Sunday 4 December 2016

Revealed: the tragic past of Kylie Minogue's lover

Romantic poem that made Kylie cry on Desert Island Discs was written by boyfriend's father who died in a plane crash more than 20 years ago

Robert Mendick

Published 19/12/2015 | 09:29

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 4: Kylie Minogue and boyfriend Joshua Sasse seen leaving the BBC Radio 2 Studios on December 4, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Huckle/GC Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 4: Kylie Minogue and boyfriend Joshua Sasse seen leaving the BBC Radio 2 Studios on December 4, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Huckle/GC Images)

It was the most intimate of poems that moved Kylie Minogue to tears.

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In a break from the norm, the pop star had allowed her boyfriend, the actor Joshua Sasse, to choose one surprise recording for her on Desert Island Discs.

What Mr Sasse picked was a tender poem that had Minogue crying with joy. “I’m a mess... I think I stopped breathing for half of that... That was absolutely beautiful,” Minogue told Kirsty Young, presenter of the Radio 4 programme.

But what will not have been clear to audiences is just how deeply personal the choice was.

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: Singer Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse are seen on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 03: Singer Kylie Minogue and Joshua Sasse are seen on December 3, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

For while Miss Young made it clear that the poem As I Look Up it was written by Mr Sasse’s father Dominic, what she omitted to mention was that the poet had died at the age of just 37 in a plane crash in Kathmandu in 1992. His son Joshua was just four at the time.

The poem is contained in The Jousting Meadow, published by Forward Publishing Company in 1989. Mr Sasse had completed two poetry collections in his lifetime. A third manuscript, first feared to have been lost in the Nepal plane crash, was published posthumously in 1994.

Mr Sasse, the son of a Ghurka army officer, was on a trip to Nepal where he had set up a trekking lodge five years earlier.

At the time of his death, his publisher William Sieghart described him as “a proud and passionate man, Dominic Sasse was very much the image of a romantic poet. Big in physique and spirit, often contentious and forceful in his opinions, he left a lasting impression on everyone he met”.

A family friend told The Telegraph: “Josh’s father has always loomed large in his life. Josh was so young when the crash happened. It was so terrible at the time.”

Mr Sasse left behind his wife Mary and two children, Joshua and Lydia. His wife Mary, who subsequently remarried, is the granddaughter of William Berry, the 1st Viscount Camrose, who purchased the Daily Telegraph in 1927 and also owned The Sunday Times and other newspapers.

Mr Sasse’s family home is a rambling country house in Herefordshire. Mr Sasse studied at Shrewsbury School but was obsessed through his school years with acting.

Minogue, who at 47 is 19 years older than her boyfriend, met him on the set of Galavant, a musical comedy in which Mr Sasse stars and in which she was making a guest appearance. Since that meeting in September, the pair have become inseparable and Mr Sasse is thought to have introduced her to his family.

Minogue, for her part, has talked about “a love in my life, which is just a beautiful thing”. She hinted on Desert Island Discs she now wanted to start a family.

'As I Look Up' by Dominic Sasse

Once more reality I must leave, to dream.

To let Time forgive my faults and not forget,

as I have not, the sugared moments spent.

From my dreams I shall rise, unsnared,

as I look up, there you shall be,

by memory enshrined exactly.

Together we shall taste the enchanted past,

Like anointed lovers entwined,

we shall tread that merry avenue of beeches,

their tinsel to shimmer and sway.

Once passed the mansion gates I would bend,

to press my eager face into your neck,

where the secret flesh is furred like peaches,

behind a curtain of caramel scented curls.

Without asking I would pull you down,

with my devoted hands to express,

my fluent tongue to endear.

We would smear our mouths with ardent kisses

and cry aloud from loving as we lay,

beneath the arches of a careless wanton day.

Telegraph.co.uk

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