John Cleese's toy girl

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John Cleese

John Cleese's toy girl

John Cleese is dating a woman half his age.

The 68-year-old comedy legend has struck up a friendship with marketing executive Veronica Smiley, 34, and the pair have already enjoyed a romantic holiday in Italy together.

John said: "Veronica is incredibly bright. I never thought I would be interested in somebody in marketing but she is so cute."

However, John is concerned about having a long distance relationship as he lives in London while Veronica is based in Chicago.

He said: "I am not sure when we'll be seeing each other again. Unfortunately we are living apart."

The couple met at a "power breakfast" in New York.

Veronica said: "At the moment it is a very close, very warm friendship. He is twice my age. He is very stimulating and extremely funny and charming."

Film Director Michael Winner - who was with the pair in Italy - confirmed they are romantically involved.

He said: "It is true they are seeing each other though they are not dating at the moment because they are on different continents. They are phoning each other and keeping in touch."

The actor is currently embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with his third wife Alyce Faye Eichelberger, who he split from in January following 16 years of marriage.

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