Interiors: Ideal Home Anthony Newley

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ANTHONY NEWLEY

ENTERTAINER

Lives in a mock Queen Anne house in Surrey with his mother

Location: The Dorset countryside. It's the county where the grass comes literally to the sea. It's that wonderful combination of the vast ocean and English countryside.

Essential local amenities: As both Mother and I are of a certain age I would say that a good hospital would be top of our list. Like most men of my age I do look for space between me and the rest of human nature, but I would like a small country town nearby. It should have good shopping facilities, but be unspoiled by traffic.

Character AND CONSTRUCTION of the building: I have this dream of the perfect home being faded and elegant. Built of well-used brick or wonderful stone, it would have ivy growing up the front of the house, two storeys above ground floor, and nice thick walls. It would have that picture postcard look.

Period: Again, I don't think that's as important as the look of the building. I am not an expert on periods but like anything that looks weathered and charming. A Georgian front is always gorgeous.

HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS: One immediately thinks of ghosts. I would prefer not to have a home that was peopled by previous residents but it would be nice to have a story associated with the house.

Bedrooms: At least four. There's mother and me, and Gina my dear companion. I have four children, but they would probably stay in the well-appointed outbuilding.

Bathrooms: Four

Reception rooms: A drawing room. A large library. A dining room for formal dining.

Essential kitchen features: For me the kitchen is the heart of a house and Gina and I have often talked, as has Mother, of having a very large kitchen in which we would spend most of the day. I would like to see all the essential kitchen utensils, lots of copper pots and a spacious eating area. The room would be full of potted plants.

Decorative style: That comfortable English style for which there is no known description. It's lots of cushions, lots of colour, lots of chintz and floral wallpaper. The floral prints would stop at the door of the dining room though, which I think should be slightly tarty and a little bit of a show-off room. I do like family portraits in a dining room - I think it is that longing of all Englishmen to get as close to the baronial hall as they can. I would furnish it with elderly furniture: I don't find modern furniture easy to live with.

Luxuries: An in-house gymnasium. To be able to work out on your own is so wonderful - there are certain things you want to do alone and I think that's one of them. The English are not very aquatic and I think swimming pools are more trouble than they are worth, but I do love a Jacuzzi. I take one every morning - it makes the old bones feel better. I would have a Jacuzzi in every bathroom.

Any special outbuildings: I am not good at guests - I think a lot of people get to an age where they prefer privacy. I'd like an outbuilding with three, four bedrooms where the children could stay.

View from the windows: There's got to be acreage. In the ideal world I would have 20, 30, 40 acres around the house. Elbow room between me and the great mad rush. I would like to look out and see a lake area and beyond that some kind of nice grass vista with trees.

GARDEN: Gina is a wonderful gardener and the only person I know who can actually hear the flowers talking. There would be a kitchen garden in which we would grow wonderful vegetables. There would also be a flower garden to provide flowers for the house. I would love a formal garden with clipped yews and a fountain.

MOTTO OVER THE DOOR: "Go away and leave us alone". Perhaps that is a little brusque, but I am a bit of a hermit and Mum is too. People would be welcome but the tendency would be that we would prefer not to be bothered. We tend to be rather shy folk.

What it would cost: According to Julian King, Director of Link-Up Properties Nationwide, Anthony Newley is unlikely to find an older property with four bedrooms and four bathrooms unless it has been totally refurbished inside. For such a home with land and an outbuilding with sleeping accommodation, he could expect to pay in the region of pounds 600,000-650,000.

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