time round, you analyse it a bit more. It’s the same with marriage. You ask, “What went wrong? What went right? What should I avoid next time?” It’s similar with kids. Rod’s children are amazing, but I think if they had an option they probably wouldn’t choose to have their children go to school i n Bever ly Hills, because it’s mostly one type of person there and one way of thinking. We didn’t want our boys to be stuck in that mould.’

For all her talk about her own life being sheltered and protected, she’s experienced her fair share of horror. There’s a disturbing moment during her police training where she’s being deliberately taunted, pushed, intimidated. Afterwards she bursts into tears, and today she explains why. ‘They were testing how I’d react to being abused like that. One guy was in front of me, yelling in my face, “You think I won’t punch you because you’re a girl?” Another was behind me. In my head, I knew it wasn’t real – it was all simulated – but it felt real. I suddenly felt like I was the victim, and this man was trying to control me. It all came flooding back.’

She’s referring to several unhappy experiences in her own life. The first was when, as she puts it, her ‘innocence went’. She was attacked by a stranger on the way to school. Aged just 12, he tried to rip her skirt off (‘a skirt that came to my knees. This debate about the length of skirt girls should wear is so rubbish’). She gets upset again today talking about it, as she recalls sitting in a police car weeks afterwards outside the potential suspect’s home. She gave a description at the time. ‘I said he looked like Wicksy from EastEnders. Very, very tall.’

The police thought they knew who the attacker was. ‘They took me to his house and asked if that was him, but I couldn’t make an identification. I thought if he was in front of me, I’d recoil. I’d say, “Yes, yes, it’s him!” But I didn’t know. I didn’t have that reaction. Later, I burst into tears when my dad was driving me to school. We were going past the place where it happened, and there was a man there. It upset me. My dad thought it was the same man, and I thought he was going to get out and kill him. But it wasn’t him, it was just a man.’ They never got him? ‘No.’

When she started modelling at the age of 17 she had an even more graphic experience, when she was sexually assaulted by a much older man in the industry. Trusting him, she went to his flat on the way to a job with him, but believes she was drugged with a spiked drink. She woke up with him on top of her. She’d only told her brother and her husband when she shared this experience on Loose Women a couple of years ago, where she’s a panellist. ‘Afterwards, my mum said, “How could you not have told me that?” I said, “Mum, that’s the point of all the #MeToo stuff. People like me didn’t tell, for years, because we were so ashamed. It’s different now, thank God, but back then we didn’t have phones, we couldn’t take pictures for evidence. We blamed ourselves for getting into that situation.’

She says she didn’t expect all these awful experiences to come to the fore during her police training, but they did. ‘I was back there again, feeling a mish-mash of all those things I’d felt before. I was a weak woman, being dominated by a man and feeling unsafe.’ She says it was useful – necessary even – to feel these things again. ‘When these things happen to you when you’re young, you put them away. They become ingrained. What happened to me at 12 is in my computer now, like a chip that’s inside.

‘Things happen. You learn from them. You toughen up. I was quite a naive young woman – I still am in some ways – but you learn.’

Since getting together with Rod, her life has gone in a very different direction. She has continued to work, though. ‘ I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to do a bit of TV work here, modelling there. I can pick and choose in a way that I know a lot of women can’t – but being Mrs Rod Stewart has been the number one job.’

Their home life sounds quite traditional (she clearly sorts the childcare and the packed lunches), but who’s in charge? ‘Well, obviously a lot of it revolves around Rod’s tour dates, or work, but the dynamics change depending on what we’re doing.’ Does Rod think he’s more in charge than he really is? She throws her head back and laughs.

‘I think any wise woman will allow their husband to think they’re the one who makes all the decisions.’

Spoken like a woman who definitely wears the trousers. And the boots, of course.

Famous & Fighting Crime starts Monday 11 February, 9pm, Channel 4.

‘I was a naive young woman, but you learn’

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