The UK’s highest profile atheist Richard Dawkins and his actress wife Lalla Ward have confirmed they have separated after 24 years of marriage.
Professor Dawkins, who suffered a minor stroke earlier this year, and the 65-year-old former Dr Who star said their split was ‘amicable’.
The pair, who were unable to have children, are understood to be still living at their £3million home in Oxford, where Miss Ward has illustrated some of her husband’s work – and ‘remain friends’.
According to the Sunday Times, they released a joint statement which said: ‘Our marriage, like everyone’s, is a private matter and we are not prepared to share any details. Suffice to say it is true that we recently separated entirely amicably.
‘Obviously, this remains a difficult time, one which we simply will not discuss any further publicly. We would, however, like to stress that we shall always be friends and that we will, of course, continue to work together.’
The former couple met are said to have met at a party in 1992 hosted by mutual friend Douglas Adams, a former Dr Who scriptwriter who went on to pen The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Six months later they married, despite the twice-previously divorced Dawkins claiming he was ‘not looking to marry again’.
Oxford academic Prof Dawkins fell ill on February 5, forcing him to cancel a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
He described feeling that the stroke had taken him ‘back to childhood’ because his ‘biggest challenge is buttons’, but is believed to have made a full recovery.
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