SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Tess Daly and Vernon Kay’s dream home plan is Strictly a no-no


They are the highest-earning celebrity TV presenting couple in the country, appearing on many well-known programmes.

But despite their massive popular appeal, I’m A Celebrity runner-up Vernon Kay and wife Tess Daly ran into a volley of objections from neighbours when they tried to build their dream country house.

The couple and their two daughters, Phoebe and Amber, currently live in an enviable six-bedroom house in Buckinghamshire, with a swimming pool, gym and two Shetland ponies, Honey and Willow. 

I'm A Celebrity runner-up Vernon Kay and wife Tess Daly ran into a volley of objections from neighbours when they tried to build their dream country house

I’m A Celebrity runner-up Vernon Kay and wife Tess Daly ran into a volley of objections from neighbours when they tried to build their dream country house

The couple and their two daughters, Phoebe and Amber, currently live in an enviable six-bedroom house in Buckinghamshire

The couple and their two daughters, Phoebe and Amber, currently live in an enviable six-bedroom house in Buckinghamshire

However, Vernon and Strictly star Tess shelled out more than £1.5 million for a redbrick house nearby in December 2018 — then applied for permission to demolish it and replace it with a new home.

Now, despite receiving planning permission for their grand design, they have decided it’s not worth the hassle, and have sold up — for £1.7 million. They had enlisted Urban Curve Architecture, a firm specialising in designing ‘bespoke, one-off houses’ and submitted plans for a ‘sustainable and energy-efficient family dwelling’.

The new build, with its ‘timber effect front door’ and windows ‘in grey aluminium frames’ would have been four storeys, yet with ‘the appearance of a two-storey dwelling’. But the plan didn’t receive good marks from the judges — their neighbours. ‘The basement extension will require significant ground works into the chalk hillside,’ wrote one, Audrey Lambert, ‘requir[ing] significant removal of existing trees and shrubbery . . . which screen the neighbouring properties’.

It would also, she said, affect wildlife, particularly badgers.

‘The Badger Protection Act of 1992 makes it illegal to ‘intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy a badger sett, or obstruct access to it’.’

And neighbour David Overton alleged: ‘Redevelopment work commenced on . . . the property prior to planning consent . . . This should not be acceptable.’

Kay and Daly declined to make a comment.

Halle bonding with fitness bands

While many are worrying about the effect of lockdown on their waistlines, Oscar winner Halle Berry has stepped up her fitness routine. The 54-year-old mother of two has been working out using resistance bands with trainer Peter Lee Thomas on a beach near her home in Malibu, California (pictured). ‘I’ve made it my mission to find time to exercise, get work done, and be a mum,’ says the Bond girl.

‘During Covid, it’s been easy to forget to be active because we can’t do things we used to do. It’s hard to do that at home. Finding new ways to stay active while making it fun has been key for my mental and physical health.’

The 54-year-old mother of two has been working out using resistance bands with trainer Peter Lee Thomas

The 54-year-old mother of two has been working out using resistance bands with trainer Peter Lee Thomas

Blunt shares a beautiful look on his birthday

His £1.7 million villa in Ibiza was ransacked last month, but posh crooner James Blunt is keeping up appearances.

Turning 47 yesterday, the former Household Cavalry officer shared a picture of himself online enjoying a cocktail, with a floral garland around his neck and a daisy headband.

‘Happy birthday to me,’ he captioned the snap, taken pre-lockdown on the Spanish island. But the You’re Beautiful singer, who is wed to the Duke of Wellington’s niece, Sofia Wellseley, says ageing doesn’t bother him. ‘I’m relaxed about it. I find it a weird thing that we’re obsessed with age. It’s not something I necessarily think about.’

Turning 47 yesterday, the former Household Cavalry officer shared a picture of himself online enjoying a cocktail, with a floral garland around his neck and a daisy headband

Turning 47 yesterday, the former Household Cavalry officer shared a picture of himself online enjoying a cocktail, with a floral garland around his neck and a daisy headband

He’s made millions from all the Harry Potter films, but producer David Heyman admits his specialist knowledge of the boy wizard is still lacking. ‘I was quite embarrassed when, as a joke, my wife bought Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit and we played it,’ he says. ‘I’m not saying where I finished, but I can tell you that I didn’t win.’

Wedding belle delay for Sophie

Reformed It-girl Sophie Anderton, who rose to prominence as the face of Gossard bras, was thrilled to announce last year that she was to marry her ‘soul mate’, Count Kaz Balinski-Jundzill.

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Sadly, the wedding to father-of-four Kaz, 52, has been postponed. ‘Unfortunately, due to lockdown restrictions and the overwhelming want to keep those we love safe, we have had to postpone until spring,’ explains Sophie, 43, whose wedding was due to take place last weekend near her fiance’s 1,500-acre estate, Glendalough House, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

‘I have waited 40 years, what’s another few months!’

In the meantime, she refers to herself as Kaz’s ‘wife in spirit’.

Reformed It-girl Sophie Anderton, who rose to prominence as the face of Gossard bras, was thrilled to announce last year that she was to marry her 'soul mate', Count Kaz Balinski-Jundzil

Reformed It-girl Sophie Anderton, who rose to prominence as the face of Gossard bras, was thrilled to announce last year that she was to marry her ‘soul mate’, Count Kaz Balinski-Jundzil

Despite her success as a fashion icon of the Swinging Sixties, Twiggy, aka Dame Lesley Lawson, admits she regrets passing up further education for the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. ‘I always envy people who went to college or university. 

Because of what happened to me, I missed all that. My life went in another direction,’ laments the 71-year-old from North-West London. ‘I do think it was something I missed out on. As amazing as my life has been — and I’m very lucky — I wish I could have experienced that little bit. I have thought of doing it now, but I’m not brave enough.’



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