Of all the stars I’ve interviewed, it’s a first – but this is a hospitable, half-Italian household, the childhood home of 27-year-old mezzo-soprano Carly Paoli, who has just returned from performing at the Forum in Rome with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli.
You’d expect an opera singer to be holed up in a palazzo somewhere hot, not in a front room with swirly carpet.
Her engagement last year to 29-year-old Australian actress and model Ruby, Hollywood’s latest It-girl, has seen them become the new darlings of the gossip columns.
What’s more, their regular Instagram posts, not to mention Phoebe’s ethereal good looks and Ruby’s raw, edgy beauty, have turned them into perhaps the most gorgeous celebrity couple since Brad and Angelina – a sentiment that elicits a surprised laugh.
I frequently read the New Yorker just for the fun of the cartoons.The show wouldn't be anything without that central triumvirate, though.She has performed alongside Bocelli and Carreras, is a star in Italy and has topped the classical charts – yet opera singer (and lorry driver’s daughter) Carly Paoli still lives at home with mum and dad I’m in a modest, modern house in the suburbs of Mansfield and I’m being offered a Tunnock’s teacake.I knew straight away that’s what I wanted to do.’How did it feel, singing her own ‘Ave Maria’ (chosen in May by the Vatican as the official song for the Jubilee For Mercy Celebrations), then duetting with Bocelli in ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ (she received a standing ovation when she performed with him again earlier this month, at the O2), not to mention joining Elaine Paige in ‘I Know Him So Well’, as part of the concert celebrating the Pope’s Jubilee?A brilliant storyteller whose own life was just as colourful (a fighter pilot during the Second World War, he later worked as a British spy before becoming one of the most lauded children’s writers of all time), it goes without saying that Roald lived a rich and robust life and possessed an unusual affinity with children.