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Post by kangdang on 18.09.10 21:47

Caplin's book would certainly make to my wish list

She once turned down the offer of £1million for the story of her ten years as lifestyle guru to Tony and Cherie Blair.

But Carole Caplin might now be forced to think again following the failure of a gym she set up to offer massages and health consultations to the wealthy.

Losses have been substantial over its two years of operation, according to a spokesman, and it has been shut down for a 'period of reassessment'.
Callers to Lifesmart at the Albany in central London are told, briskly: 'Carole's not around.'

The Blairs have always been worried that the former exotic dancer might 'push the nuclear button' and write a book about her extraordinary association with them.
Crucially, what might Miss Caplin – still in immaculate shape at 48 – say about the secrets of the Blair marriage?

She joined them when Mr Blair was on the brink of being elected Labour leader and quickly made an intimate connection.

She's said to have insisted Mrs Blair tell her every last detail of their sex life, and even prescribed a sex regime which apparently resulted in the birth of baby Leo.

What tales could she tell of Mrs Blair's sessions with crystal dowser Jack Temple, a healer who would dangle crystals over jars containing his clients' toenail clippings?

And of the psychic channelling performed by her late mother Sylvia for the Prime Minister's wife – Sylvia would provide answers from the spirit world to questions vexing Mrs Blair.
How much money would she get for telling all about the massages she gave Mr Blair at Chequers?

The fear, then and now, was that she could 'finish' the Blairs.
Her ex-boyfriend, the conman Peter Foster, certainly always thought that she could, and one suspects he knew more about their friendship than he told.
In 2003 her lawyers issued a statement saying she had no intention of disclosing her relationship with the Blairs.
Confidante: Cherie Blair with Carole Caplin in 2002. There are fears she could now blow the lid on the Blair marriage
But as Tony and Cherie have now both brought out their own books, might she reconsider?

Her spokesman, Alka Johnson, would only say that she is concentrating on her clients at other gyms. So what's going wrong? And what is the truth about her relationship with the Blairs?

Troubled past: Carole Caplin's ex-boyfriend Peter Foster, pictured, brought plenty of negative attention to the Blairs during their time in Downing Street
As seems to be customary when dealing with Miss Caplin, nothing is quite as it appears.

For one thing, it's unclear whether the gym belongs to her at all.

She said last year that she bought the centre 'with help from an anonymous backer... somebody who benefited from me doing a bit of work for them?

However, the building is – and always has been – owned by Bill Kenwright Limited.

Mr Kenwright, a Labour-supporting theatre impresario and the chairman of Everton FC, is worth around £25million.

He allowed her company, Lifesmart, to operate in the building and put its logo on the towels and fittings.

Miss Caplin met him through his partner, Jenny Seagrove, with whom she was campaigning against EU plans to ban certain vitamin pills.

At the time, her relationship with Tony and Cherie was drawing to a close, badly damaged by the Foster controversy, in which her conman boyfriend helped Mrs Blair win a discount on two flats in Bristol.

Miss Caplin has always said that the Blairs did not ban her from Downing Street, although that differs from Alastair Campbell's recollection.

After a series of TV appearances she returned to her lifestyle work. 'I'd spent decades building up a fantastic business, doing absolutely what I love, and I thought I'm not going to change that,' she told an interviewer.
More...They're back! Tony Blair and Gordon Brown bury their long-standing differences to celebrate Pope's visit

And her clients love her.

'The first thing she always does is get you to take off all your clothes and then tell her all your secrets,' a source said.

'She is quite brilliant at forging these intense bonds.'
Just like the old days: Tony and Cherie Blair once again found themselves under the media spotlight after they were seated next to Gordon Brown during the Pope's address in Westminster on Friday
She and Mr Kenwright were certainly on very friendly terms. He once flew her to New York to see a play of his and invited her to dinner parties at his £5million Maida Vale home.

A while back, Mr Kenwright supposedly exclaimed that Miss Caplin had 'saved his life' by sorting out his diet and exercise regime.

Now, though, it seems he has had to reassess their relationship.
Perhaps not enough people were willing to pay £2,000 a year to visit her gym.

Whatever the truth, calls to both parties on the subject this week went unanswered.

Miss Caplin's former PR, Ian Monk, said: 'I'm sad for Carole, but not surprised if the gym has closed.

What Carole did, she did very well, but to me she had no business sense. 'The problem as well is that she was always stymied by Blair – because she could not trade on the fact that she was genuinely the woman who styled Tony Blair.

'She would run her legs ragged around town, finding him ties to wear and so on.'

This is something of a bombshell, as Miss Caplin has said she did not advise Tony on fashion.

Mrs Blair said that her confidante would visit three times a week to work out with her, and also advised her on clothes.

It's been known that she gave Mr Blair neck massages, and that she had a pet name for him – Toblerone – but it was never said that she was the one manipulating his image.

Mr Monk, though, seems confident in what he has said: 'The problem was that you could never put her on TV because there was always this nudge-nudge, wink-wink thing going on about Tony and massage and she was not willing to put the full version out there.'

As time passes, her story becomes less valuable.

The exotic Miss Caplin, who posed topless and dated Adam Ant, is a long way from the levers of power these days.

She still lives in the same North London flat that she has owned for years.

There was expectation in some quarters that Mr Blair would put her on his team once he left Downing Street, but he has not.

They seem to have stayed in touch only by telephone.
People who know Miss Caplin think that she doesn't see him or his wife any more.

As she said in a recent interview: 'I am quite an open book, but it's time to move on.'

And, with David and Samantha Cameron having knocked out the mirrored gym which was once her domain in Downing Street, it certainly looks as if her era is over.

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Indeed, I swallow a textbook everyday….a fact of which I am proud smug By far preferable and productive than wasting precious hours concocting and launching vitriolic attacks against others in the hope of gaining a few claps on a board frequented by lesser life form.

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