Web spy: homes gossip

Jo Wood, newly divorced from Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, is searching for a central London party pad, while 19-year-old Arsenal prodigy Jack Wilshere is tempted by the range of uber-cool apartments in London
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Jo Wood
Jo Wood
After 13 years living on Kingston Hill in an early-19th century Gothic hunting lodge, it’s understandable that eco-campaigner Jo Wood is keen to move closer to central London following her divorce from Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Certainly, she can well afford a fancy pad, having received a generous slice of the mansion’s £11.5 million proceeds and a reported £5 million cash in her divorce settlement last month.

“Jo is currently living in a converted barn near Guildford,” says a friend. “But she’s looking to buy somewhere in St John’s Wood or Maida Vale where she will be nearer her friends. Now she’s single she wants to go partying and have fun.”

Perhaps the Essex-born former Seventies model will revive the annual summer Woodfests that she used to hold at Holmwood House.

Homes and property for sale in Maida Vale

Jack Wilshere
Jack Wilshere
He may be only 19 but England and Arsenal prodigy Jack Wilshere has already begun hunting for his first home. The other day he and an entourage, including parents Andy and Kerry and his brother Tom, turned up in a Range Rover Sport to visit Domus, London’s über-cool Totteridge Manor apartments in Barnet.

The £100,000-a-week midfielder was apparently “bowled over” by the Palladian-style development’s three-bedroom penthouse, available at £5 million through Susan Metcalfe. As well as three terraces, a retractable roof and two panic/safe rooms, its iPad technology enables the owner to control remotely front-door entry, lighting, heating, sound systems, air-conditioning and many other functions.

Wilshere currently lives at home with his family in a cul de sac near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, within striking distance of Arsenal’s London Colney training centre.

Paul Merton
Paul Merton
Not much good news for BBC1’s Have I Got News For You? stalwart Paul Merton. Last spring he put on the market his three-bedroom weekend retreat near Rye, complete with conservatory, games room, cinema and revolving summer house, for £925,000.

Alas, despite a £75,000 price reduction, the thatched Arts and Crafts seaside villa failed to sell and so he recently withdrew it. Now the lofty Parsons Green-raised wisecracker and his wife Suki, who luckily have other pads in London and Suffolk, are considering renting the property.

“We rarely see Paul now,” says a Sussex neighbour. “But he recently removed most of the furniture and did some redecoration. Buyers may have been put off because the garden is on the edge of a steep cliff. But there’s very little sign of erosion.”

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill
The blue-plaque Pimlico home of Sir Winston Churchill when he was Home Secretary is for sale at £4.45 million through Hamptons International.

The once PM moved into Grade II-listed 33 Eccleston Square in 1909, the year after his marriage to Mayfair beauty Clementine Hozier, and his two eldest children, Diana and Randolph, were born there.

The Hamptons ground and basement duplex, with five bedrooms, a terrace, a media room and access to award-winning communal gardens, would perfectly suit a rich Tory MP or parliamentary lobbyist. Ironically, the property also became the HQ of the Labour Party and Trades Union Congress, from where the General Strike was organised in 1926.

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