Sir Paul McCartney's eldest daughter MARY has separated from her television producer husband ALISTAIR DONALD after six years of marriage.

According to friends, Donald has "been plagued by feelings of inadequacy" whilst living in the shadow of his photographer wife and her famous family - particularly after Mary's career rocketed and his failed.

A pal tells Britain's DAILY MAIL newspaper, "Problems started shortly after they commissioned work to be done on their new home.

"The cost of renovations has been extortionate and unbelievably problematic; this has been a constant source of tension for the couple.

"To compound matters, Alistair has had problems with work and has been unable to establish himself as a television producer. In contrast his wife's career has taken off."

McCartney, who shot to fame after being commissioned to take the first official portrait of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's youngest son LEO in 2000, remains in their family home while Donald has moved into another house the pair recently bought in London.

But neither is prepared to permanently call time on the union and they are keen to reconcile for the sakes of their children, ARTHUR, five, and ELLIOT, two.

McCartney's friend adds, "Both Mary and Alistair are desperate to sort out their differences and neither view the split as a permanent thing."

11/04/2005 13:59