EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Superdry guy rolls up sleeves for a court wrangle
5th November 2021

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Superdry guy rolls up his sleeves for a court wrangle with construction firm over work on his Cotswolds property development

Many people have a moan after getting builders in, but Superdry tycoon Julian Dunkerton is taking his workmen to the High Court claiming they overcharged him by a staggering £850,000.

I learn the former Cheltenham market stall holder, who amassed a reputed £300 million fortune through his clothing empire, has begun legal action against Dowdeswell Estates Building over work on his Cotswolds property development and hotel business, The Lucky Onion.

Dunkerton, 56, who lives with his fashion designer wife, Jade Holland Cooper, 34, in a Georgian mansion in Gloucestershire with their 11-month-old daughter, Saphaia, wants an order forcing Dowdeswell to open its books to his accountants. 

He’s applied to the High Court in London to gain access.

Superdry tycoon Julian Dunkerton, pictured with his fashion designer wife, Jade Holland Cooper, is taking his workmen to the High Court claiming they overcharged him by a staggering £850,000

According to a writ, the issue has arisen over an apparent overcharge of £847,450, alleged to have come to light when then Dowdeswell director Heidi Pay submitted draft accounts for the company set up to carry out building work for the Lucky Onion.

The Lucky Onion’s accountant is said to have gone back to the contractors to highlight the problem but was apparently told Ms Pay had since resigned from her role. 

It’s claimed the accountant attempted to set up a meeting with Ms Pay to go through the paperwork together but she apparently rejected the offer saying she’d provided all she needed and ‘the discussion is around him (Dunkerton) paying his outstanding invoices’.

I learn the former Cheltenham market stall holder has begun legal action against Dowdeswell Estates Building over work on his Cotswolds property development and hotel business, The Lucky Onion

Dunkerton, who counts Zara and Mike Tindall among his friends, then tried to use an independent accountant to carry out an audit but, it’s alleged, the company declined to cooperate any further.

Both sides decline to comment.

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer is making a killing. 

The Liverpudlian actress, 28, who’s rapidly becoming a Hollywood star, has almost made her first million. 

The first set of accounts for her business, Jodesco Ltd, through which she channels her earnings, disclose that it already has £912,406 in assets. 

She set up the company last year and it has £872,829 in cash and £39,577 in monies owed.

Larking Martin enjoys horse laughs with Anne

He originally made his name in the riotous TV show Men Behaving Badly, but Martin Clunes didn’t faze Princess Anne with his horseplay at a race meeting yesterday.

‘Clunes made her laugh,’ says a fellow race-goer at Newbury in Berkshire. ‘Anne doesn’t put up with any nonsense, though.’

He originally made his name in the riotous TV show Men Behaving Badly, but Martin Clunes didn’t faze Princess Anne with his horseplay at a race meeting yesterday

The Doc Martin star, 59, was watching the British Horse Society’s charity race. He already knew the Queen’s daughter, 71, through his work for the society, of which he is president and she vice patron.

With his second wife, TV producer Philippa, Clunes owns a farm in Dorset which has stables, paddocks and a show-jumping field.

Last year, Philippa had to be taken to hospital after being injured in a riding accident.

There were often ‘fireworks’ between Earl Bathurst and his colourful late stepmother, Gloria, but don’t expect explosions tonight at their stately home, Cirencester Park in Gloucestershire. 

‘I loathe fireworks,’ declares his wife, Countess Bathurst. 

‘It’s torture. The explosions start the weekend before, and continue most nights, in one form or another, for a further 14 days. 

‘No warnings, just loud unexpected bangs, and as someone with dogs, I spend those awful weeks dealing with terrified animals — it’s not fun.’ 

Chef Camilla? I don’t think so

The Duchess of Cornwall was the guest of honour at the Fortnum & Mason launch party for Entertaining Lives, a cookbook by Jane Churchill and Emily Astor, but she wasn’t asked to buy a copy.

‘I hope she doesn’t try them herself,’ Churchill tells me of the recipes. ‘Why marry Prince Charles and cook yourself? She doesn’t need to do that.’

The author, who was Jane Wyndham before marrying Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill, late son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough, is a childhood friend of the duchess: ‘She and I were brought up together and she’s a great friend of mine.’

Crown star Nat loses sleep over double booking   

Playing Prince Philip’s confidante Countess Mountbatten in the new series of The Crown was always going to be challenging for Natascha McElhone.

But the actress, 51, tells me it was made even harder because, at the same time as getting up at the crack of dawn to film the Netflix hit, she had to read dozens of books in her role as a judge of the Booker Prize.

Playing Prince Philip’s confidante Countess Mountbatten (pictured) in the new series of The Crown was always going to be challenging for Natascha McElhone

But the actress, 51, tells me it was made even harder because, at the same time as getting up at the crack of dawn to film the Netflix hit, she had to read dozens of books in her role as a judge of the Booker Prize

‘Doing it alongside everything else meant I lost a fair bit of sleep,’ she tells me at the Booker announcement party at the Groucho Club in Soho.

‘I’d love eight hours, but for work I have to get up at five.’

Paxo’s pop at climate crisis   

Here’s your starter for ten . . . should Jeremy Paxman be ‘cancelled’?

The University Challenge host has dared to question the central tenets of the ‘climate crisis’ campaigners.

‘It is still possible that we are just experiencing natural fluctuations in temperature,’ he claims.

‘But who wants to argue with the settled wisdom of the scientific community?’

Paxo even hurls a brickbat at a modern-day saint in his column for Saga magazine.

‘The rants of Greta Thunberg leave me cold,’ he admits.

‘It is, of course, possible the doomsayers are as wrong as Vatican-approved scientists before Galileo demonstrated their fatuousness.’

Society daredevil David Kirke is determined to go out with a bang. 

A co-founder of the Dangerous Sports Club, Kirke performed the world’s first bungee jump and still harbours ambitions for one final leap at the age of 76.

‘In my obituary, I want it to say he gave things a good go,’ he tells me at a photography exhibition at Vout-O-Reenee’s club in London. 

‘There are people far older than me who are still doing dangerous things.’

Kim’s pooch poisoned in Hyde Park  

This will alarm pet lovers who walk their dogs in London’s Hyde Park: model Kim Johnson has revealed that her cocker spaniel, Lola, was poisoned.

Kim, 35, who married tycoon Arun Nayar after he divorced Liz Hurley, feared for her dog’s life.

This will alarm pet lovers who walk their dogs in London’s Hyde Park: model Kim Johnson (pictured) has revealed that her cocker spaniel, Lola, was poisoned

‘Lola got poisoned in Hyde Park,’ Kim says. ‘She immediately started foaming at the mouth. It was raw pork laced with poison.’

She does not say if Lola survived, but adds: ‘People with a dog, be vigilant.’

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