John Fisher Chats to Frances Segelman who has just announced her engagement to philanthropist and multi-millionaire knight of the realm Sir Jack Petchey.
Born in Leeds, Frances Segelman is fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and is well known for her busts of royalty and celebrity personalities. Fiancée Jack was awarded an OBE in 2004 and a CBE in the 2011 Birthday Honours for charitable services. He was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to young people in East London and Essex through the Jack Petchey Foundation.
You’ve been in a long-standing relationship with Jack for over two decades, how did it feel to be proposed to after all this time?
Jack proposed to me by phone as I was abroad at the time. It was a complete shock to me after all these years. I was very moved and said yes. It still hasn’t completely sunk in, but I am delighted.
You must have been thrilled when Jack received the news of his knighthood in the New Year Honours. How did he react to the news?
When he received the news of his knighthood he told me that he loved me and that he wanted to share this accolade with me and make me Lady Petchey.
How did you two meet?
Jack and I have been together for 24 years, we met at a dinner party organised by mutual friends. I found him to be the most wonderful gentleman.
What are the qualities you most admire in him?
He is so special, and he has a lovely aura about him. He is extremely positive and never negative, and that is the most amazing thing to live with. We aim to marry in February.
What are you working on at the moment?
On a sculpture of the Prince of Wales, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and putting the finishing touches to Lord Julian Fellowes, whom I sculpted last year for the Stroke Association. I always have many sculptures on the go at the same time; it helps keep my work fluid.
In October Frances will hold a retrospective of her famous sculptures at the Tower of London in aid of the Stroke Association.