Category Archives: Real estate

The couple the British press love to hate

And I’m not talking about Fred and Gladys.

A couple years ago, I became addicted to a show called Perfect Housewifes on BBC America. The host, Anthea Turner, a blond Brit, took a Martha Stewart-like role to challenge two slovenly housewives to clean up their abodes to win that episode’s title of “the Perfect Housewife.” Turner seemed harmless enough — she wasn’t bawdy like Kim on How Clean Is Your House?, but she was sexier than Kim’s counterpart, Aggie. She seemed like a perfect ratings draw for a reality show.

Then I started picking up on news stories in the UK press about Turner and her husband, Grant Bovey. They were criticized for taking corporate sponsorships to fund their wedding and honeymoon; a photo of the couple posing with a Cadbury bar at their reception drew boos and jeers. Bovey had also left his wife and children to marry Turner. They bought a huge home in the country (where Turner’s housekeeping show was filmed), and the press gleefully reported on the couple’s ill-fated battle with their local council about the tennis court they’d built. Eventually the council demanded that the tennis court be dismantled. But it didn’t matter because by the time that decree came down, journos were drooling over Grant Bovey’s spectacular business failures, which resulted in the sale of their estate to a Russian businessman. Now the couple has moved to a smaller home more fitting to their severely reduced circumstances, a home with a reported £5 million mortgage, while waiting for a buyer for their European vacation home. In the meantime, the press reports they’ve pushed their way in to Simon Cowell’s box at Ascot, been served with papers by the bailiff (Bovey), and forced to shill for cleaning products (Turner).

Why the intense dislike of this couple by the press? Is it that they take themselves too seriously? Tabloid targets like Katie Price/Jordan and Posh Spice shrug off negative press … use it, even, to their advantage. Then there are people like that Geldof girl, who’s rich and famous for being the daughter of someone rich and famous … at least Bovey and Turner have worked, and I’m not going to ridicule someone who decides to take a job to pay the bills, as Turner has done with her advertising contracts. Maybe they’re loathed because they had an affair before they were married? Good grief, then, how many celebs haven’t done that … or worse?

Explain the intense dislike in the comments section below.

Blitz tunnels for sale

Behind an unmarked door in central London, a man-made rabbit’s warren deep beneath the city protected England’s government elite during the Blitz in the 1940s, served as a telephone exchange in the 50s, and was home to dozens of engineers in the early 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Now the tunnels are for sale, reports Andy McSmith at the Independent, who got a private tour of this relic of WWII. He suggests turning the tunnels into a movie set, but I think they’d make a cool museum. What do you think?

The most expensive post codes in Britain

Forbes.com today released a list of the most expensive post codes (Yankspeak: zip codes) in the U.K. The top five post codes fall in London’s city limits. #1 was Knightsbridge, followed by Kensington, North Mayfair, Belgravia, and Chelsea. It looks like the remaining post codes are in towns surrounding the city, although I haven’t thoroughly examined their list.

Guess I’d better start working a little harder if I’m to afford the 3-month flat rental in Chelsea I fantasize about.