Now the Comedy legend John Cleese has made his final alimony payment to his ex-wife he wants to move to Bath with his fourth wife Jennifer Wade. JANE SLADE finds some suitable villages for the animal-loving pair
Even though John Cleese, 75, is not showing any signs of retiring, he has said he and his wife are looking for somewhere to live where they can keep a couple of goats, and where he can pursue his writing.
“Jenny and I are looking in the South West and want a place nearer to Bath than anywhere else,” he says.
“We are both animal lovers and Jenny has recently fallen in love with goats so we want a place where we could have two or three.
“We are looking at all the sites on the internet.
“The only thing is I’m paying off the alimony and the final payment was last month, but as you can imagine $20million has upset the bank balance.
“We want a garden and we want to find somewhere in the West Country.”
It has taken Cleese seven years to pay off his third wife Alyce Faye Eichelberger and now he is ready to return to the West Country.
“I feel there is something about the West Country and I feel that is where I belong in a funny kind of way,” he explains.
“It’s difficult when you are in show business, as I have had to be in London for many years but now I get to do more writing.” The Python grew up in Weston super Mare. “I have not been back there for a while,” he says.
“My mum died in 2000 at the age of 101 and I went down one or two times after to see school friends.”
Some of his best memories are from growing up in the seaside resort.
“I would visit Knightstone Theatre with my parents for variety balls in the summer, where we saw Frankie Howerd and Reg Varney, people who were big figures in the 1950s. But I did not get a taste of show business then.
“If you were born in Weston you’re more likely to become an archbishop than a comedian. It’s not on the radar.
“As you get into your 70s you look back and I remember I was so anxious or felt really disappointed or depressed and I realised I was taking it all too seriously.
“I recall all the anguish but I do not take it very seriously any more. Now I’m the happiest I have ever been.” Even so he does not want to move to Weston.
Set in 15 acres, the pet-friendly village is bordered by fields and footpaths with views of hills and the Avon Valley below.
The great thing about choosing a property in a retirement village is that it will be looked after while you are away. The gardens will be maintained and communal areas taken care of freeing you up to pursue hobbies and interests and enjoy the lifestyle of a guest in a five star hotel.
The cheapest property available at Avonpark is a studio, for sale leasehold for £135,000 – cheap even by cash-strapped Cleese’s standards.
And when the Python star starts to decline he can rely on the residential, dementia and nursing care on site. For more information visit www.retirement-villages.co.uk /01372 383950
Alternatively there is Wadswick Green, a contemporary development designed for the over 60s, just a few miles from Bath. Set in 25 acres there is plenty of room for the Cleeses’ animals. New owners benefit from paying no service charges to the end of 2015 which may also be of interest.
Close to picturesque villages and hamlets, including Lacock where Pride and Prejudice was filmed, Cleese will find the environment inspirational to pursue his writing, something which now interests him more than acting. And Jennifer who is a keen swimmer will love the pool and wellness centre.
A total of 248 apartments will be available once the scheme is completed, comprising a mixture of one, two and three bedroom apartments priced from; one-bed £294,000; two-bed £375,000 and three-bed £520,000 including parking. But some are finished now. For more information visit www.wadswickgreen.co.uk /0800 096 1156