Homes gossip: Anna Williamson, Bruce Willis, Colin McAllister, Justin Ryan, Elizabeth Taylor’s antiques sale

Daybreak’s Anna Williamson hopes to escape the hustle and bustle of London in her new country retreat. The entertainment reporter is renting a £1,200 a month Hertfordshire cottage with her boyfriend
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Anna Williamson
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Daybreak's Anna in her cottage for Christmas? Oh no she isn't

Daybreak presenter Anna Williamson can leave the ITV1 breakfast show’s controversies behind her now that she has a cosy new country retreat — but not until the panto season is over. The reporter-turned-Dick Whittington star is renting a £1,200-a-month Hertfordshire cottage with her boyfriend.

“I love London but I’m a country bumpkin at heart,” she tells me. “I’ll spend a few nights a week in town then flee to the sticks when I have some free time. The house is full of Victorian charm with open fires and an overgrown garden. It’s part of a country estate but we’re in the tiny gatekeeper’s lodge, which is at the start of a long drive that leads to a very grand Grade I-listed manor house and it’s all surrounded by fields, cows, pheasants and ramblers.”

Anna once described the Islington home she bought in 2005 as her “Bridget Jones buy”. She said: “It has floor-to-ceiling sash windows and a galley kitchen leading to the garden. It’s small and cosy and my pride and joy. And it’s in a great location with my unsociable hours.”

But there’s no escaping London until January 15 as she’s in Wimbledon playing Alice Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington, alongside Dame Edna Everage and Sam Attwater. Oh yes she is!

Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming
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Bruce has a sixth sense for a property investment

Bruce Willis has put his Idaho home on the market for £9.6 million. The Sixth Sense star shares the six-bedroom, six-bathroom ranch with his model wife Emma Heming, who is expecting a baby early next year.

The prolific actor has completely revamped the 8,403sq ft home he bought in 2003. It now has a separate guest house and gym. The 20-acre outdoor space is to Die Hard for with ponds and streams, two wells and a heated pool with water slides and waterfalls.

Willis already owns several estates in the area and is selling a nightclub complex there, called The Mint, for £2.9 million.

Despite having seven films set for release next year, the Hollywood favourite clearly still has time to keep a shrewd eye on his investments.

Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan

Sparkly facelift for C&J’s place

The presenters of ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, are dedicating a show to a revamp of their own flat. The civil partners have a five-floor Georgian townhouse in Glasgow and a loft in Toronto, where they film a Canadian interiors show, but it’s their SW3 pied-à-terre that is set for a sparkly facelift.

“We’re going to overhaul it with lots of jewel colours and dark woods,” says Justin. The Thirties portered flat has a superb view of the local church. “The bells are an absolute joy on a Sunday,” he adds. “We know everyone in our area and the flat is a great space for entertaining. We’ve had many a knees-up there.”

Elizabeth Taylor
© Rex

Screen legend's Christmas sale

Registration is open at for the sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s antiques collection. The furniture sale takes place on December 16 and includes an Emille Galle fruitwood marquetry two-tier table and a stunning acid-etched glass chandelier.

The sale is part of a series of auctions of the screen legend’s estate, which began yesterday with 1,000 lots at lower estimates. Some of the proceeds will go to Taylor’s Aids charity. Her impressionist and modern art collection will be sold at Christie’s in London in February. Taylor died in March aged 79.

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