Joanna Lumley unveiled ’20-minute fling’ with Rod Stewart: ‘He recorded a song for me’
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The Absolutely Fabulous actress, 74, worked as a model before she forged a TV career, which was defined by her role as Patsy Stone in the BBC drama alongside Jennifer Saunders. Lumley is also known for her campaign work to help the Gurkhas, raising awareness of climate change and for defending Brexiteers after the European Union referendum. The star, who returns to screens on the ITV show Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home, also gave insight into her relationship with Sir Rod.
Lumley admitted to having a brief fling with the star in the Seventies after years of speculation about them previously being together.
The rumours were confirmed to be true when Sir Rod explained that she was “one of his part conquests” but had claimed she was “too upper-class” for him.
In 2012, he told The Sun: “She was a wonderful, wonderful girl – so posh, far too posh for Rod.”
Years later, Lumley weighed in on their relationship and revealed she was in her late 20s when they dated and recorded a song for her.
She said: “I went out with Rod Stewart for about 20 minutes, I suppose. No, it was a little bit longer than that.
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“He was so fabulous, he [just] had done Maggie May.
“It was at that time when he still wore pink satin suits and drove a Lamborghini [car] and was glamourous.”
BBC Radio 2 host Jo Whiley repeated “how glamorous!” when she heard about the beginnings of the short-lived love story.
Sir Rod was still with the Faces at the time, whom he performed with for several years from 1969.
Lumley explained in a 2018 BBC interview that she “adored” the band and “got to meet and know them”.
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She believed Sir Rod was recording his 1974 LP Smiler at the time and recalled one very early morning when Sir Rod presented her with a gift.
Lumley said: “They keep very late hours, those boys, because they record through the night.
“I remember him pitching up quite early one morning – I mean quite late in the early morning – about three or four oclock.
“He had got this track and he put it down and said, ‘This is for you.’”
Lumley, who described Sir Rod as “pretty cool” at the time, revealed that it was his cover of Bob Dylan’s 1963 hit Girl From The North Country.
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She continued: “I adore Bob Dylan and to hear Rod singing this fabulous song touched me so much.”
Whiley gushed: “It was for you, oh gosh… and that was one he dedicated to Joanna Lumley.”
When asked how it made her feel to “listen to the song now”, Lumley said it was “fantastic” at first.
She continued: “But then I studied the album and it doesn’t say, ‘Dedicated to Joanna Lumley’ – so you’ve only got my word for it.”
Whiley quipped that she could be making it up and Lumley responded: “I could be lying.”
While Lumley didn’t describe why her and Sir Rod’s relationship ended, the musician confessed the true reason to Piers Morgan.
In 2010, the Daily Express reported that Sir Rod told him: “She was a wonderful woman, she was so upper-crust.
“I was actually scared to talk because Joanna [Lumley] talked awfully wonderfully.”
However, he described Lumley as “wonderful, bless her” and admitted that he regretted breaking-up with her to chase other women.
Joanna Lumley reveals Rod Stewart dedicated a song to her
Sir Rod said: “It’s horrible, the only way I can defend myself is I was going through the cards – you know – just trying to find the right woman.”
In a 2012 Daily Mail article, Sir Rod tried to defend his promiscuous ways and claimed that “women literally threw themselves” at him.
He believed it was because they were “cute and we were British” but confessed to getting “tired of sex” at one point in his early 20s.
Sir Rod said: “You can’t understand if you haven’t been through it but we were literally peeling the girls off us.”
He confessed to getting “bored of not feeling affection” towards the women he had flings with and “wanted to be in love”.
Sir Rod said: “I wanted something special. After a while it was sad, it was actually sad.
“You just felt empty. If you’re 17 or 18 it’s great fun, in your 20s it is fine but the older you get… the more tragic it gets.”
Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home: Travels In My Own Land airs tonight on ITV from 8pm.
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