In a hearing at London’s High Court which lasted less than a minute, District Judge Anne Aitken granted the couple a decree nisi -- the first legal step to ending their 10-year marriage.

Nigella Lawson

Saatchi and Lawson now have to wait for a decree absolute, which is usually issued six weeks later, ending their marriage.

Their marriage came to an end when pictures published last month showed Saatchi holding his wife by the throat as they had an argument in a restaurant.