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Joan Collins’ secret name for hubby and date nights of caviar smothered potatoes

In what was dubbed the showbiz bash of the year, the couple welcomed friends old and new to Claridge’s, where they had enjoyed their 2002 nuptials. “It was fabulous,” says Joan Collins of the party, held on 17 February. “A perfect night.”

Joan wore a silver Jenny Packham gown, decorated with her Damehood Grand Cross, for the Art Deco-themed white-tie event. Old friends joining them included the Delevingne family and jewellery designer Theo Fennell. Other pals, such as Elizabeth Hurley and son Damian, Simon Cowell and partner Lauren Silverman, and Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon and wife Yasmin, mingled with the likes of the Duchess of York and Joan’s Dynasty co-stars Emma Samms and Stephanie Beacham.

In the ballroom, guests dined at tables named after Hollywood stars and Joe Pettitt and his LP Swing Orchestra played showtime classics.

The speeches were led by good friend Christopher Biggins – who had the crowd in hysterics as he joked about Joan’s turn on ITV ’s The Masked Singer, noting she was “beautiful, sexy – and bewildered”.

Aged 88, Joan is the picture of glamour

The pair never age (pictured in 2021)


Dave Benett/Getty Images for Har)

The audience then swooned as Percy described Joan as, “My angel who came from Heaven.”

And when Joan’s turn came she stood nervously, admitting, “I lost my speech. I can’t be funny like you guys!” But she had the room in stitches as she shrugged, “Well, he’s still here!” Joan added, “We’ve not spent a day apart in 22 years. I call him Perfect Percy, which he hates, and sometimes Big Dog – which he loves.”

The night ended with a DJ set featuring Macarena and Duran Duran’s classic Rio.

Joan, who had been married four times previously, shares children Tara and Alexander with her second husband, Anthony Newley, and Katy with her third, Ron Kass. Percy was married once before.

Here, they talk about their party highlights and keeping romance alive…

Hi, both, and congratulations on 20 years of marriage! Did you enjoy the evening?

Joan with Fergie


Brian Aris)

Joan: Oh, it was spectacular, just perfect. It was loads of fun. It was incredibly elegant, stylish, smart, full of fun, friends, joy, happiness, kindness, empathy, good food, good wine and good dancing.

Percy: And fear!

Joan: What was fearful?

Percy: People cancelling at the last minute!

Joan: Well, that’s true. I won’t name names but I was changing placements at the last minute!

How frustrating!

Joan: Well, quite! It had taken three weeks of organising, consulting with Big Dog.

Percy: The consultation was limited, Joan didn’t need me! You know she did the placements at our wedding in the middle of an earthquake in Acapulco? So the writing was shaky, but not even a 5.9-quake would stop her making it wonderful.

So, you organised the night yourself, Joan?

Joan: Yes, I do tend to take charge when it comes to our social arrangements such as this, and then Percy’s in charge when it comes to our finances. He checks everything. He’ll say, “What’s this £4.50 you don’t have a receipt for?”

Percy: It’s important [laughs]!

Joan: I am a good organiser. And at the party, I wanted to sit people with others they knew, but also with people they would find interesting. Everyone said they had the best table.

What was it like to see some of the guests you had at your wedding 20 years ago?

Joan: It was fabulous! I loved having my brother Bill and sister-in-law Hazel there, likewise Christopher Biggins, and Theo and Louise Fennell, Charles and Pandora Delevingne, and their girls, Poppy and Chloe. And Theo’s daughter Emerald, who’s since won an Oscar. They were all at the wedding as little girls. I remember they danced to Macarena!

Percy: So I asked the DJ to play Macarena again this time.

Joan: I was very busy on the dance floor!

How do you decide on a guest list for something like this?

Joan has met everyone – from singers to royalty but her ideal night in is TV and a jacket potato


Press Association)

Percy: You take the original list, then you add everyone you’ve met since – and take away the people who have died!

Joan: Mind you, in the two weeks before the party we kept bumping into people we hadn’t invited. We were kicking ourselves.

