Last month Del Boy’s neighbours became property millionaires. Andy Hill wonders how other fictional Londoners might have fared in today’s housing market.
Bonnet de douche, Rodney! A property on the council estate that starred in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ sold last month for £1.1 million. In other words, Del Boy actually could have been a millionaire today if the plonker had just stayed put.
The run-down estate in the sitcom’s original title sequence (which purported to be in Peckham but was actually in Acton) didn’t just serve as a backdrop for dodgy ’80s wheeler-dealing. It stood in for war-torn Bosnia in gritty 1997 movie ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’ and witnessed several unsavoury sequences shot for ‘The Bill’. But following a massive regeneration programme and some inevitable new development, a piece of the action in Acton is now worth an arm and a leg.
Here are some other famous fictional Londoners who might have either made a lovely-jubbly investment, or been priced out of town, in 2016’s batshit-crazy housing market.
If the redoubtable Superking-huffing old battleaxe owns her house on Albert Square, she is officially quids in. ‘EastEnders’ was inspired by Fassett Square in Dalston, where homes now sell for £1.1 million (and that’s without a pub or a tube station). But if poor old Dot’s a private tenant, weekly rents of £750-plus would require more than a few extra shifts down the launderette.
Withnail & I
The chaotic, hard-drinking duo certainly don’t own their spacious two-bedroom Camden Town flat which, by the way, is now worth around £850,000. And there’s no way a pair of ‘resting’ actors could scrape together the £500 a week it costs to rent a comparable pad in 2016, wealthy uncle or not. Under those circumstances, necking lighter fluid straight from the bottle seems perfectly justified.
The great detective’s Baker Street apartment would sell for nearly
£2 million today. So why not make up with Moriarty, flog the gaff to a random Qatari and retire to Provence? Elementary: Holmes is a renter. At today’s rates, his landlady Mrs Hudson could charge him and Watson about £5,600 a month, bills not included. Holmes should maybe consider cutting down on
his expensive gak habit.
She might be perenially unlucky in love, but Jones played an absolute blinder in property terms. Her one-bed flat above The Globe Tavern in Borough was worth £190,000 when she first graced our screens in 2001. Today, she could sell up and pocket a tidy £650,000. On the other hand, if she were only renting, coughing up £1,668 a month plus bills wouldn’t leave her much budget for consoling chardonnay and fags.
Everyone’s favourite London barber (yeah, suck it, Sweeney Todd) could make a cool half-million selling the three-bed flat above a shop made famous in early ’90s sitcom ‘Desmond’s’. But as a private renter, the affable Afro-Caribbean’s clippers would be whirring round the clock to make £400 weekly rent – assuming his Peckham Rye shop hadn’t yet been converted into some sort of ironic cocktail speakeasy.
The rubber-lipped bozo’s Highbury home is today worth a gobsmacking £900,000. Not that he owns it; his heartless landlady Mrs Wicket could get away with charging him around £310 per week, or £1,343 a month at current rates for a tiny one-bed flat. That’s enough to make anybody speechless.
Richard ‘Richie’ Richard
Rik Mayall’s sleazy, unemployed reprobate in ‘Bottom’ could never afford £600,000 to buy a two-bed flat in Hammersmith. His live-in tenant and equally vile/hilarious mate Eddie Hitler is also out of work, and a psychotic alcoholic to boot. They’d never be able to come up with the £1,900 a month between them for rent, and thus west London would be deprived of its foremost degenerate duo.
‘Ab Fab’ Eddy’s three-bed Holland Park terrace, complete with 70-foot drawing room and west-facing garden, was worth £1.5 million when the show first aired. Today, similar properties sell for a frankly ludicrous £3.35m. Renting would cost the self-styled Buddhist-fashionista-publicist £8,666 a month. Absolutely fabulous? Absolutely scandalous, more like.
Professional dickhead and ‘self-facilitating media node’ Nathan Barley never seems too bothered about money. So we can assume he either owns his £560,000 Shoreditch gaff or wouldn’t lose much sleep shelling out £400 a week for a one-bed. As he might say: totally fucking Mexico. n
All prices verified by a panel of Rightmove housing data specialists. Additional research by Josh Mcloughlin.
In other promising property news: London house prices are set to fall in 2017.