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Westminster townhouse that entertained Marilyn Monroe is for sale

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westminster townhouse that entertained marilyn monroe is for sale

Royalty, politicians and celebrities have all stepped over the threshold of this Westminster townhouse for sale.

Guests over the years have ranged from Queen Alexandra to Marilyn Monroe, the latter being a dinner guest of theatrical impresario Hugh ‘Binkie’ Beaumont who lived at the property for many years after the Second World War.

In addition to Monroe, Beaumont’s legendary soirees saw many other well-known names visit the house, including Sir John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Katherine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Noël Coward, Terence Rattigan and Cecil Beaton.

If walls could talk: The townhouse in London's Westminster is for sale for £3.9m via estate agents Savills

If walls could talk: The townhouse in London’s Westminster is for sale for £3.9m via estate agents Savills

Guests to the Westminster property over the years have included Marilyn Monroe

Guests to the Westminster property over the years have included Marilyn Monroe

The three-bedroom property is currently for sale via estate agents Savills, with a price tag of £3.9million.

Matthew Morton-Smith, of Savills, said: ‘If a house could epitomise how London has transcended the most fascinating and diverse courses of history, then this would be it.’ 

He adds: ‘Blending the working classes with royalty, politics, celebrity and showbiz over a period of 300 years, there can be no question that this is a house with stories to tell.

‘Located in one of the best preserved enclaves of this period in London, this is the most charming house that retains so many classical features yet enabling still contemporary and versatile living for anyone keen to immerse themselves in a sense of history and intrigue in whatever stories those walls hold.’

The Grade II listed townhouse in London's Westminster dates back to the 1720s

The Grade II listed townhouse in London’s Westminster dates back to the 1720s

Pictured: The dining room, where Binkie Beaumont's legendary soirees were held

Pictured: The dining room, where Binkie Beaumont’s legendary soirees were held

The house spreads across five floors, with a drawing room on the first floor

The house spreads across five floors, with a drawing room on the first floor

The Grade II listed townhouse in London’s Westminster dates back to the 1720s and spreads across five floors, with a drawing room on the first floor.

The kitchen on the lower ground floor boasts an Aga, and breakfast room with a gas-fired wood burning stove. 

On this level, there is also access to the private garden, which provides a tranquil and secluded entertaining space.

The modern kitchen on the lower ground floor boasts an Aga oven and seating area

The modern kitchen on the lower ground floor boasts an Aga oven and seating area

The house retains plenty of period features, including sash windows

 The house retains plenty of period features, including sash windows

The house has been beautifully decorated while preserving its originally charm

The house has been beautifully decorated while preserving its originally charm

The property is in one of the best preserved Georgian streets in the capital – Lord North Street One.

Lord North Street is between Smith Square and Great Peter Street, and within the renowed ‘division bell’ area stipulated by Parliament. 

The division bell sounds throughout the parliamentary estate and beyond to neighbouring Westminster properties to give MPs eight minutes of warning before a vote in Parliament. 

The area includes Michelin star restaurants from Michel Roux Jnr, Tom Kerridge and Andrew Wong; fashion houses from Mulberry and Tom Ford; and the Tate Britain Gallery, and all in addition to the offerings in St James’s, the West End and nearby Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. 

Transport connections include St James’s Park and Westminster underground stations providing access to the District and Circle Line and Jubilee Line access.

Victoria Station is also close, with underground connections and mainline rail network services including the Gatwick Express.

‘Binkie’ Beaumont

Hugh ‘Binkie’ Beaumont was a British theatre manager and producer who shunned the spotlight, and so his name was not known widely among the general public – but he was one of the most successful and influential manager-producers in the West End during the middle of the twentieth century.

Beaumont was brought up in Cardiff, where he joined the staff of a local theatre at the age of fifteen. 

From there he built a career in theatrical management. His company, H. M. Tennent, which he co-founded in 1936, was based at the old Globe Theatre – now the Gielgud Theatre – in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. 

His success was based on lavish productions, starry casts and plays calculated to appeal to a West End audience. 

Among those with whom he was closely associated were Noël Coward and John Gielgud. His successes included new plays, revivals of classics, and musicals. 

