What Would DCI Hunt Have to Say about This? Golden Couple: Hawes and Matthew; Above: Keeley in Ashes to Ashes

Daily Mail (London), February 22, 2008 | Go to article overview

What Would DCI Hunt Have to Say about This? Golden Couple: Hawes and Matthew; Above: Keeley in Ashes to Ashes


Byline: Alison Boshoff

THE PROPOSAL came on bended knee in Tiffany's in New York.

The wedding, at Marylebone Register Office in London in December 2001, wasfollowed by dinner and dancing under the baroque ceilings of the Ritz, no less.

The bride's loving family, including her mother Brenda, her cab-driver fatherTony and two cabbie brothers, toasted the health of the couple with champagne,and cheered their first kiss. But, looking back, perhaps there were spectres atthe feast.

Keeley Hawes could not, from the start, quite bring herself to refer to SpencerMcCallum as her husband. 'I can't quite get used to it,' she mused at the time.

Even though she and Spencer had been an item for four years, and had a youngson Myles, she found it hard to refer to Spencer as her partner for life.

For what reason? There was, perhaps, a niggling feeling that it was not quiteright. Their honeymoon consisted of two days in Amsterdam, after which the25-year-old bride returned to London to make the BBC drama Spooks.

Waiting for her was her co-star Matthew Macfadyen. They apparently fell foreach other 'like a ton of bricks' on set, although when the relationshipactually began is a touchy subject. Filming began in November, a month beforeher wedding; Hawes insists that the pair did not get together until she hadleft McCallum, in February.

Whatever the truth, she must have been practically brushing the confetti out ofher hair as she fell for her latest leading man.

After eight weeks, the marriage was over. There had been no need to get used toreferring to poor McCallum as her husband after all. BY APRIL, tiring ofwaiting for the news to spread, she and Macfadyen announced their romance witha public display of affection at a BBC party. 'They were necking like a coupleof teenagers,' said one present.

It was, you may think, a pretty ruthless way to go about ending a marriagebut as she later explained, there was 'no point' in staying in a lovelessmarriage.

'You never know what's round the corner and I think things are either right orthey're not, and they weren't right,' she said.

So far, so unhappy. But The two Their what, you wonder, has become of theplayers in this domestic drama now? Hawes has never had a higher profile thanksto the BBC drama Ashes To Ashes, in which she plays DI Alex Drake, who hastravelled through time to 1981. The show has been an instant hit, pulling inseven million viewers in its first week.

She lives with Macfadyen in an impeccably middle-class corner of South-WestLondon with their two children Maggie, four, and Ralph, one, andof courseMyles, when he is not with his father. Rather surprisingly, the third corner ofthis triangleMcCallum can be found in the very same suburb, living just round the corner.

The arrangement works for practical reasonsMcCallum is a freelance artist and likes to spend as much time with Myles, whois now seven, as he possibly can.

But it has evolved into something more than that, and how intriguing thissomething is. For the two 'loverivals'one a rising movie star and the other an ordinary Joeare now good friends. Indeed, locals observe that they are in and out of eachothers' houses and lives all the time.

McCallum, for instance, babysits for his former wife and her new husband whenthey go out to dinner, and they often go out together as an extended family.Indeed, the relationship between the men is so relaxed that they are often tobe found in the pub together, just hanging out.

So how does this work? Well, according to friends of Hawes, the deciding factorin this very civilised set up has been McCallum himself, and his unusualattitude towards the man who took his place at her side.

'Spencer is an amazing Dad,' a friend said. 'When Myles was tiny we used tojoke that he did more of the work than Keeley. He was completely in love withfatherhood from the start and became a full-time househusband, whereas Keeleyalways liked to work and went out pretty quickly to work again after havinghim. …

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