Zayn Malik, Rupert Grint & Cheryl Fernandez-Versini - celebrities that call St Albans, Harpenden and the surrounding area their home
PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:56 09 February 2016
2013 Getty Images
It seems we are in good company, with an array of stars boasting Hertfordshire post codes. Who needs the Hollywood Hills when we’ve got Holywell Hill...
London is one of the UK’s hubs for the sports and entertainment industry - but not all of the stars want to be constantly in the thick of it. It’s these celebrities that often look to the suburban outskirts; and the area of choice for North London tends to be Hertfordshire - with its picturesque setting and ‘close-but-not-too-close’ convenience to the Capital.
St Albans and Harpenden have a particularly impressive hall of fame - the likes of comedy legend Benny Hill, national treasure novelist Catherine Cookson and genius Stephen Hawkin have at one time or another lived locally.
Celebs in the City - who lives in and around St Albans?
Cheryl is no stranger to Hertfordshire property investment. She moved into a £3,500-a-week luxury rental in Hadley Wood, only a few miles away from Wrotham Park, where she married first husband Ashley Cole in 2006. That marriage famously ended, followed swiftly by a whirlwind romance to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini a couple of years later. Back in November the press reported that the couple had sealed the deal on a £5m mansion in Hertfordshire after leaving their prior property in North London. The new pad allegedly came with a rooftop bar and cinema, with an array of guest rooms for Cheryls Newcastle-based family when visiting. This being said, as the most recent season of The X Factor came to an end at Christmas, news broke of the singers latest plans to split from her second husband, leaving the state of the property in question. Who owns it? Who gets to keep it? Did Jean-Bernard ever actually get to carry Cheryl over the threashold?
Until recently, the former N-Dubz vocalist and X Factor judge Tulisa resided in a £4.5m mansion, 9 miles from St Albans. The Brookmans Park home was a stunning property vast and white, with a unique blue/grey tiling on the roof and a sweeping circular gravel driveway (pictured above). The house backed on to a large tree-lined garden, with views across the Hertfordshire fields and featured a contemporary indoor swimming pool. Despite its entryway pillars, marble floors and box topiary, the home was very much the embodiment of classic-meets-modern architecture. It featured on a BBC Three documentary charting the aftermath of Tulisas legal battles, which saw her holed up inside, hidden from the media circus outdoors. Her cousin Dappy, also of N-Dubz, has resided in Woodcock Hill in Sandridge for some time, and is thought to still. It seems that the only N-Dubz member not to have chosen Hertfordshire as a homestead is Richard Fazer Rawson.
The TV Chef, I'm A Celebrity winner and Celebrity Juice regular lives in Herts, around the Radlett area, where he set up a food supply business on the side of his media career. Paying homage to his roots, the house is a six-bedroom Italian-style property, rendered and painted white, with brown window frames in the same style as houses youd find in the Mediterranean. The celebrity, with his wife, flipped the property to increase its value from around £500,000 to £1.1m with an acre of garden, a pool and chickens! Gino is a particular fan of Aldenham Country Park.
Notable for being home to a plethora of sports personalities from rugby stars to racing drivers to footballers the rumour mill has been rotating at full speed over the last month since Jack Wilshere put his Harpenden mansion on the market, fuelling speculation he was leaving Arsenal. The sports star has put a price tag of £3.7m on the six-bedroom property (£520k more than the price he paid for it). The new-build minimalist house comes with a wine cellar, a home theatre, three garages, en-suites in all bedrooms, a gym, a pool room, four receptions and high spec interior design. Hamptons are handling the sale, if youre interested!
Last year Martin Freeman, of the Lord Of The Rings franchise and The Office-fame, was all over the papers when his spouse, Amanda Abbington, was reported to owe HMRC a giant sum of £120,000 in unpaid taxes. As a result, the Daily Mail were quick to point out that instead of helping her out with this, Freeman worth around £10m made sure that all assets were put solely in his name and allowed Abbington to declare herself bankrupt. Amongst these assets is his £1.4m Hertfordshire home, not too far from the St Albans area.
Since the Harry Potter movie franchise came to an end three years ago, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have carved out acting careers for themselves in other Hollywood hits, such as The Woman In Black and The Bling Ring. Rupert Grint AKA Ron Weasley has achieved more success in the meantime in property investment mostly across Hertfordshire. The Grints seem to have been based in or around Herts for some time, with Ruperts father hitting the jackpot with his movie star sons millions, enabling him to expand his own business (so it would appear). Named Eevil Plan Properties, Ruperts companys portfolio is worth around £12.9m and spans across a 20-mile radius in Hertfordshire, at the heart of Londons commuter belt.
Brucie bought his first ever home in St Albans with his then-wife Penny. The family lived in St Vincents Drive in the 1950s, where Bruce and Penny raised their three daughters. Although he relocated to Virginia Water, Surrey known as the most expensive postcode in the UK and visited by house-hunters such as Mick Jagger and Brad and Angelina Bruce speaks fondly in his autobiography of his life in St Albans as a young family man.
The Beckham clan have, until recently, resided in Hertfordshires infamous Beckingham Palace.
If you caught last weeks area guide, youll note that Childwickbury Manor featured as the former home of movie director Stanley Kubrick. It was in this very home that parts of The Shining were shot, as well as Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut. Tom and Nicole were so enamoured with the area that they chose to spend much of their time in St Albans, renting a property close to set. While Nicole was happy to stick around, Toms next movie, Mission Impossible II, meant that the couple had to move on to Australia.
Rugby player Ben Foden and his The Saturdays singer wife Una Healy call the region their home
It would seem theres no place like home for Zayn Malik, the stray One Directioner, who owns a secluded property off Barnet Road...
Bursting onto the scene on BBC Ones The Apprentice a couple of years ago, Luisa Zissman declared herself the embodiment of Jessica Rabbit. This St Albans-based entrepreneur is arguably one of the best known exports from the long-running reality show, in which she was pipped to the post by her rival contestant Dr Leah Totton to become Alan Sugars newest associate. She pitched a cake business, which was already a local success in St Albans, where she lived with her then-husband Oliver Zissman, now an interior design store owner. Despite their eventual divorce, they share a daughter and are on extremely amicable terms, making one of the areas most successful business couples of recent years.
Maestro Tim Rice, rugby player Ben Foden and his ‘The Saturdays’ singer wife Una Healy call the region their home, as well as Holby City actress Rosie Marcel. Not to mention the Beckham clan who, until recently, resided in Hertfordshire’s infamous Beckingham Palace.
So who else are you currently most likely to bump into in the local Café Nero if you’re lucky?
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.