SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Queen's grandson has finger on pandemic's pulse

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips has his finger on the pulse of the coronavirus pandemic

Every crisis presents an opportunity, as the Queen’s eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, is aware. 

Just months after appearing in two milk commercials on Chinese TV, he is now directing his entrepreneurial talents in a completely different direction. 

I can reveal Princess Anne’s son is one of three founding directors of XF Medical Limited, a new company established to exploit the commercial openings presented by the coronavirus outbreak. 

XF Medical Ltd, which is based in the King’s Road, Chelsea, aims to meet the demand for speedy and accurate testing. 

The Queen’s grandson has founded a business focused around providing speedy and accurate Covid-19 testing

XF Medical Limited’s website boasts of providing ‘full results,’ within 15 minutes of testing 

‘Full results ready within 15 minutes,’ boasts the company’s website, thanks to a ‘quick and easy finger prick test’ conducted in mobile units which ‘can come to your office, event or place of work’. 

The tests are administered by ex-Forces medical personnel. 

Phillips, 42, is described as ‘an entrepreneur with a background in sports and entertainment’, with ‘unique’ experience in ‘organising large-scale events with specific logistical challenges’. 

The rewards from XF could easily eclipse the income from his Chinese milk ads. Phillips’s spokesman tells me the company is already ‘involved in discussions with a number of corporate entities and organisations’, though declines to offer further details. 

‘Any current or future contracts for Covid-19 testing are commercially sensitive and are under [non-disclosure] agreements,’ he explains. 

Phillips has never had a royal title, nor has his sister Zara Tindall, and the pair have come under some scrutiny in the past for how they make their money. 

In 2008, Hello! magazine paid £500,000 for the rights to Peter’s wedding to Canadian Autumn Kelly. 

Months after appearing in two milk commercials on Chinese TV, Peter Phillips has directed his entrepreneurial talents in a completely different direction 

And last year he held meetings with colourful Chinese entrepreneur Dr Johnny Hon over a possible launch of a horse-racing private members’ club in Hong Kong. 

One of Phillips’s most lucrative successes was organising the not for-profit Patron’s Lunch to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, for which another of his companies, Sel UK Ltd, was paid £750,000. 

Peter and Autumn Phillips announced in February that they had separated and said they will coparent their daughters Savannah, nine, and Isla, eight 

McIntyre turns street performer

The pandemic is no laughing matter for comedian Michael McIntyre, who admits that he’s missing his usual audience. 

‘I’m performing to no one but my wife, my two boys and my dog — who have heard it all before,’ he says. 

‘I’ve found myself just latching on to people. Anyone in the street who comes over to me and wants to say Hi — from a distance — I just won’t let them go. 

‘They’ll ask for a photo and then I’ll just keep talking so much that by the end of it they’re like, “OK, listen, I’ve really got to get on.” 

‘I actually saw one woman delete the photo that she’d asked to take!’

Former Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley has a beef with fellow crooner Sir Cliff Richard. ‘I’ve a bone to pick with Cliff,’ he says. 

‘I kept plugging his wine when I was doing Absolute Radio. I kept giving him a free plug. Love Cliff, nice chap. Did he send a bottle of wine? A box of wine? Or a crate of wine? No, nothing.’ 

Talk about sour grapes.

Blackadder’s daughter and a cunning plan for reinvention

Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson’s daughter, Lili, is mastering the art of reinvention. Having been a burlesque performer and an R&B singer, she is launching herself as part of an electronic duo — Lili en Mos — with musician Simon Mos. 

Rowan Atkinson’s daughter Lili ditched her father’s surname three years ago, in favour of her mother, Sunetra-Sastry

‘We wrote and produced all the songs on our upcoming EP,’ says Lili, 25, who dropped her father’s surname three years ago in favour of her mother, Sunetra ­Sastry. 

Lili posed in this racy orange wrap dress for the video of their debut song, Desole. 

Part-time Sarpong on £75k

There was feverish speculation about how much June Sarpong, the BBC’s new head of creative diversity, would be paid for her part-time role. 

Now it can be revealed that June, 43, is pocketing £75,000 for her three-day week post, while still holding down work with a number of other commercial outlets.

Sarpong is working for Burberry at board meetings and other events, and carrying out corporate work and speeches via her agents M&C Saatchi, all of which she has declared to the BBC. 

Sarpong sits on the BBC’s executive board and was told by then directorgeneral Tony Hall that she had a ‘wide remit to deliver change’. 

The corporation is relaxed about her outside roles, with a spokesperson saying that Sarpong is able to pursue other work commitments and is not a full-time member of staff. 

Depp’s girl lily is in the pink 

Hollywood star Johnny Depp was centre stage at the High Court this summer when he sued a newspaper over claims that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard during their 15-month marriage. 

Lily-Rose Depp, 21, turned heads at Tuesday’s Chanel show at Paris Fashion Week, after a year where the spotlight has been mostly trained on her father

Now that fashion week has taken over Paris, it’s his daughter’s turn in the spotlight. Actress Lily-Rose Depp turned heads at the Chanel show yesterday in the designer’s signature boucle-style pink jacket, bootleg jeans and a matching pink bag. 

The 21-year-old has been an ambassador for the brand since 2015, which her father expressed doubts about at the time. 

‘To be honest, I’m quite worried,’ he said. ‘But it’s her passion and she’s having fun.’

 Lily-Rose was joined at the show by her mother, actress Vanessa Paradis, who has also modelled for the brand. 

‘Chanel feels like a family,’ Lily said. ‘I’ve known the whole team since I was little.’ 

It might not be the most popular cause with the public, but former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith wants more pay for Boris Johnson. 

‘There are people in their 20s in the financial district earning four, five, ten times that, with little responsibility,’ Duncan Smith says. 

The Prime Minister is paid about £150,000 a year, which is five times that of the average worker. 

But adds IDS: ‘We’ve always been parsimonious — people have to give up everything to become PM.’ 

Hirst & Saatchi, still pickled after all these years! 

Reclusive art mogul Charles Saatchi seldom ventures out in public apart from occasional excursions to Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair. 

Charles Saatchi stepped out from his home to visit an exhibition of Damian Hirst’s early works 

But this week he made an exception for Damien Hirst and paid a visit to an exhibition of his former protege’s early works, End Of A Century, at his Newport Street Gallery in South London. 

Saatchi posed with Hirst in front of his famous 14ft tiger shark encased in formaldehyde, which caused a sensation when it was first shown at Saatchi’s London gallery in 1992. 

‘Thanks, Charles, for your belief in me and the gallery and for bringing all that amazing international art to inspire my generation and beyond,’ Hirst said. 

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