Kate Winslet has described her escape from Sir Richard Branson’s island as a “dramatic chapter in a movie”. The Oscar-winning actress – who was holidaying on the private Caribbean island of Necker with her boyfriend Louis Dowler and children Mia, 10, and seven-year-old Sam when the blazing inferno struck last week – insisted the party have the tycoon’s daughter Holly, 29, to thank for her “totally unflappable and utterly practical” attitude.
She said: “It happened very fast. Richard’s daughter Holly became head girl immediately. Totally unflappable and utterly practical. Her calm instructions set the tone for an efficient evacuation and significantly helped to keep the hysteria under control. Flames were licking towards us.
“I just knew we had to go fast and I didn’t want to alarm my children any more than they already were. I know it sounds like a dramatic chapter in a novel or a movie, but nobody was about to shout, ‘Cut!’”
“I’m just glad everyone is safe. This easily could not have been the case.”
After being awoken by smoke in the mansion at 5.15am, Kate carried the Virgin tycoon’s 90-year-old mother Eve to safety after she spotted a “wall of flames” coming towards the group.
She told Britain’s Hello! magazine: “On realising just how fast the flames were gaining on us, I picked up a defiant and very able Eve.
“God bless this stoic woman, she didn’t want to be carried. For the record Eve could absolutely have made it out on two feet but I had seen something that the others in my group hadn’t, which was the wall of flames heading rapidly our way.”
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