Homes gossip

Comedian and new co-host of The One Show, Jason Manford, has been looking for a flat to rent near the BBC's White City studios
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Alex Jones and Jason Manford
© PA
Alex Jones and Jason Manford

Two into one for Jason and Alex

Jason Manford, the Mancunian stand-up comedian chosen to co-host The One Show, has been looking for a flat to rent near the BBC’s White City studios. Currently staying in a London hotel, he has no intention just yet of selling his Stockport home and moving south with his wife Catherine and twin daughters.

“Alex and I are trying to live on the same road like Ant and Dec,” jokes Manford, referring to his new Cardiff-based co-star Alex Jones.

The Beeb hopes that the pair will generate the same on-screen chemistry as their predecessors, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, who begin presenting their much-hyped ITV breakfast show, Daybreak, next month. Manford recently bought his parents, Ian and Sharon, a pristine semi a mile away from the modest Salford terrace where he grew up.

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Susan Hampshire
Susan Hampshire
Actress Susan Hampshire is selling the 19th-century threshers’ barn in Oxfordshire that she converted seven years ago for her ailing husband, former West End impresario Sir Eddie Kulukundis. Price: £1.15 million through Knight Frank.

“It’s heartbreaking, as I specially designed it so that Eddie didn’t need to climb any stairs,” she tells me. “Our bedrooms and his-and-hers bathrooms are on the ground floor, as is the massive drawing room and huge kitchen. We’re only leaving because my son Christopher and his family have just moved to Poole in Dorset.”

The Kulukundises, who also own two adjoining houses in Chelsea, have bought a “tiny” flat by Poole Harbour. “I feel very stupid,” adds the Barnes-born Forsyte Saga heroine. “Nine months ago we turned down an offer just below our then £1.5 million asking price.”

Jermain Defoe
© Andy Hooper
Jermain Defoe
Beware, glamour models and Page Three girls. Libidinous England and Spurs star Jermain Defoe is about to move closer to London’s exciting nightlife.

“He’s looking at apartments in and around St John’s Wood,” reports Aston Chase. “He has a budget of about £1.6 million but will go higher for the right property.”

The brawny Beckton-born striker has a legendary appetite for glamorous women, with a fling-list that includes Celebrity Big Brother stars Danielle Lloyd and Chantelle Houghton. But he plans to keep his Hertfordshire mansion on Cuffley’s exclusive Ridgeway because of its proximity to White Hart Lane and Spurs’ Chigwell training ground.

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Publishing tycoon Felix Dennis is a strong believer in Mark Twain’s adage: “Buy land, they’re not making it any more.” He has just paid an estimated £12 million for his sixth property, a five-bedroom villa on Mustique, his second on the Caribbean island. “It’s an investment and rental property,” explains the bachelor and former Harrow gravedigger.

His other properties include a Soho penthouse, a country estate near Stratford-Upon-Avon, a Manhattan apartment and a Connecticut farm.

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