© Rex Features
Khan can’t sell — so stays
Heiress Jemima Khan has proved that the property slump affects even the grandest of vendors. Having failed to sell her six-bedroom Chelsea Square mansion for £26 million she has decided to live there herself. “Jemima recognised that the market had gone bad and has withdrawn it,” says the agent, Aylesford.
Two-and-a-half years ago she paid City financier James Arbib £18 million for the Grade II-listed property and then spent £2 million on “massive” improvements. Last September, out of the blue, Sir James Goldsmith’s cerebral daughter received a £35 million offer for the refurbished house but the buyer pulled out hours before exchange of contracts. She and her children, Suleiman and Kassim, can now enjoy the neo-classical property that she might once have hoped to share with her ex-boyfriend, actor Hugh Grant.
R&B singer Craig David stands to make a hefty profit if he succeeds in selling his flash 4,000sq ft two/three-bedroom penthouse overlooking Hampstead Heath for £6.25 million. He bought the show flat in a 19th century blue-plaque conversion six years ago for £2.5 million and turned it into the most “ruthlessly contemporary” hi-tech living space, with finger-pad entry, intricate LED lighting, crystal-encrusted pictures and designer furniture.
Raised on a tough Southampton council estate the bling-heavy star says: “It’s amazing to think that my music, something I’m so passionate about, has allowed me to buy a home in London. The hard work all paid off.” Indeed, his debut album Born To Do It sold 7.5 million copies and went multi-platinum in 20 countries.
The ex-barrister who won Masterchef last year, James Nathan, has left his Balham “digs” and moved to Bath. He has rented a five-bedroom new-build Bathstone house for £1,000 a month through Chappell & Matthews.
© Chris Ridley/PA
“It’s in a village just outside the city and is perfect for my wife, Linsey, who works from home as a PR, and our daughter Sophie,” says the Bristol-born chef, who began work this week at the pukka Bath Priory Hotel.
“When I have more experience we would like to buy somewhere on the coast and start a seafood restaurant,” he says.
Fans of the late Carry On star Kenneth Williams will be sad to hear that the blue plaque outside his Marylebone flat has disappeared along with the building. Marlborough House, a Thirties mansion block off Baker Street, where Williams lived for 16 years before his death in 1988 aged 62, has been pulled down, says the British Comedy Society. "But the developer, Land Securities, has promised to replace the plaque."
The frugal Islington-born comic, renowned for his flaring nostrils and camp mannerisms, lived next door to his devoted mother Lou. Every Sunday he would take her for a “slap-up lunch” at Joe Allen in Covent Garden.