HER divorce from Ant McPartlin was finally settled last month after dragging on for two years amid a disagreement over a non-disclosure agreement.
And fresh from her £31million settlement, Lisa Armstrong, 43, is marking the start of her new chapter by celebrating with an extravagant divorce party, setting aside a £40,000 budget to lavish her celeb guests with endless champagne.
The make-up artist was seen planning the lavish event over the weekend while on a girls' night out – close to the £6m Chiswick home she once shared with Ant.
"Her friends were telling her to book a holiday or have a few drinks to toast to her new life and all of a sudden it escalated to a full-blown divorce party!" a pal tells Sun Online.
“She’s already made enquires with top party planners in London and LA, one of whom works a lot with the Ecclestone sisters and is setting up an initial meeting to hear their ideas.
"She’s not really a flashy showy person and won’t want all glitter and glam but she sees no excuse not to go all out and treat her loved ones.
“The budget is in the region of £40,000, she may even do a theme, but it’ll be in London. Of course, having rosé champagne on tap works for her, as does plenty of unpretentious food.
"She would like to have a live singer, even a Frank Sinatra tribute act and fireworks. She’d like luxurious party favours, mini bottles of champagne, keyrings from Tiffany and Louis Vuitton card holders.
“She has a great eye with colour, she is a makeup artist after all so will do something chic and relaxed, her focus is on treating her guests. It’s as much about thanking everyone who’s supported her as it is about celebrating her new life.
"She's been to hell and back but the cloud is finally lifting and she wants to focus on all the positives – not everything that’s gone wrong recently."
Making new memories
As The Sun reported in December, Ant and Lisa were notorious in their close-knit circle of celebrity friends – including Declan Donnelly and his wife Ali Astall, as well as Dermot O’Leary, his wife Dee Koppang, Frank and Christine Lampard and Holly Willoughby and her husband Dan Baldwin – for throwing lavish bashes at their home.
And a source reveals Lisa wants to trump what she did in the past with Ant and create an even better party, all on her own terms.
Our source says: “Lisa missed the parties her and Ant would throw when they were together, she didn’t want to lose part of herself in their split, so decided the more she’s starting to feel back to herself, the more she wants to do the things she used to love.
“There was a clear divide after the split, a lot of their mates involved in TV sided with Ant as they had to keep working with him. While Lisa’s Strictly family had her back and championed her alongside the likes of Piers Morgan.
“And it’s that loyalty and support she wants to thank as well as her mum, Linda and brother Stephen.
"She loved being the host, entertaining and making people feel welcome in her home. And now she’s the perfect excuse to do the same again and create new, happy memories.
"Of course it’ll be wonderful if her divorce party beats anything she used to have with Ant, so she is happy to splash more cash to make it amazing.”
Lisa was last single when she was 17, meeting former Byker Grove star Ant as a teenager when they were performing in Newcastle with their respective pop acts, Deuce and PJ & Duncan.
They were together for 23 years before they announced their split in January 2018.
Five months later news broke he was in a relationship with their former PA, mother-of-two Anne-Marie Corbett.
Taking to Twitter at the time Lisa fumed: “Yeah My Friend and OUR PA who I let into OUR home.”
As The Sun previously reported, Lisa was anticipating that Ant would propose to Anne-Marie over Christmas, but now their divorce is finalised she’s still got that fear hanging over her.
“She’s still living on tender hooks that Ant is going to announce his engagement to Anne-Marie,” a source tells The Sun.
“She wants to distract herself with some good news of her own and thinks a party is a great way to turn a negative into something positive.
“Now the divorce is a reality she wants to start afresh with everything. She feels she’s carried the heartache, the burden and stress and while she doesn’t feel the end of her marriage is anything to celebrate she does agree that it’s certainly wants to mark this as a mini victory – she survived it all.”
Lisa’s split from Ant follows a challenging few years for the former couple, during which time Ant entered into rehab twice for his addiction to prescription pain killers. Soon after their marriage ended Lisa was forced to step down from Britain’s Got Talent's spin off show, and as a final blow her father Derek lost his battle with cancer in May.
But December marked a turnaround for Lisa when she was snapped leaving a hotel with music executive Jeremy Hewitt, 51, who works with stars including Little Mix, Niall Horan and Lenny Kravitz.
While they're just friends, sources tell The Sun it got the ball rolling for Lisa and she’s not ruled out love again.
They say she now wants to relive her 20s as a single woman and plans to move into a flat share with some friends.
“Once the party is over, it’s time for Lisa to consider her next move, she’s even said she’s excited for what’s to come now," the source says. "The party is just the very start of this new Lisa moving on.
“Friends are starting to see threads of the old Lisa come back, she’s cracking the same jokes, and is more uplifted in her messages. It’s no longer all doom and gloom, a cloud has lifted.
"She’s always been incredibly kind, sweet and there for her mates but she’s able to give more again. Everyone is just relieved she’s starting to come back to life.”
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