Rumours swirled, deals were made on the downlow and then the removal vans and hot tub installation experts moved in.
The capital’s A-listers have been as busy as ever, snapping up swanky new homes in some of the city’s prettiest enclaves or selling up grand residences in order to downsize and move on. Here are the top celebrity home moves of the past year.
Kate Moss’s Highgate house
When the supermodel took to the (virtual) witness stand at the Moss-Depp trial, all eyes were on the strikingly featureless room she was dialling in from.
Once a stalwart of the Primrose Hill party scene, Moss later moved across north London to The Grove in Highgate, where she lived next door to George Michael, apparently climbing over her garden wall to swim in the pop star’s pool.
At the trial she gave her place of residence as Gloucestershire, England, having sold her Highgate home for £11.5 million — a reported £4.25 million profit in 11 years — and relocated to her Cotswolds property in February this year.
The Croydon-born Diet Coke creative director is also understood to have a London base in Notting Hill.
Boris and Carrie Johnson’s Camberwell townhouse
When Boris Johnson was ousted as Prime Minister in September he was also uprooted from the apartment at Number 11 Downing street where he had been living with his wife, Carrie, and their two young children, Wilfred and Romy.
Heated speculation ensued about where the family would move to next, with rumours swirling in Dulwich Village and Herne Hill.
One thing was certain, they would not be moving back to the Camberwell townhouse which they had put on the market for £1.6 million.
The couple paid £1.2 million for the 2,000sq ft four-bedroom house in 2019 but never actually lived at the property, with reports saying they rented it out to pay for the infamous renovation of 11 Downing Street.
Boy George’s Gothic mansion, Hampstead
Boy George’s sprawling, Grade II-listed Gothic mansion went on sale in November this year. The singer undertook an ambitious three-year renovation of the property, buying Sam Smith’s house next door and converting both properties into one large home.
Overlooking the Heath, it has been the singer’s home for almost 40 years, and features a triple-height entrance hall, six bedrooms (five with their own dressing rooms), a meditation tower, mezzanine cinema room and roof terrace.
Inside, the walls are filled with sculptures and modern artwork, memorably including a silver torso in an upstairs room, propped up on a chair with two erect penises for armrests.
Did Drake buy in Hackney?
A detached, six-bedroom house in Hackney, was sold off-market on Instagram for £10 million, prompting rumours that Canadian rapper Drake would be moving in.
With six bathrooms, a 160ft garden and a swimming pool, it was a one-off. Nick Verdi of Savills East London said: “I’ve worked in east London for 18 years and I’ve never seen a house like that…I don’t actually think another one exists.”
The property was owned and renovated by Camden Town Brewery owner Marc Francis-Baum, who initially had no intention of selling his property – until Hamptons agent Grant Bates posted a video tour on Instagram and he was offered £10 million for it.
Francis-Baum said: “I wouldn’t buy a house for £10 million in Hackney. And I love Hackney. I’ve lived here all my life.”
Calvin Harris’s rumoured move to Primrose Hill
Meanwhile, fellow Rihanna collaborator Calvin Harris is thought to be the buyer of a £7.5 million house in Primrose Hill — an area also home to two of his ex-girlfriends. Both Rita Ora and Taylor Swift are thought to have homes in the north London neighbourhood.
The house is undergoing an extensive renovation, with rumours of a rooftop hot tub and big green egg barbecue and neighbours spotting rubbish left out in a Burberry shopping bag and a bumper delivery of Waitrose indoor plants.
Richard Curtis and Emma Freud’s Notting Hill townhouse
About £30 million
The man who turned Notting Hill from a fashionable neighbourhood to the cultural embodiment of quirky middle-class Britishness was rumoured to have sold his house of almost 25 years in the area.
Reports say the sale was transacted entirely off market, with Curtis and his wife, broadcaster Emma Freud, understood to have sold for almost 10 times what they bought the townhouse for in 1998.
David Dein’s Mayfair mews house
The former Arsenal co-owner put his 4,000sq ft mews house in the heart of Mayfair up for sale this year, having rented it out with an asking rent of £10,000 per week for the past five years.
Before that Dein lived in the property with his wife, who oversaw a total renovation of the redbrick mews, including a double reception room, kitchen with pizza oven and separate dining area with retractable skylight.
Dein told Homes & Property that his favourite room was the cinema, where he would watch football matches.
Barbara Cartland’s Mayfair home
The Grade II-listed, double-fronted Mayfair mansion where "Queen of Romance" Dame Barbara Cartland lived from 1936 to 1950 originally went up for sale on Valentine’s Day in 2020, priced at £40 million. It did not sell.
In October, it was relisted at £35 million, aimed to entice American buyers after the slump in the value of the pound.
The fiction writer’s former home is 120 years old, with six bedrooms, six reception rooms and an Arts & Crafts façade. The current owners installed a lavish basement swimming pool, sauna and bar – as well as a double bed suspended above the pool. The property is still listed for sale with Wetherell.
Another home once belonging to the prolific romance author also hit the market in May this year. Grade II-listed thatched River Cottage in Great Barford, Bedfordshire, went up for sale with an asking price of £1 million.
Hal Cruttenden’s Enfield ‘Marmite’ home
The Mock the Week comic put his north London house on the market. Cruttenden dubbed the five-bedroom property in Enfield "Marmite Towers" thanks to its unusual interior decor.
Built in the early Eighties, there is not a single square room in the home. Instead, there are zig-zagging walls, a spiral staircase and a vintage-look floral mural in the dining room.