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The property is in one of the capital's best preserved Georgian streets - Lord North Street One

The property is in one of the capital’s best preserved Georgian streets – Lord North Street One

There are three good-sized bedrooms at the Westminster townhouse

There are three good-sized bedrooms at the Westminster townhouse

This bathroom at the property includes a roll top bath and a large window

This bathroom at the property includes a roll top bath and a large window

There is a private garden that offers a tranquil and secluded entertaining space

There is a private garden that offers a tranquil and secluded entertaining space

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Beautiful Sicilian town becomes the latest in Italy to auction off abandoned houses for €1 each

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beautiful sicilian town becomes the latest in italy to auction off abandoned houses for e1 each

A beautiful town in Sicily has become the latest in a growing trend in Italy to see its abandoned homes auctioned off for €1 each to reverse the trend of depopulation.

Picturesque Salemi will sell off some of its dilapidated properties for a pittance in a bid to bring people back to the town.

It has seen its population shrink considerably over the last 50 years, after at least 4,000 residents fled following the 1968 earthquake in Sicily’s Belice Valley.

Salemi in Sicily, Italy, has become the latest town in the country's south to auction off homes for €1 in a bid to reverse the trend of depopulation

Salemi in Sicily, Italy, has become the latest town in the country’s south to auction off homes for €1 in a bid to reverse the trend of depopulation

Houses will go up on sale at a starting price of €1 each and sold to the highest bidder, in the same way the Sicilian town of Sambuca did last year

Houses will go up on sale at a starting price of €1 each and sold to the highest bidder, in the same way the Sicilian town of Sambuca did last year

The town suffered a mass migration of residents after the 1968 earthquake in Sicily's Belice Valley destroyed much of its architecture. Pictured: The remains of the Matrice church restored by the architect Alvaro Siza

The town suffered a mass migration of residents after the 1968 earthquake in Sicily’s Belice Valley destroyed much of its architecture. Pictured: The remains of the Matrice church restored by the architect Alvaro Siza

All the homes being auctioned have multiple floors and thick walls and those on Belvedere Street, overlooking a green valley, are considered the most attractive

All the homes being auctioned have multiple floors and thick walls and those on Belvedere Street, overlooking a green valley, are considered the most attractive

Town mayor Domenico Venuti told CNN: ‘All buildings belong to the city council, which speeds up the sale and reduces red tape.

‘Before launching the scheme we first had to recover the old parts of Salemi where the houses are located, upgrading infrastructures and services from roads to electric grids and sewage pipes.

‘Now the town is ready for the next step.’

Salemi is by no means the first town in southern Italy to trial the one-euro-home project, with Cinquefrondi in Calabria doing the same thing in July and Mussomeli and Bivona, both in Sicily, trying it last year.

Salemi officials were among the first to suggest the idea of selling houses for next to nothing. Pictured: An empty pool at the hotel Villa Mokarta in the town

Salemi officials were among the first to suggest the idea of selling houses for next to nothing. Pictured: An empty pool at the hotel Villa Mokarta in the town

Maintenance work was needed on risky crumbly areas of the town and the coronavirus pandemic also delayed the project

Maintenance work was needed on risky crumbly areas of the town and the coronavirus pandemic also delayed the project

The Collegio dei Gesuiti, which hosts the Mafia's Museum Leonardo Sciascia in Salemi

The 1968 earthquake in Sicily's Belice Valley has left much of the medieval town in ruins, including the Piazza Alicia (pictured)

The 1968 earthquake in Sicily’s Belice Valley has left much of the medieval town in ruins, including the Piazza Alicia (pictured left). Right: The Collegio dei Gesuiti, which hosts the Mafia’s Museum Leonardo Sciascia in Salemi

The homes up for auction located in the town's historic city centre enclosed by the ancient town walls and date back to the 1600s

The homes up for auction located in the town’s historic city centre enclosed by the ancient town walls and date back to the 1600s

But Salemi officials were among the first to suggest the idea of selling houses for next to nothing.

Mr Venuti said the project could not be signed off on time because of bureaucratic issues and the need to give some of the properties a makeover first.

Maintenance work was needed on risky crumbly areas of the town and the coronavirus pandemic also delayed the project.

