Actress Jane Horrocks, best known for her role of Bubble, the rather ditzy assistant in Absolutely Fabulous, has become embroiled in a real-life drama, after leaving the father of her children for a married co-star.
The Lancashire-born blonde, 54, has become romantically involved with actor Danny Webb, 60, who played opposite her in the 2016 Old Vic production of King Lear starring Glenda Jackson.
Horrocks, who had been in a relationship with screenwriter Nick Vivian for 22 years, played Lear's daughter Regan as a vampy sex kitten opposite Webb, who played her husband, Cornwall, in the Shakespearean tragedy about love, loyalty and betrayal.
'The chemistry between them was palpable,' a cast member tells me.
Actress of stage and screen Jane Horrocks hits the west end of London with fellow actor Danny Webb
In a further plot twist, Webb, who has appeared in TV's Sherlock, Poirot and Endeavour, is married to casting director Leila Bertrand, with whom he has two grown-up daughters.
Horrocks is said to have now left the family home in Twickenham she shared with Ted And Alice sitcom writer Nick and their two children Dylan, 21, and Molly, 19.
'Living with a man is quite different from dating a man,' she once said when asked why they never married.
'I am not an unfaithful person. But I can't guarantee fidelity and I can't stand up in church and say: 'You are my only partner for the rest of my life.' '
Before dating Vivian, she was courted by the late singer Ian Dury and also spent three years with the film director Sam Mendes, who catapulted her to stardom by casting her in his 1993 National Theatre production of Little Voice.
'I've always chosen men who, apart from being bright, were also untameable,' she added.
But Vivian, by whom Horrocks became pregnant within three months of meeting, wasn't keen on marriage, either. 'Once, I asked him to marry me and he said: 'Oh, bog off!' Jane revealed. 'Then he asked me on another occasion, but I wasn't interested.'
Jane Horrocks with and Nick Vivian in 'East Is East'. The pair were together for 22 years
Their children were horrified when she went on bended knee to propose in front of them.
'They said it was the grossest thing they'd ever seen. If they'd been excited by the idea, I think we'd have taken the plunge.'Double trouble for Duke's godson
Prince Philip's godson, interior designer Ashley Hicks, 55, joked that he was 'too old' to become a father again when his 36-year-old wife, Kata de Solis, became pregnant with their first child last