21 JANUARY 2009

His 20-year-old girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova was absent so Ronnie Word instead caught up with some friends from the old days at a London social event packed with familiar faces from stage and screen.

Spotted chatting warmly with fellow pop veteran Lulu at Tuesday's South Bank Awards show, the Rolling Stone looked like he didn't have a care in the world despite currently working out details of his split from estranged wife Jo.

He also looked pleased to see John Hurt, whose last cinema outing was 2008's Indiana Jones flick, throwing his arms affectionately around the actor when they met.

The evening honoured theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the force behind hugely popular new West End musical Oliver!. Taking to the podium to acknowlege his lifetime achievement accolade, Sir Cameron apologised for "interfering" with "re-writes for the last 40 years".

Among those listening to the self-deprecating speech were The Devil's Whore hero John Simm, Silent Witness star Emilia Fox and Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones.

Photo: Rex
The rocker - who recently parted with his wife of nearly three decades and has a young new companion, Ekaterina - spent the evening chatting with friends such as Lulu and actor John Hurt at the South Bank Awards show
Photo: Rex
He was joined at the event celebrating the arts across the spectrum by The Devil's Whore hero John Simm and his wife Kate Magowan
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