Britain's Got Talent's Amanda Holden joins Chipping Norton Set
It’s renowned as the rural clique of the rich and powerful, where David Cameron rubs shoulders with high society and celebrity neighbours.
Now the Chipping Norton Set is welcoming its latest member – Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden.
The heavily pregnant star has bought a 17th Century cottage near the Cotswolds market town of Chipping Norton for 860,000 with record producer husband Chris Hughes, 36.
Social scene: Amanda Holden and husband Chris Hughes have a host of celebrity neighbours
Also living nearby are TV star Jeremy
Clarkson, Blur star-turned-country gentleman Alex James, and Rebekah
Brooks, the former News International chief executive.
Holden and Hughes’s 400-year-old four-bedroom thatched property is set in half an acre of private land in the village of Sarsden, about three miles from Chipping Norton.
It will be a home for the couple and their five-year-old daughter, Lexi. Holden, 40, is due to give birth to their second child at any time now.
A source close to the Britain’s Got Talent star – who in 2003 divorced her first husband, TV presenter Les Dennis – said the cottage would be a bolthole allowing the family to divide their time between the countryside and their main home in Richmond, South-West London.
Country life: Her new 860,000 Cotswolds cottage
The source said: ‘Amanda loves the rural
way of life. She and Chris already own a place in Norfolk but they
wanted somewhere within striking distance of London to enable them to
live between the city and the countryside more equally. They are after a
better quality of life, particularly with a new baby on the way.’
In recent years the picturesque villages in north-west Oxfordshire have become a mecca for the influential.
Top Gear host Clarkson, 51, owns a 2 million farmhouse with wife Frances near David Cameron’s country home in the hamlet of Dean – close to Witney, his Oxfordshire constituency.
Other residents include Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of News International chairman Rupert Murdoch, and her PR supremo husband Matthew Freud. They own a 6 million home in nearby Burford. The town is also home to Tory strategy boss Steve Hilton.