He feels betrayed and utterly humiliated because this makes him look stupid and, even worse, a liar. The fact that the man involved is allegedly into cross-dressing and kinky stuff just makes him feel even worse.

"Noel feels extremely let down and is desperate to move on. He and Helen are separated and now wish to go ahead with a divorce."

Noel and Helen - parents of Charlotte, 21, Lorna, 17, Olivia, 14, and Alice, six - split in 2002 but continued to share their 35-room mansion by living in separate parts of the family home.

The friend continued: "They used different doors and could go for days without actually running into each other. But everyone was happy with the arrangement. Noel is now most concerned about the girls.

To say this has been an emotional time for him is an understatement."