Channel 4 Racing Star to Divorce; Stable-Girl at Centre of Split

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Kay

AS THE face of Channel 4 racing, she deftly charms the most difficult of jockeys. But behind her easy smile, Lesley Graham has been hiding turmoil in her private life.

Lesley's marriage to former trainer Neil Graham has collapsed, and she is naming her husband's one-time head stable-girl, Julie Voules, in her divorce papers.

What's more, the couple find themselves locked in a bitter domestic struggle because, somewhat inconveniently, they are both still to be found living at the same address -- a ten-bedroom former rectory in Norfolk -- albeit in separate quarters.

According to friends, Neil, 50 -- who used to work for Godolphin, the racing operation owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum -- has refused to leave the house. He now lives in an annexe.

He recently won a legal ruling allowing him access to the rest of the house, although he is banned from certain areas -- including the marital bedroom.

Neil and Lesley have been married for 20 years and have two teenage children.

I am told matters came to a head after Lesley confronted his stablegirl mistress, who confessed to the affair and promptly apologised. …