Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart celebrate the singer’s 74th birthday with dinner date
Penny Lancaster and
Rod Stewart celebrate the singer’s birthday with dinner date
Penny Lancaster wished her husband of 11 years Rod Stewart a happy birthday
yesterday with a sweet snap posted on social media.
The 47-year-old Loose Woman panellist, took to Instagram to share a picture with her 72,000 followers of her celebratory date night with her husband to
mark his 74th birthday.
The couple, who have two children together, Alastair 13, and Aidan, seven,
were pictured dressed to the nines in the back of a limousine with cocktails in hand.
presenter, who wore her long blonde hair loose over her shoulders, put on a leggy display as she made her way to dinner in the plush car.
Penny was seen in a leopard print coat which coordinated with Rod’s black suit
featuring animal print lapels.
The glamorous duo were heading to London's most romantic restaurant Clos Maggiore in Covent Garden for their child-free evening out.
The French restaurant, which is adorned with a canopy of cherry blossoms and fairy lights, provided the perfect backdrop for their dinner
The 6ft 1 former model included a second image in her post, showing the birthday boy with a special desert to mark the occasion of his
the camera in front of a roaring fire, the Maggie May hitmaker looked to be enjoying his evening.
captioned the post: “Happy birthday to the one I love and always will #closmaggiore.”
beautiful TV personality posted another picture wearing what she described as, “one of his [Rod’s] favourite looks”.
a staircase, Penny’s long legs could be seen a pair of silky stocking with a retro line down the back and teamed with a pair of black stilettos.
Singing superstar Sir Rod Stewart visits Potters Bar Football Club
Rod Stewart at Potters Bar Town Football Club with a club
Singer Sir Rod Stewart visited Potters Bar Town Football
Club on Sunday to watch a match.
Famous singer and songwriter Sir Rod Stewart visited the club at the weekend to watch a young relative play in a match.
He posed for photographs with club volunteers and fans and signed autographs before watching the game.
Sir Rod has links to both Potters Bar and football - his older brother Donald, a Potters Bar referee, was awarded a 50 years service award for his commitment to football by the
Football Association in 2011.
Sandra David, who met Sir Rod on the day, said: “I was so thrilled to stand next to him and speak to him. I have waited 40 years to actually meet him in the flesh so this was a dream
come true for me.
The only picture I have is of him signing my autograph but it is the back of him, but I am happy with that as I never thought I would ever get to meet him. This is a tick off my
bucket list! I will be going to see him in concert in June in Ipswich.”
Rod Stewart makes film about massive 100ft model railway he built
The singer’s creation which features talking conductors and air-conditioned skyscrapers has wowed fellow enthusiasts.
Rod Stewart looks at model train layout with enthusiast George Sellios
Sir Rod Stewart is so chuffed with the 100ft model railway he has built he’s made a film about it.
The Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? singer’s creation features talking conductors and air-conditioned skyscrapers.
And the set-up at his Beverly Hills home has wowed fellow enthusiasts with its 1:87 scale model of New York’s Grand Central
Rod, 73, said: “I have made a really great film I am hoping will be on Sky Arts.
“It’s finished. When you see this, you are going to go, ‘Wow’. All the little guys in the engines are talking. It is unbelievable. It really
“Every street has rubbish on it. There are air conditioning units in the skyscrapers, which are 6ft tall.”
But he warned: “Don’t say it’s a ‘train set’. It is a scale-model railway.”
His hobby began when he was a boy, growing up in a flat above his parents’ newsagent’s shop on Archway Road in Highgate, north London, and
watching the trains from his window.
After completing the model, Rod – who’s married to Penny Lancaster – said he was left twiddling his thumbs, so started writing music
He added: “It did free up a lot more time, so I wrote my new album Blood Red Roses.”
Rod Stewart's friend reveals all about Rod the Mod at the start of his career
As Rod Stewart says he would like his young lad to play him in a biopic, we talk to Gary Leport, who knew the singer when he was first starting out.
JUST before jetting off to the sun to see in the New Year with his wife Penny, Rod Stewart told ITV viewers he wants his 13-year-old son
Alastair to play a younger version of himself in a biopic movie. "I would love a movie," says 73-year-old Sir Rod. "Alastair said, 'I gotta make one about you because I can play a younger you'. I'd love to
To help Alastair build up a picture of his dad's rise to stardom, we have contacted the key person who launched him on the rocky
road to fame.
Alastair may be surprised to learn that his father endured many disappointments and bust-ups along the way as musical maestros
couldn't decide whether his raspy tones were a godsend or an annoying grate.
Musician Gary Leport, who gave Rod his first big break, speaks for the first time today about those traumatic times, which left a
trail of heartache for some and joy for others when they all scratched a living on the road.
Like Rod, Gary was born in 1945 in north London at a time when the capital had been decimated by the blitz. Work was scarce, food
was rationed and virtually every family was touched by grief in some way.
On January 10 of that year Roderick David Stewart was born at 507 Archway Road to the delight of his Scottish-born father Robert,
a master builder, and mother Elsie, who had already had two sons and two daughters while living in Scotland.
Rod failed the 11-Plus at Highgate Primary School and so went to the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern, where he did not shine
academically, but proved himself a good footballer. His father, a model railway enthusiast, loved Al Jolson, and bought his son a guitar for his birthday in 1959.
Gary Leport also loved the burgeoning music scene and virtually slept with his electric guitar by his side in his early teens
when Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, the Everly Brothers and Dion DiMucci, whose memorable hits Runaround Sue and The Wanderer dominated the charts.