Italy was one of the countries worst hit by Covid-19 earlier this year but Sicily was one of the least impacted areas in the country.

The buildings are made from a yellowish-pink solid sandstone extracted from nearby caves called 'campanedda' or 'bell' in local dialect

The buildings are made from a yellowish-pink solid sandstone extracted from nearby caves called ‘campanedda’ or ‘bell’ in local dialect

Much of the town lies abandoned

Salemi officials were among the first to suggest the idea of selling houses for next to nothing

Much of the town lies abandoned. Salemi officials were among the first to suggest the idea of selling houses for next to nothing

The medieval town was seriously damaged by the Belice earthquake in 1968, which saw at least 4,000 residents flee

The medieval town was seriously damaged by the Belice earthquake in 1968, which saw at least 4,000 residents flee

Potential buyers are not required to visit Salemi before making an offer, according to town mayor Domenico Venuti

Potential buyers are not required to visit Salemi before making an offer, according to town mayor Domenico Venuti

Salemi currently has around 30 reported cases within its 10,971 population but Mr Venuti insisted that now was the right time to move forward with the project, despite some resident’s concerns about the spread.

Houses will go up on sale at a starting price of €1 (£0.91) each and sold to the highest bidder, in the same way the Sicilian town of Sambuca did last year.

They are located in the town’s historic city centre enclosed by the ancient town walls and date back to the 1600s.

All have multiple floors and thick walls, while a few have panoramic balconies and those on Belvedere Street, overlooking a green valley, are considered the most attractive.

The town’s main piazza is a crumbled church, with the ruins of its stone apse still standing after the 1968 earthquake which killed at least 231 people in the region.

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Thousands of residents fled Salemi after the 1968 earthquake. Pictured: A displaced family stand outside the ruins of their home

Thousands of residents fled Salemi after the 1968 earthquake. Pictured: A displaced family stand outside the ruins of their home

The earthquake sequence, centred between the towns of Gibellina, Salaparuta and Poggioreale, killed at least 231 people, possibly more than 400, with between 632 and about 1,000 injured and left 100,000 homeless. Pictured: Salemi after the earthquake

The earthquake sequence, centred between the towns of Gibellina, Salaparuta and Poggioreale, killed at least 231 people, possibly more than 400, with between 632 and about 1,000 injured and left 100,000 homeless. Pictured: Salemi after the earthquake

The immediate relief effort was hampered by a lack of disaster relief planning at both local and provincial levels. Pictured: A displaced family hang out their washing to dry after losing their home

The immediate relief effort was hampered by a lack of disaster relief planning at both local and provincial levels. Pictured: A displaced family hang out their washing to dry after losing their home

The houses are made from a yellowish-pink solid sandstone extracted from nearby caves called ‘campanedda’ or ‘bell’ in local dialect, named after the noise it makes when hit with a hammer.

Rural families in medieval times would sleep in the upper floors of the buildings, while their animals would live in the floors below.

The town is located at an altitude of 450 meters above sea level, meaning it is cooler than much of Sicily during the island’s notoriously hot summers.

Potential buyers are not required to visit Salemi before making an offer, according to Mr Venuti, but they are required to send a detailed restyle plan to demonstrate their commitment to the project.

He said there are at least another 100 dwellings in the town that could potentially be sold after this first lot. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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University Challenge viewers mock Jeremy Paxman’s lockdown hair

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university challenge viewers mock jeremy paxmans lockdown hair

University Challenge fans were left wondering if they’d flicked over to Coronation Street last night after host Jeremy Paxman sported a longer hair-do which many likened to the soap character Ken Barlow.

The latest series of the BBC Two student quiz show appears to have been shot at the height of the pandemic, during which hairdressers were forced to close. 

In last night’s episode Leeds-born Paxman, 70, who usually sports a closely cropped style with short back and sides, had swept his longer lockdown locks into a side-parting. 

He completed his new look with a trendy pair of thick-rimmed glasses with round lenses – and viewers flocked to Twitter to comment on his appearance.   