Percy: It’s because Joan has so many friends.

Joan: Well, I’ve been around!

You had Stephanie and Emma there – a Dynasty reunion!

Joan: Yes, it was wonderful. We see them a lot, we keep in touch.

What are your memories of Dynasty?

The pair have been married for 20 years


Getty Images for Marcel Remus)

Joan: It was a great experience. I loved playing Alexis. I loved her so much everyone thought that was who I was – because I inhabited her totally. When I put those clothes on and spoke the dialogue, I was no longer Joan, I was Alexis. That’s what I’ve been tarred with ever since, in a way.

Percy: Unfairly. Because Joan is the most generous, open-hearted, non-manipulative woman in the world.

Joan: Oh, I’m blushing now.

Your speeches were lovely. Did you have a favourite moment?

Joan: It was a bit of a blur. I was so nervous about my own speech I found it difficult to concentrate.

Percy: And you went last as well, which is the hardest thing to do.

Joan: Making speeches makes me nervous.

We can’t imagine you as the nervous type!

Joan: When I’m acting I have a script, I know what I’m doing. With a speech, you write it yourself and you don’t know if it’s going to be good or not.

Percy: You did amazingly!

You spoke about how you’ve spent every day together since you met. How do you not get sick of each other?

Joan: We give each other space. He has his own dressing room, bathroom and office.

Percy: She gets sick of me! When I’m snoring, for instance… I’ll be told! “Darling, it’s 5am – you’re snoring!’’Joan does nothing wrong. I never get irritated by anything she does.

Joan: Yes, you do! Sometimes, when I want you to do up my necklaces, you get annoyed.

Percy: Well, yes, if I’m there with a cigarette dangling out of my mouth and a shopping bag in my hand, it’s difficult.

What’s a normal day in your household like?

Percy: She’ll wake me with a lovely cuddle and kiss.

Joan: Then he’ll go off into another room to read his papers and smoke many cigarettes. I’ll watch breakfast TV and read my papers, and drink coffee.

Percy: And then we’ll start our working day. We work together, so we need to constantly check in with each other. I have no clue what’s going on with social things, she’s not interested in the minutiae of balancing books. But it works!

With working together, how do you keep the romance alive?

Percy: We still like a date night.

Joan: Our ideal date nights are eating caviar on a baked potato in front of the TV, watching Gogglebox! I’d quite like to be on Gogglebox. We’d be fantastic.

Percy: We go out for dinner but on the whole we love watching a good movie or TV show. We’re really enjoying the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson mini-series [Pam & Tommy] at the moment.

Joan: It’s terribly rude in parts…

Percy: It’s so funny though.

What are the highlights of your 20 years?

Joan: We’ve done a lot of wonderful things.

Percy: That’s the wonderful thing about Joan, there’s always something to look forward to with her. She packs life with fun.

Joan: Well, life is a banquet! Eat life, or life will eat you! In terms of favourite memories, our seventh wedding anniversary, at Hotel Bel-Air in LA, was a fantastic night.

Percy, 20 years ago you said you were hurt by the press labelling you a “gold digger” due to your age gap and Joan’s star status. How do you look back at that now?

Percy: I was very hurt. Nobody knew what I was like.

Joan: He comes from a very good family and had a very good job. They even named a street in Lima [in Peru, where Percy was born] Percy Gibson Street, after his grandfather.

Percy: And 20 years later, I wonder if people are saying the same thing now!

You’ve proved them wrong!

Percy: The only thing that proves people wrong is time.

Joan: There aren’t many working actresses who’ve been married 20 years.

Percy: So many couples who were together around the same time as us have broken up.

Joan: Practically everyone! I think it’s easier to stay married if you’re not a Hollywood actor.

Percy: But both of us took marriage seriously from the beginning.

Joan: Well, I did practise a fair bit first!

Finally, what’s the secret to your happy marriage?

Joan: Separate bathrooms!

Percy: And just having someone to laugh with every day.

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