EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Rock on! The Who’s Pete Townshend, 76, sells his £15million Grade I Georgian house
As the guitar-smashing heartbeat of The Who, Pete Townshend wrote, in My Generation: ‘I hope I die before I get old.’
But now, aged 76, he has discovered old age can be rather lucrative.
I can reveal that Townshend has managed to sell his home in South-West London, which was marketed at £15 million — a huge profit on the price he paid for it in 1996.
‘I can confirm that the sale was completed,’ his spokesman tells me. ‘I’m afraid that we are not allowed to reveal the price, nor the identity of the buyer, due to a confidentiality clause.’
Pete Townshend (pictured in November 2019) has managed to sell his home in South-West London, which was marketed at £15 million — a huge profit on the price he paid for it in 1996
Built in 1775, the Wick is a Georgian-style house in Richmond, London, overlooking the River Thames.
It became the family home of Oscar-winning actor Sir John Mills in the 1950s.
Pictured: Ronnie Wood with his wife Krissy Findlay outside The Wick in 1974
During those years, the house saw many star-studded guests pass through the door including Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and The Queen Mother.
Mills sold it to Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones in 1972 who built a recording studio in the basement.
In this studio, musical royalty including David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney would frequently come to jam and Wood recorded two solo albums there.
From 1996-2021 it was owned by Pete Townshend of the Who.
But a source tells me: ‘Townshend is delighted that it managed to fetch the asking price. He has made many millions.’
The six-bedroom, Grade I-listed Georgian house called The Wick, in Richmond, was previously owned by Oscar-winning Ryan’s Daughter actor Sir John Mills and later by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.
Whoever has bought it will be following in some famous footsteps.
Since Wood became the mansion’s owner in the early 1970s, it has been a ‘party palace’ for rock royalty — guests to have walked through its doors include Sir Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Eric Clapton.
In the 1970s rehearsals took place in its studio during the day, while nights would be spent in impromptu music sessions, with Wood and Jagger on guitar and Bowie singing.
Townshend bought the house from George Michael’s music publisher Dick Leahy — the man who signed the Bay City Rollers — for an undisclosed sum.
The luxury property, built in 1775, has five bathrooms, a swimming pool and panoramic views over the Thames.
Townshend, who lived there with his composer wife Rachel Fuller, built a new conservatory and vinery.
As well as the music studio, the home boasts chandeliers, ornate plasterwork and artwork — and even rooms for dogs.
It was home to the Mills family in the 1950s.
The sound of the wind around the house reportedly inspired Mary Hayley Bell, wife of Sir John, to write Whistle Down The Wind, later adapted into a film starring their daughter, Hayley Mills.
The couple sold The Wick in 1956 and bought it back again in 1964 before it passed to Wood.
While the Duchess of Cambridge attracts all the headlines with her dresses, the original designs for some of Princess Anne’s are to go under the hammer.
Next month, Ewbank’s auctioneers will be selling off a collection of drawings and documents relating to Sir Norman Hartnell’s creations, including his designs for the Queen’s daughter.
RITCHIE DISHES UP PUB LOVE
Having made his name with violent films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie knows a thing or two about rolling with the punches.
And the film director is determined not to let his hopes of becoming a landlord go up in flames after a destructive fire in June at his Mayfair pub, The Lore Of The Land.
Guy Ritchie (pictured with Jacqui Ainsley) he has kept his pub company afloat with a substantial loan after his Mayfair pub, The Lore Of The Land, went up in flames in a fire
I can reveal that he has kept the pub company afloat with a substantial loan. Newly published accounts for his Fatboy Pub Company Ltd show Ritchie topped up the funds.
Before the blaze, pub-goers could enjoy venison from Ritchie’s Wiltshire estate and beers he brews himself.
Oscar-winner Sir Ridley Scott was lucky enough to have attended the Royal College of Art at the same time as David Hockney.
But the Blade Runner and Gladiator director says being a student alongside Britain’s greatest living painter put him off art for a while.
‘I paint a lot,’ says Scott. ‘I was always frustrated at art school. I was good technically, but I was at college with David Hockney and used to watch him and think: ‘I’ll never do that.’ But I started re‑painting ten years ago.’
ROGER THAT: THE OTHER 007’S LEGACY
While James Bond star Daniel Craig was centre stage at No Time To Die’s world premiere in London, one of his predecessors was getting all the attention in Monaco.
The late Sir Roger Moore, who moved to the principality in 2002, was honoured at a screening that also served to launch the Roger Moore Award, to be given to an emerging film-maker in 2022.
At No Time To Die’s world premiere in London, Bond predecessor, the late Sir Roger Moore, was honoured at a screening that also served to launch the Roger Moore Award
The actor’s son, film producer Christian, 48, attended with his wife Lara and their three children — Jessie, 20; Tristan, 11; and Max, nine (pictured left).
Sir Roger said of Monaco: ‘It’s the only place in the world where you can park a Bentley without someone coming along with a key and scratching it.’
Fiery Marco Pierre White once handed back his three Michelin stars because he refused to be judged by people he considered to have less culinary knowledge than himself.
But fellow TV chef Rick Stein claims he’s wrong.
‘Awards are so important,’ he tells me at the launch of his book, Rick Stein At Home, at Soho’s Groucho Club. ‘The whole team benefits from getting a Michelin star.’
SUGAR’S TOUGH-TALKING PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE LORD
Fans of The Apprentice can now have no-nonsense Lord Sugar utter his famous catchphrases in their own offices.
The business tycoon has designed a range of pens — called The A-Pen-Tice — that play phrases, including a cheeky dig at the presenter of the U.S. edition: ‘I’m much better than Donald Trump, for sure.’
Fans of The Apprentice can now have no-nonsense Lord Sugar (pictured in October 2016) utter his famous catchphrases in their own offices
The business tycoon has designed a range of pens — called The A-Pen-Tice — that play phrases, including a cheeky dig at Donald Trump, the presenter of the U.S. edition
At £10 each (from https://styltom.co.uk/products/sugarpens), all proceeds will go to the Great Ormond Street Hospital charity.
‘I have been a supporter of GOSH for many years,’ Lord Sugar tells me. ‘To support it, I have made some talking pens, which are quite fun.’
Harry Potter star Timothy Spall admits he has the emotional maturity of a child.
‘I don’t feel that much different from when I was nine,’ jokes the 64-year-old. ‘I might be riding up to quite a precocious 11-year-old, emotionally.
‘Age is a funny thing. You gather wisdom, you gather experience, but fundamentally you don’t really feel that different in yourself.’
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