For once, though, work - always his abiding passion - has lost its allure.

Instead, even two years on from their separation, Collins is said still to be struggling to come to terms with the failure of his most recent marriage.

dana tyler still dating phil collins-67

The attractive Orianne, the daughter of a well-to-do family, is something of a social butterfly.

She took far more readily to the round of smart dinner parties with the elite of Swiss society than her notoriously reserved husband.

He never wanted the divorce to happen and it has hit him really hard.

I always had hopes that they would get back together.' Miss Speake, 78, who in partnership with Phil's mother started the Barbara Speake Stage School in West London, taught the young Collins from the age of nine.

Third time unlucky: Phil Collins with wife number three, Orianne Cevey 'He does the most fantastic models of villages and towns with a railway running through them.

He's made little people windsurfing and rowing boats. He has it all set up in the basement of his house in Switzerland.

She thinks it was the depression that triggered the divorce.

We don't think Orianne even knew she was suffering with it.' Reflecting sadly on this most unhappy period in her friend's life, she continued: 'Phil was desperately trying to hold everything together, but he didn't know what was wrong with Orianne at the time.

Hey, everyone who broke into a chorus of “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” when you heard that Phil Collins was retiring from music–you do realize that he only said he’d be retiring from recording it or playing live, right?

Because he has some sort of music-graphomania that is going to make him keep writing until he finally gives up the ghost, fingers clutching a pencil that’s just finished plotting out another big “DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH” fake-drum break?

But by all accounts, after three years' work on it, the London-born singer has high hopes that he might eventually have a hit on his hands. Following a particularly nasty viral infection in 2000, Collins has been left with an annoying buzzing in his left ear, which refuses to subside.