Homes gossip: Ben Elton won’t be selling his £4 million London home

Comedian Ben Elton may be going to live in Australia but he is not selling his £4 million London home, and Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright has been looking for art treasures to furnish her new Brooklyn home
Ben Elton
© Roland Hoskins
Ben Elton
Comedian and best-selling novelist Ben Elton may be going to live in Australia with his family but he is not selling up in London. His Victorian five-bedroom house in Primrose Hill, within jogging distance of Regent’s Park, is valued at £4 million.

The Catford-born comic already owns a two-storey heritage-listed house in fashionable North Fremantle, Western Australia. He and his wife, Australian saxophonist Sophie Gare, currently send their three children Bert, Lottie and Fred, to a school near their Sussex home.

"We’re going to relocate back to Australia and live in Freeo for a while," explains royalty-bating Ben. He strenuously denies leaving Blighty because of the horrors of living in a Brown Britain.

Martha Wainwright
© Louise Wilson
Martha Wainwright
While wowing London audiences with her Edith Piaf show earlier this month, Canadian singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright has also been looking for art treasures to furnish her new Brooklyn home. This follows her marriage to her record-producer and bass player Brad Albetta.

Pride of place in her new pad will be a Murano glass chandelier given her by her older brother, singer-songwriter Rufus.

The Montreal-born daughter of country and western singer Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk songstress Kate McGariggle, says "I reckon that if you have space that can handle a chandelier, you’re doing OK."

Film producer and former BAFTA chairman Simon Relph is selling The Old Malthouse, his sprawling eight-bedroom Wiltshire home near Bath, for £1.25 million through Savills. He and his wife, Amanda, moved into the graceful Grade-II listed house 15 years ago. Relph describes it as "wonderfully peaceful", adding that he converted the barn into a film studio "that could also work as an annexe for teenagers, a nanny or a relation". The Cambridge-educated star-maker produced films such as Reds, starring Warren Beatty; Hideous Kinky, starring Kate Winslet; Wetherby with Vanessa Redgrave; and Blue Juice, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Clare Cooke
© Philip Meech
Clare Cooke
Clare Cooke will soon discover whether having once been Blue Peter’s gardener for eight muddy years is a recommendation or not. She is selling Little West Barn Farm, her Grade-II listed, six-bedroom Georgian home in Somerset, for £2.75 million through Knight Frank.

The 60 acres of grounds near Bruton include two cottages, a swimming pool, conservatory and a lovingly tended formal garden.

The gardens are cultural planets away from the BBC’s iconic White City plot, created by Percy Thrower in 1974, where TV presenters Valerie Singleton, Peter Purves and John Noakes once wielded their rakes and spades. When the BBC moves to new Salford studios in 2011 the Blue Peter garden will be replaced by a "virtual reality" version. Oh dear.

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