When dressed as his flamboyant, lilac-haired alter ego Dame Edna Everage, Barry Humphries revels in behaving outrageously.
But is the 83-year-old Australian comedian still shocking others once he removes his garish women’s outfits?
For his son, the fine-art dealer and journalist Oscar Humphries, has publicly declared that he is dropping his illustrious surname because he is so angry at the way he has been treated.
‘Changing my name,’ he announced in a foul-mouthed message posted online. ‘F*** you for disinheriting me.’
Now using only his first and second names on Facebook, Oscar Valentine — who in the past struggled with drug and alcohol addictions and had an affair when he was 22 with 35-year-old married Jimmy Choo tycoon Tamara Mellon — explained on social media why he had made the dramatic change.
‘New name,’ he said. ‘I never wanted the little bit of money anyway. Liberating after the shock. The feeling is, “Well, I’ll do it myself.” ’
Adding insult to injury, Oscar, 36, was apparently informed of the decision to cut him off at a celebration of his engagement to blonde art lover Sophie Oakley, 36-year-old daughter of the explorer Tim Oakley.
‘They let me know twice: once at lunch and once at my engagement party,’ says Oscar, who does not spell out who ‘they’ are. Barry has been married to his fourth wife, Lizzie Spender, daughter of British poet Sir Stephen Spender, for 27 years.
Oscar’s mother is Barry’s previous wife, the artist Diane Millstead. His father has another son, Rupert, with Millstead and two daughters, Tessa and Emily, from his second marriage, to Rosalind Tong.
Hurt: Oscar Humphries and his fiancee Sophie Oakley
Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage in 2013
The comic wed his first wife, Brenda Wright, when he was 21 and the marriage lasted less than two years.
Oscar, a former editor of art magazine Apollo, later deleted the abusive message, but did not reinstate the Humphries name to his Facebook profile.
When asked to elaborate, he claimed that the message had been an ‘in-joke with a friend’.
His father declined to comment. Let’s hope he sees the funny side.
Wouldn't it be nice to be Sir Brian, says Beach Boy
Some stars get their PR spivs to lobby for honours, but Beach Boys star Brian Wilson is happy to blow his own trumpet.
‘I would love to hear the words “Sir Brian Wilson”,’ the American singer tells me. ‘British audiences are so much more appreciative of my music than American audiences — they understand art.’ Wilson, 75, who performs at the Hammersmith Apollo tonight, seems to have at least one royal on side.
‘I think Prince Harry will come along to a show this week,’ says Wilson, who spent two years in the Seventies