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University Challenge fans were left wondering if they'd flicked over to Coronation Street last night after host Jeremy Paxman sported a longer hair-do which many likened to the soap character Ken Barlow

William Roach, who plays Ken Barlow

University Challenge fans were left wondering if they’d flicked over to Coronation Street last night after host Jeremy Paxman sported a longer hair-do which many likened to the soap character Ken Barlow (right: actor William Roach)

Paxman, who usually sports a closely cropped style with short back and sides (pictured), had swept his longer lockdown locks into a side-parting

Paxman, who usually sports a closely cropped style with short back and sides (pictured), had swept his longer lockdown locks into a side-parting

Opinions were mixed, with a number likening it to fellow silver-haired celebrities including William Roach (who plays Corrie’s Ken), the late artist Andy Warhol and Irish comedian Dave Allen.

One viewer tweeted: ‘Jeremy Paxman sounds like a real grumpy b***** these days. And why is he wearing Ken Barlow’s hair?’ 

Another commented: ‘In generations to come, historians would do well to measure the stages of 2020 lockdown decay by the state of Paxman’s hair.’

And one asked: ‘What is going on with Jeremy Paxman’s hair? I am finding it and the fun glasses rather triggering.’ 

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Opinions were mixed, with a number likening it to fellow silver-haired celebrities including William Roach (who plays Corrie's Ken), the late artist Andy Warhol and Irish comedian Dave Allen

Opinions were mixed, with a number likening it to fellow silver-haired celebrities including William Roach (who plays Corrie’s Ken), the late artist Andy Warhol and Irish comedian Dave Allen

‘Not sure what’s happened to Jeremy Paxman’s hair during this lockdown but he’s grown curtains and I’m not vibing this (no offence),’ quipped another. 

One fan was more complimentary, tweeting: ‘Mr G likes the Paxman hair and I think he looks a bit like Richard Gere.’ 

Last night’s episode saw Linacre College Oxford take on Edinburgh University. Linacre started strong, but Edinburgh pipped them to the post, taking the victory by 30 points. 

Last night's episode saw Linacre College Oxford take on Edinburgh University - with the latter taking victory

Last night’s episode saw Linacre College Oxford take on Edinburgh University – with the latter taking victory

To observe current social distancing rules, this series perspex panels between contestants have been introduced

To observe current social distancing rules, this series perspex panels between contestants have been introduced

The set of University Challenge has remained largely unchanged since its first episode aired in the early Sixties, but to observe current social distancing rules, this series perspex panels between contestants have been introduced.

Contestants are also allowed to wear pieces so they are able to confer, and the show has relaxed the rule that states students can’t play if they’ve taken their degree during the course of the competition.

Though viewers watching at home last week said the ‘boxing off’ of contestants made the show feel more ‘shouty’ with conferring much louder than in previous episodes. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Beauty journalist reveals her daughters were called the N-word at the age of SIX

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beauty journalist reveals her daughters were called the n word at the age of

A beauty journalist who revealed that her daughters were called the N-word at the age of six during a discussion on unconscious bias – has been criticised for using the term ‘Karen’. 

Ateh Jewel, who lives in the Cotswolds, appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside journalist Rebecca Reid to discuss Prince Harry‘s interview yesterday in which he admitted he didn’t know unconscious bias existed until he ‘walked a day in Meghan Markle‘s shoes’. 

While discussing the need to educate adults to break the cycle of prejudice she said her nine-year-old twin daughters have already been victim to ‘racism in the playground’ – and that she was once asked ‘who her social worker was’ after rushing her sick daughter into hospital. 

Despite the disturbing racism Ateh described, GMB viewers ignored her points and instead focused on the fact she used the term ‘Karen’ to describe white women perceived as racist – accusing her of ‘double standards’. 

Ateh Jewel (bottom left), who lives in the Cotswolds, appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside journalist Rebecca Reid, 28, from London (bottom right) to discuss unconscious bias

Ateh Jewel (bottom left), who lives in the Cotswolds, appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside journalist Rebecca Reid, 28, from London (bottom right) to discuss unconscious bias

The beauty journalist revealed that her daughters were called the N-word at the age of six at school, and that she was once asked 'who her social worker was' after rushing her sick daughter into hospital

The beauty journalist revealed that her daughters were called the N-word at the age of six at school, and that she was once asked ‘who her social worker was’ after rushing her sick daughter into hospital

‘I have nine-year-old twin daughters and at the age of six they have already been called the N-word,’ said Ateh. 

