Emma Thompson and Greg Wises short-lived EU dream after Brexit: Back at mums place

Strictly: Eamonn Holmes issues warning to Emma Thompson

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Greg Wise returns to screens tonight alongside dance partner Karen Hauer in BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing at 6:45pm. This week the pressure mounts on the celebrity contestants as viewers are given the chance to vote for their favourite couples for the first time. After the results are announced this evening, one pairing will become the first duo eliminated from the 2021 season of Strictly.

Last week Mr Wise, who is famous for playing Lord Louis Mountbatten in The Crown and John Willoughby in 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, danced the American Smooth to Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life.

Mr Wise and Ms Thompson met on the set of Sense and Sensibility and married in 2003.

The couple have long been ardent and vocal Remainers while they moved to Venice in February 2020 in a decision reportedly spurred on by Brexit.

They bought a house in the Italian city and reportedly took on extensive Italian lessons before the move.

Speaking in Italian upon signing the formal documents to become an Italian citizen Ms Thompson said it was “the realisation of a dream she had cherished for years”.

Deputy mayor Simone Venturini added: “They wanted to be resident citizens to come and live in Venice.

“They bought in the historic centre, not a second home. 

“We are truly happy and proud to have Emma Thompson and Greg Wise as our fellow citizens, for what they represent and for the love they show for Venice.”

However, they left Italy due to coronavirus and went to isolate with family on the bank of Loch Eck in Argyll, Scotland.

Italy was one of the worst affected European countries at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Thompson told the BBC she was speaking from her “mum’s place” in Scotland, and stressed her connection to the holiday home. 

She said: “I’ve played on its banks, picnicked on its beaches, swum in its chilly, unsalted depths, cycled round it, drunk it, kissed in boats on it, married near it, never wearied it.”

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The Love Actually actress claimed in February 2016 that Brexit was “madness” and that she would vote Remain.

While speaking at the Berlin International Film Festival Ms Thompson described Britain as: “A tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe, a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island.”

She added: “I feel European even though I live in Great Britain and in Scotland.

“So of course I’m going to vote to stay in Europe ‒ oh my God, it would be madness not to.

“It would be a crazy idea not to. 

“We should be taking down borders, not putting them up.”

Ms Thompson’s husband Mr Wise, is also a vocal Remainer, yet in the build up to the 2016 referendum, accused both sides of “scaremongering”.

He added, in an interview with Press Association: “We’ve got huge problems in our country and I don’t think the EU is one of them, I really don’t.”

Upon being announced on the 19th series of Strictly Mr Wise paid an emotional tribute to his late sister, Clare Wise who died from cancer in 2016.

He said: “My beautiful sister was a huge disco queen. 

“She left our world almost exactly five years ago in a glitter ball coffin ‒ this is for her.

“My gorgeous Diva sis, who would have been insane with excitement that her little bro was doing this.”

Watch Strictly Come Dancing at 6:45pm on BBC One.

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