Homes gossip

Lark Rise to Candleford actress Olivia Grant has moved to buzzy Chelsea, and former England striker Robbie Fowler has failed to sell his Vale of Glamorgan home after spending a fortune on renovations
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Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan
© Murray Sanders
Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Design duo trade in their Kensington pad

That flamboyant TV design duo Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan have sold their three-bedroom, ground-floor South Kensington short-lease flat, for £725,000 through Ruck & Ruck.

They bought the Malvern Court pad for £330,00 in 2004 and spent more than £100,000 on making it an Art Deco dream den with a whole host of mod cons.

“We love it here but it’s too big for a place we spend only about three months of the year in,” says Ryan, who married Colin last year after a 22-year relationship.

The Scots-born maharajahs of makeover, best known for presenting TV’s Million Pound Experiment, Trading Up in the Sun and Colin and Justin’s How Not to Decorate, also own an eight-bedroom Victorian house in Glasgow and a brand new penthouse in Toronto, Canada, from where they are filming their latest television show, Colin and Justin’s Home Heist.

Their next treat? “We’d like a little lock-up beach-front place in Mauritius,” says Ryan.

Ivan Massow
© Tony Buckingham
Ivan Massow
Pink pound activist Ivan Massow is spending “a couple of million pounds” buying and restoring a Clerkenwell factory. His new home will replace the Renaissance palazzo he shared during his self-imposed three years’ “exile” in Barcelona.

“I had this Versailles ballroom, which was painted like the Sistine Chapel, as my living room,” says the Brighton-born would-be Tory MP. “I felt like Mussolini as I walked around it.” Meanwhile, he has rented “a small Covent Garden flat” as his temporary base.

Founder of Massow Financial Services, aimed at gay mortgage and insurance clients, he lived high on the hog until his company collapsed in 2006.

Olivia Grant
© Mike Marsland
Olivia Grant
Actress Olivia Grant has, at 25, finally flown the family nest and moved to buzzy Chelsea. She previously lived in Fulham with her parents, Kenneth Grant, a district judge, and Irene Whilton, a costume designer.

The titian-haired Oxford graduate now shares a mews house with two friends but is keeping schtum about gentleman callers, particularly a City banker. Since her breakthrough in BBC1’s drama Lark Rise to Candleford, Olivia is starring as one of the five gorgeous PAs in BBC3’s hit comedy-drama Personal Affairs (dubbed “Secs and the City”).

She recently filmed Mr Nice, a biopic starring Rhys Ifans as the charismatic former drug-dealer Howard Marks.

Robbie Fowler
© Ian Hitchcock
Robbie Fowler
Former England and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is sometimes dubbed “the poor man’s Duke of Westminster” after his buy-to-let portfolio of more than 100 properties was valued at £30 million.

Now, having failed to sell his five-bedroom Vale of Glamorgan home Beechcourt for £1.5 million, he has let it instead for £2,500 a month.

The legendary goal-scorer spent “a fortune” extending and renovating the Llanblethian mansion, which he bought for £1.4 million in 2007 when playing for Cardiff City. Fowler, who has four children, Madison, Jaya, Mackenzie and Jacob with his wife Kerrie, now plays for the North Queensland Fury, an ambitious new Australian club.

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