When he was 14, Gary formed a band with his school friends. He played lead guitar and had Peter Johnson on bass, Tony White on
drums and Jimmy Raither.
"We were pretty good but none of us could sing and we needed a front man," says Gary. "A friend of mine introduced me to Rod and
we asked him to come down. He was very shy.
"We had real trouble persuading him to front the band. When people came in to listen he got even shyer and said he didn't like
performing in front of people. He started off pretty croaky, but he got better the more we played. We practised in halls, but the band never really took off."
Gary later formed another band, The Five Dimensions, and asked Rod to join that as occasional singer and harmonica
Rod loved the Eddie Cochran classic C'mon Everybody and hits by Bill Haley and the Comets. The Dimensions grew in confidence and
started doing regular gigs with Jimmy Powell joining as the lead singer.
Gary recalls: "Jimmy was a strong, confident singer and was getting a name for himself with all the covers we were
"Rod was very much the support singer in the band, but he also came in with good harmonica playing. We became Jimmy Powell And
The Five Dimensions.
"It was an exciting time because we were getting good gigs in London and we started touring.
"Rod was great on the
road, so easy to get on with. He was always larking around. Once when we were driving to a gig Rod climbed on the roof of a van and hung his legs over the front windscreen to give our driver, Dave
McCarthy, a bit of a shock. He was always up to stuff like that and just loved to make people laugh.
"He always like to
dress well, but his mum Elsie kept telling him he spent too much money on clothes, but it didn't stop him. She took me into his bedroom once to show me how untidy he was with his
"His hair was short
and pretty mousey, but he started back combing it. He was trying to look different even then and started wearing black leather trousers."
Around this time, Gary
took Rod along to meet record producer Joe Meek, who built his own studio at his home in Islington.
"We played and Rod
sang, but Joe was not impressed with him and called the session off. Joe didn't think he had the right sound and that was it."
To some the setback
would have proved a decisive turning point, but Rod would not be knocked off course.
Playing second fiddle
to Jimmy Powell was never going to last long either, even though The Five Dimensions band was building a strong reputation, playing regularly at the Studio 51 club in London's Great Newport Street,
which became better known in later years as the place where the Rolling Stones started making a name for themselves.
From this long ago era
Gary treasures a picture of the group taken in Scotland in 1963.
The windswept lads
were photographed by the Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh, trying to look cool in the chilly weather.
"Rod loved his
Scottish roots, so he was delighted when we got some work in Scotland," says Gary.
"I remember the girls
up there loved him. He looked very at home and he went to Leith in Edinburgh to try and find the home where his dad was born.
"They were really
happy days. I thought we were all getting on well, but Rod dropped a bombshell when we dropped him at home on The Archway where his dad ran a newsagent's shop.
"He got out of the car
and then said he couldn't stand Jimmy and didn't want to work with him anymore. That was it. There was no confrontation with Jimmy or anything like that. Both of them got jealous if the fans liked
the other one singing.
"It was a difficult
situation that was bound to come to a head. We were living in each other's pockets, even sleeping in the van together so tension was building up.
"I found it a bit of a shock because Rod hadn't said anything in the car. It was just so sudden."
The Five Dimensions kept going with Jimmy at the helm and they even made some singles, but Rod's career took a different path and
eventually took off.
He teamed up with the folk singer Wizz Jones, desperately hoping to be "discovered' while busking in London, and across Europe,
and was famously thrown out of Spain for being a vagrant.
Stewart's first real break came at Twickenham railway station when Long John Baldry heard him playing Smokestack Lightnin' on his
harmonica and began performing with him at the Marquee Club, the famous London venue where so many bands made their name.
Representatives from Decca Records spotted him at the Marquee and signed him up as a solo singer, but his first single, Good
Morning Little Schoolgirl, failed to make the charts when it was released in 1964.
A big break came when he joined The Jeff Beck Group as singer and occasional songwriter before becoming lead singer with Faces in
The rest of his career
is now music folklore.
His third solo album
in 1971, Every Picture Tells A Story, rocketed him to stardom, and resulted in a string of hits, including Maggie May.
It paved the way for
the global success of Atlantic Crossing, which featured smash hit Sailing in 1975.
Meanwhile, The Five
Dimensions imploded in the mid-1960s with most of the band members leaving.
Jimmy Powell tried to
soldier on with new recruits, but none had chart success.
While Rod was feted
and admired around the world for his unique singing talents, Powell went to work for a furniture company before going into car park management.
He died two years ago
at his home in Blisworth, Northamptonshire.
Gary who went on to
work as a telephone engineer for British Telecom, says: "We had some success with The Five Dimensions, but obviously it doesn't compare to the global success of Rod Stewart.
"When I see Rod on the
television now he looks and sounds exactly like he did when he was a kid.
"His voice still has
the raspy sound, he's kept his spikey hair and he still moves the same on stage.
"I think the idea of a
biopic film is great because so little is known of his early years."
Now retired and living
in Lymington, Hampshire, at the heart of the New Forest, balding Gary looks younger than his 73 years, but still looks decades older than the young prodigy he helped on his way to
He has been married to
Sue for 48 years and lives a quiet life, far removed from the jet-setting Stewart clan. He played guitar in a local band, the Plonkers Agricultural Orchestra - where bandmates nicknamed him Sludge -
but he was forced to give up after he was struck by a car in 2010.
"I'd love to meet Rod
again and chat about the old days," he says.
"We were always good
mates, never fell out. I've loved every minute of my musical career, so I have no regrets."