Why this former Holby City star is house hunting in north Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 11:01 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:14 16 March 2018
He is best known for being a member of the British vocal group Blake and playing the part of Dr Harry Tressler in TV’s Holby City but now he wants to buy a property in Norfolk. Property editor Caroline Culot spoke to actor/singer Jules Knight.
Jules Knight travelled around the world performing with the male vocal group Blake, found huge success in the TV medical drama Holby City and has just finished playing opposite Liz Hurley in the US series The Royals. So why is the 36 year-old looking to move to Norfolk?
Jules’ love of the county came originally from spending time there with his late father, John Kaye.
Jules said: “I grew up in Sussex but we used to holiday in Norfolk and my father lived in Norfok for 15 years. He passed away in 2009 from a heart attack. For the last chapter in his life he moved to North Norfolk. He lived in a farmhouse and loved the garden, he was an avid gardener. He very much enjoyed the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market, in fact he and the late Paul Whittome (who owned the Hoste) were great pals, he enjoyed the social scene and the benefit was that I used to come up and see him.”
But Jules has another reason too..his girlfriend is Mimi Emmett, the artist and designer who runs Mimi Emmett England, selling beautiful homeware inspired by the Norfolk coastline and whose parents run the House and Garden Shop in Holt. Mimi’s cushions went global after the Duchess of Cambridge bought some at Christmas. Jules recalls: “It was December 23rd or 24th when we woke up and an article in the Mail Online stated the Duchess of Cambridge had bought some of the cushions while shopping in Holt. We couldn’t believe it. Mimi then received orders from all over the world. The website crashed but it really gave the business a boost.”
Jules and Mimi met a year ago after they were introduced by his aunt, TV personality Lizzie Cundy. And there’s one more reason to move from London to Norfolk and that is Jules’ passion for art and antiques. “I plan to sell my London flat and buy in Holt. I actually have a passion for art and antiques, I come up to Norfolk and have a pitch at Holt Antiques and Interiors. It all began when I was a chorister at Winchester Cathedral and in between services I’d go to this antique fair at Winchester Guildhall. I then did history of art at St Andrews university. Now I sell antiques and interiors as a hobby and I really enjoy it.”
Jules went to St Andrews with Prince William and became friends with him and the Duchess of Cambridge, but said ‘he hasn’t seen them for a while,’ and isn’t expecting an invite to the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry. “I don’t think meeting Prince Harry once qualifies me for an invite to the wedding,” he joked.
So, Jules is selling his beloved London flat, currently for sale for £550,000 with Foxtons. Because of his interest in period property, he did much of the work himself.
“I decorated my property in London, I reinstalled plaster coving and, cornice, took out the spotlights and put in a ceiling rose and I went round the French and Belgian markets looking for brass and pewter chandeliers. I painted it in dark blue which contrasts with the white plaster and I used gold accents, gold framed mirrors.”
So Jules has been house hunting in North Norfolk. “I liked a Georgian building for sale in Docking,” he said. “I love Georgian and Victorian houses, I love period property but I have been very impressed with the new builds up here, the great benefit is they’re so well insulated. It’s chilly and windy up here. Mimi said it was and I said no, it’s fine but recently it’s been quite cold!”
Jules ideally would like to buy a house in Wells. “My ideal house would be on the Buttlands in Wells and be Georgian or Victorian with high ceilings but I’d like to be by the sea. My favourite pub is the Hero in Burnham Overy Staithe I’ve been going there for years and I recently ate at 20, North Street in Burnham Market. When I was with Blake, we went to all the best restaurants around the world but the one in Burnham is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to.
“I like the Season restaurant in Wells and I’ve also have eaten at Benedicts in Norwich and really enjoyed that. I once filmed something at RAF Coltishall and had five days in Norwich and I thought, what am I going to do? But it really surprised me and Norwich turned into one of my favourite places. I think Norfolk is very down to earth, people are not easily impressed and I like that.”
Jules’ love of period properties meant he really enjoyed being photographed by Julia Holland at Raynham Hall, near Fakenham, a 17th century country house, the seat of the Townshend family.
He said: “It was a real privilege to shoot there, we had full access and it’s a really important architectural building.”
So, what’s next for Jules? “I’d like to do a musical, stage or screen. I just finished The Royals...I can’t complain, I spent every day for three months kissing Liz Hurley,” he joked.
“But I’m very sure I’ll be staying in Norfolk, settle down and who knows, one day start a family?”