You might have thought having a Chelsea pad worth more than 75 million would be enough for most property tycoons, but not for Nick Candy.
I can disclose that Candy and his pop star wife, Holly Valance, have splashed out well over £10 million on a Grade II‑listed mansion in Oxfordshire.
They will be a short drive from trendy private members’ club Soho Farmhouse, where Prince Harry courted Meghan.
That’s sweet: Nick Candy and his pop star wife, Holly Valance, have splashed out well over £10 million on a Grade II‑listed mansion in Oxfordshire (pictured)
Holly Valance and Nick Candy attend Lisa Tchenguiz’s 50th birthday party at the Troxy in 2015
‘We have been looking for years to get something in the Cotswolds for the family, and finally, a year ago, we found a gorgeous family home in a wonderful village,’ Candy tells me.
The seven-bedroom property has a pool, stables, tennis and squash courts and its own chapel.
Candy, 48, declines to say how much they paid, but the house was bought by the previous owners for £8 million in 2012.
Since then, prices have rocketed in the area, where locals include Kate Moss and JCB tycoon Lord Bamford and his wife Carole, who started the Daylesford organic empire.
Candy, who has two daughters with his wife, adds: ‘We’re very immersed in our quiet country life at weekends and adore the friendly and welcoming village.’
The seven-bedroom property has a pool, stables, tennis and squash courts and its own chapel
While it is unknown how much the couple paid, records show it was bought for £8m in 2012
Prolific author Alexander McCall Smith, creator of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has been promised great things – but only after his death.
He says: ‘I was on tour in the United States and this woman came up to me with a book for signature, and she looked at me and said: “You know something, you’re going to be much more successful posthumously.” ’
The writer, 72, who has written 21 novels in the series, says. ‘She wasn’t being rude, but it was rather an odd thing to say to somebody.’
How guitar guru Beck gave Depp a silver lining
Pictured: Johnny Depp is planning his comeback
With his acrimonious divorce from actress Amber Heard, and their bitter court room showdown in London last summer, Hollywood star Johnny Depp suffered the biggest setback of his glittering career.
Now, however, I hear he’s quietly planning his comeback — right here in Britain.
The 58-year-old star of Fantastic Beasts and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory has been taken under the wing of British rock legend Jeff Beck.
The Hi Ho Silver Lining guitarist, 77, who’s so talented he had each of his fingers insured for £700,000 in 2010, has secretly been hosting Depp at his Riverhall country estate in Wadhurst, East Sussex, where they’ve been writing and recording together in Beck’s studio. Depp is an accomplished guitarist himself.
‘They’ve been collaborating on material for Jeff’s next album,’ reveals a source close to Depp. ‘It’s been great for Johnny to get back to his first true love, which is music.
‘Jeff has been a great friend to Johnny during a very difficult time, and being away from Hollywood has been exactly what Johnny needed.
‘He wants to take a step back from everything and focus on a comeback through music.’
Eight-time Grammy Award winner Jeff, who has been called ‘one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock’ by Rolling Stone magazine, recorded a cover of John Lennon’s Isolation with Depp last year, intended to help people cope with life in lockdown.
Johnny Depp of Hollywood Vampires performs on stage at Celebrity Theatre in 2018 in Arizona
In 2019 they played together at the Crossroads Music Festival in Dallas, Texas, for Eric Clapton’s charity, then did a short tour of the U.S.
Depp has previously featured on songs by Oasis, Iggy Pop, and Aerosmith, as well as on records by his ex-girlfriend, singer Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children. In 2015, he formed the super group, Hollywood Vampires, with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.
‘Johnny hopes to return to films eventually,’ adds the source, ‘but it’s music first.’
Boogie-woogie pianist Jools Holland is learning to sing lullabies. The Later . . . with Jools Holland host has become a grandfather at the age of 63.
‘I am very pleased that I now have a wonderful grandson, Gabriel,’ he says. His musician daughter, Mabel Ray, 30, is the proud mum.
‘We seem to have identical hair,’ he adds of the baby. ‘He is a delightful little fellow. All thanks to the fantastic staff at Homerton University Hospital for delivering him to us.’
Queen’s Windsor gong show for late Duke’s loyal page
The Queen is making sure Prince Philip’s most steadfast former aides feel rewarded.
I hear that she invited the Duke of Edinburgh’s loyal page, William Henderson, to Windsor Castle this week to collect his gong.
His appointment as a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order was announced on what would have been Philip’s 100th birthday.
Henderson was among those who took part in the funeral procession, walking behind the coffin.
Known for his sarcastic quips when required to report on the love lives of the Royal Family, waggish news anchor Simon McCoy seems to be secretly obsessed with the Windsors.
‘If I were invisible, I would go into Highgrove and stand by the phone to listen to any conversation Prince Charles might have with Harry,’ admits McCoy, who recently moved from the BBC to its new rival channel, GB News.
‘I feel desperately sorry for Charles — I really do. Family difficulties are bad enough without one of you bleating about it to the Press all the time.’
Creating a buzz with Angelina the Queen Bee
There’s a buzz about Angelina Jolie, but it’s nothing to do with her film career.
The actress brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to the new French Apidology Observatory, in Sainte-Baume, where she presented its first graduates with their diplomas.
Angelina Jolie (pictured shopping Paris) brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to the new French Apidology Observatory where she presented its first graduates with their diplomas
Jolie, 46, who’s recently been seen out with her British ex-husband Jonny Lee Miller, was there because she’s involved in the Women for Bees project, which aims to encourage women to become beekeepers.
Clearly, there’s only one Queen Bee.
Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt, who starred on TV diving show Splash, will be demonstrating her water skills at the local pool rather than heading off to the Med this summer.
‘I’ll be staying in my constituency and spending time at my local lido,’ the MP for Portsmouth North tells me at the Westminster launch party for her book, Greater: Britain After The Storm, which she’s co-written with Chris Lewis. ‘I’ve earned that — I went to great lengths to save it.’
The forecast is hotting up with Carol’s exotic secret
This could liven up those dull BBC meteorological reports: weather presenter Carol Kirkwood has revealed a secret skill.
‘I can belly-dance,’ whispers the former Strictly contestant.
‘It is actually quite hard, but I learned to do it when I was a student travelling in Turkey and Greece.’
The Scottish hotelier’s daughter, 59, adds: I can’t claim to be very good at it — but I do at least have the belly for it these days.’