A childless millionaire has abandoned his search for an heir after losing confidence in the low quality of candidates.
Sir Benjamin Slade, 62, had been seeking a namesake closely matching his DNA to inherit his 13th-century Somerset mansion and farm. The offer was not open to drug users, communists, homosexuals or readers of The Guardian – Independent readers were "marginal".
He thought he found an heir in Isaac Slade but the Denver-based musician turned down the offer, saying he is too busy with his band.
Sir Benjamin says he has given up on the idea of finding an heir – he is now looking for a land manager – after deciding not to go ahead with a Big Brother-style show for Channel 4.
"The problem with those people at Channel 4 is that they wanted me to run some sort of contest for candidates with no proper breeding," he said. "I wanted someone qualified to run the place. My idea was not to find a group of turkeys and dimwits like a mini-Big Brother so they could all argue, cry and not get on.
"Anyway, the TV people are all raging communists thinking I should give away my estate, house, clothes, bedsheets – everything."
Of his other candidates, he said: "A lot of people have turned up – most of Africa has besieged me – but although they all like the house, they don't want to... chase the cows around."
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