Emilia Fox: Butterfly Champion
Butterflies seem to love Emilia Fox. When I meet her in a polytunnel in Hertfordshire they are clinging to her hair and clothes. “They only like me because I’m covered in rotten banana,” admits the 35-year-old Silent Witness star, whose father is the actor Edward Fox. “But for me they’ve always been these mythical, elite creatures. I suppose I’m overly romantic. I love flowers, too – you’ve got to smell those chocolate anemones.”
This is a girl whose first experience of true love was that of her canaries, Samson and Delilah, when she was a small child. “Samson would sing all day and Delilah, who was voluptuous and sexy, would sit on her eggs,” she says. “But she laid too many and died and Samson never sang again. We got him a new lover but she was ghastly and henpecked him and he went to the back of his cage and fell off his perch. It was devastating.”
When Fox married fellow actor Jared Harris in 2005, butterflies fluttered about her head as she came out of the church. Unfortunately, the relationship ended in divorce last year but it is roses once more in Fox’s life. She has recently announced she is expecting a baby with her boyfriend, Jeremy Gilley, 40, a documentary film-maker.