‘They have had so much racism thrown at them in the playground, it’s not the children’s fault, it’s the parents who need to educate themselves.’ 

She recalled rushing her sick baby into hospital, only to be instantly asked who her social worker was.

‘I had a negative narrative put on me because of the colour of my skin,’ she explained. 

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Despite the disturbing racism Ateh described , GMB viewers ignored her points and instead focused on the fact she used the term 'Karen' to describe white women perceived as racist

Despite the disturbing racism Ateh described , GMB viewers ignored her points and instead focused on the fact she used the term ‘Karen’ to describe white women perceived as racist

She went on to explain that white people may be able to understand the racist microaggressions due to the ‘invisible threat’ of Covid-19- using the term ‘Karen’ to describe white women who assume the worst of black people. 

‘I think this is totally a different time,’ she told. ‘We’ve all seen Rodney King, we’ve all seen Karens calling the police for black people going to the gym or being outside their home. 

‘I think because of Covid-19, everyone knows how it is to be black, there’s an invisible threat, there is trouble, there may be something happening. 

‘People understand what it’s like to be uncomfortable, even though you’re told you’re free – I think for the first time people feel what it’s like to have invisible rules put on them. ‘ 

Prince Harry reveals the 'upbringing and education' that he had meant he had no idea about unconscious bias and that walking a week in Meghan Markle's shoes helped him understand

Prince Harry reveals the ‘upbringing and education’ that he had meant he had no idea about unconscious bias and that walking a week in Meghan Markle’s shoes helped him understand

Viewers quickly took to Twitter, and while many praised the educational debate, others focused entirely on the fact that Ateh had used the world Karen. 

‘Did that lady in Buford just now refer to someone as “Karen” whilst talking about the racism she’s had to fight all her life?’ wrote one. 

Another said: ‘I couldn’t believe it. I’m finding the whole Karen thing very insulting. I consider myself to be a very nice person.’ 

The same angry user continued: ‘Stop using the term being a Karen. Very insulting.’ 

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Despite some negative comments, many praised the journalist for having an informed and 'educational' conversation about racism

Despite some negative comments, many praised the journalist for having an informed and ‘educational’ conversation about racism

A third said: ‘So people have to be careful not to stereotype but it’s okay to stereotype Karen’s… double standards.’ 

Despite some negative comments, many praised the journalist for having an informed and ‘educational’ conversation about racism. 

It comes after the Duke of Sussex, 36, spoke about racism in an interview with Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Hutchinson for GQ magazine and admitted his ‘upbringing and education’ did not equip him to understand the issue. 

Journalist Rebecca, 28, from London, admitted that she can feel uncomfortable speaking about race, but that she is trying to ‘educate herself’ in order to be part of the conversation. 

‘I should say I don’t think being afraid of saying the wrong thing is an excuse,’ she said. ‘It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s something a lot of white people experience.

The beauty journalist went on to explain that white people may be able to understand the racist microaggressions due to the 'invisible threat' of Covid-19

The beauty journalist went on to explain that white people may be able to understand the racist microaggressions due to the ‘invisible threat’ of Covid-19

Rebecca, 28, from London, admitted that she can feel uncomfortable speaking about race, but that she is trying to 'educate herself' in order to be part of the conversation

Rebecca, 28, from London, admitted that she can feel uncomfortable speaking about race, but that she is trying to ‘educate herself’ in order to be part of the conversation

‘I’m trying to educate myself so I can be part of the conversation without that holding me back. I think what happens is the responsibility to speak about race falls on people who experience racism themselves. 

‘The time biting your lip because you’re afraid of what someone might say to you is over – white people like me not saying anything isn’t helping and like Harry says the time for that is over.’ 

Speaking of the interview, Ateh added: ‘I almost spat my tea out when I heard a prince of the realm discussing unconscious bias and racism.

‘It is a real marker the world is changing, it’s all about having these conversations with strength and honour and kindness. I think Rebecca is very brave and I think she represents lots of people.’  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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