Film director Guy Ritchie has stolen a march on his ex-wife Madonna and spent an estimated £8 million on a Grade Ilisted Robert Adam house off Tottenham Court Road.
© Eric Gaillard/Reuters
While she owns the former marital home in dull Great Cumberland Place, he has bought a double Georgian mansion in Fitzrovia, where the neighbours include pop singer Gary Kemp, TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones and Linda Bennett, founder of LK Bennett fashion stores.
The building once housed a language school but now has business and residential use, with a huge basement suitable for a private cinema.
"Guy will need to spend a fortune converting it as it has been empty for three years," says a neighbour. "But when it's finished it will be one of the most elegant houses in London."
In 2008 Ritchie received a £50 million divorce settlement from Madonna, which included Ashcombe, their 1,200-acre Wiltshire shooting estate.
He was brought up at Loton Park, a 17th-century stately home near Shrewsbury belonging to his stepfather, baronet Sir Michael Leighton, and is distantly related to Edward I. His latest pad will make a perfect new home or office for Ritchie, whose most recent film, Sherlock Holmes, was a success after several flops.