After Emma and Helena, Has Ken Found a Soulmate at Last?
Friends reveal how the new Mrs Branagh is so different from his early ill-fated loves

Evening Standard - 29 May 2003
By Rick Hewett

**Thanks, Catherine

Kenneth Branagh is one of the great stage and screen actors of his generation. With hit films such as 'Peter's Friends' and 'Much Ado About Nothing' and acclaimed TV productions 'Shackleton' and 'Conspiracy' he has achieved far more than most. Sadly, his love life has been less successful.

Perhaps inevitably, when his secret wedding to Lindsay Brunnock was announced yesterday, there were those who asked: will it fare any better than his previous ill-fated relationships?

His six-year marriage to Emma Thompson collapsed very publicly in 1996. Next came a five-year relationship with Helena Bonham Carter, which also failed.

The 42-year-old fiercely private actor surprised many with news of his secret second marriage. In a typically brief one-line statement his publicist simply revealed he had tied the knot with Lindsay, 32, his girlfriend of two years. No further details were given.

However, friends who know the couple have talked to me about the down-to-earth, publicity-shy woman art director who is the antithesis of his starry loves Emma and Helena.

One explains: "Lindsay is very much on the other side of the camera, both literally and emotionally.

"She is very different as a person to the actresses he has known before. She is less of an arty, luvvie type and more practical. He finds this very appealing as it keeps him grounded and focused. As personality types, they quite simply work well together.

"Kenneth hates the whole celebrity party scene and this seems to be reflected in the kind of person he has chosen to be with."

Another adds: "His previous relationships have failed because he has always picked certain types who are very similar to him. With Lindsay there is a different dynamic. She is fairly in awe of him and he is the dominant one in the relationship, but this seems to suit them both."

Lindsay Antonia Brunnock is the daughter of a wealthy businessman, James, and his wife, Margaret, who have just sold their Cambridgeshire home for 500,000 and bought a house in the Dordogne.

After university, Lindsay built a successful career, working in art direction on several British films including 'Born Romantic' with Jane Horrocks and 'Loving You' starring to Niamh Cusack.

According to Branagh's unforthcoming publicist, the couple met just two years ago on the set of Channel 4's 40 million drama 'Shackleton'.

In fact, they were introduced as early as 1997, ironically by his then girlfriend, Bonham Carter. Lindsay was working as an assistant art director on the movie version of the George Orwell classic 'Keep The Aspidistra Flying'.

Miss Brunnock was, say friends, instantly smitten, although they did not become romantically involved until working together on 'Shackleton'.

Although she is a decade younger than Branagh, friends say his new bride is very mature and level-headed - in short, just the soulmate he has longed to meet all these years.


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