Homes gossip

Geordie beauty Donna Air, the former girlfriend of zoo-keeping property tycoon Damian Aspinall, has begun house-hunting with a £1.5 million budget
Donna Air
© PA
Donna Air

Donna is walking on air


xGeordie beauty Donna Air, the former girlfriend of zoo-keeping property tycoon Damian Aspinall, has begun house-hunting with a healthy budget of £1.5 million.

“She has no particular area in mind but it must be reasonably near Damian so that he can see their daughter Freya,” says a friend. “It must also have a garden as Donna is very into growing organic veg.”

During her seven-year relationship with Aspinall the leggy bus mechanic’s daughter shared three homes: a converted Knightsbridge church and two Grade II-listed Kent mansions complete with zoos at Howletts and Port Lympne. She currently rents TV personality Susannah Constantine’s Battersea pad.


Rachel Royce
© Mark Large
Rachel Royce
TV reporter Rachel Royce is selling the five-bedroom Wiltshire home she once shared with her ex-husband, newspaper columnist Rod Liddle. She is asking £375,000 through Savills for this Grade II-listed Georgian pad in the Wylye Valley. The sale marks the final chapter in their vitriolic divorce battle which began in 2004 when Liddle ran off with The Spectator’s receptionist, Alicia Monckton, 21 years his junior.

“I’m keen to buy a flat in London, probably around Kingston where I was brought up,” slinky engineer’s daughter Ms Royce tells me. “I’m currently living with our children, Tyler and Wilder, in a place I’ve been lent in Muswell Hill.” Meanwhile, leonine Liddle, former editor of the Today programme, is renting a £3,100-a-week house near Marlborough.


Mick Hucknall
© PA
Mick Hucknall
His top 10 hits may have disappeared but Simply Red’s lead singer Mick Hucknall is banking on property to keep him in his old age. He co-owns Ask Property Developments, which has helped to regenerate some of the poorest areas of Manchester.

“We’ve been badly bitten by the crunch,” admits the carrot-haired Stockport barber’s son. “At one stage the company was valued at £46 million but was then almost wiped out overnight. Incredibly it has all turned around and within several years we hope it will be back to its original value.”

Reformed romeo Hucknall, whose girlfriend Gabriella Wesberry recently gave birth to his first child, Romy, owns a £5 million Surrey mansion with a recording studio, a crash pad in Milan and a vineyard in Sicily.


Michael Geoghegan
© Alexandre Meneghini/AP
Michael Geoghegan
Michael Geoghegan, one of Britain’s top bankers, has paid £10 million for a Belgravia mansion, despite recently moving his office to Hong Kong to take advantage of the Chinese market. The seven-bedroom, six-storey, Grade II-listed Chester Square property, near Baroness Thatcher’s home, was sold by society beauty Amanda Eliasch.

Windsor-born Mr Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC, earns more than £1 million a year and has had bonuses of up to £1.9 million. He and his wife, Jania, own homes in Weybridge and Brook Green and have two sons.

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