Episode 1 Nigel Havers

First shown Monday 29th August 2016 8pm ITV1
Also shown Tuesday 14th March 2017 4.30pm ITV1

Nigel at his current home in Wiltshire - a converted barn

Famous faces revisit their former homes to share the memories and secrets from when they lived there. Actor Nigel Havers reveals how the Rolling Stones came to his London flat when he was aged 15 and shows off his collection of unusual animals at his countryside home.

Nigel Havers spent his childhood in Suffolk. When he was 15 he came to drama school in London and stayed at his father’s London flat in Temple near the Royal Courts of Justice. His father was Michael Havers QC who later became Lord Chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s Government.

Nigel revisits the flat at his father’s former legal chambers, which he hasn’t been back to for 40 years. Nigel was living here when he got his first professional job aged 15, as Mrs Dale’s grandson in the BBC Radio soap (like the Archers today). He also remembers how his father represented Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at the Court of Appeal in October 1967 when their drugs convictions were quashed. The band members attended a celebratory party at Nigel’s father’s flat.

The next stop on Nigel’s property ladder is the basement flat he rented in Fulham for a princely £6 a week (when he was earning £25 a week) in 1974. He moved in to the studio room with his girlfriend Caro, who became Nigel’s first wife when he was 22. They had a daughter Kate when Nigel was 25. Nigel was living in this one room flat when he got his first big break in the Sunday night BBC 13 part mini-series ‘A Horseman Riding By’. 

The first flat Nigel owned - Shepherds Bush London

Nigel’s TV break gave him his first step onto the property ladder when he bought a first floor flat in Shepherd’s Bush for £16,000 in 1978 (a property like this today sells for £750,000). While he lived here he was rehearsing a new BBC sit-com ‘Don’t Wake Up’ (where he played a recently separated NHS Doctor) at nearby rehearsal rooms in Acton and filming at the BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush. The series ran for 8 seasons.

The first house Nigel ever owned, Wandsworth, London

In 1981 his continuing success allowed Nigel to buy his first house in Wandsworth. He recalls he paid £125,000 for it, and reflects that now it is worth over a million. He became a very keen gardener at this point and erected a greenhouse in the pretty garden. While he lived here the British movie Chariots of Fire was released in which he starred. The film went on to win 4 Oscars in 1982 including the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was one of the defining roles of his career.

The largest house Nigel ever owned, complete with outdoor swimming pool
South-West London

Nigel separated from his wife Caro in 1987 and married Polly Williams. After they had been married a few years Nigel and Polly moved to a grand house in South West London complete with swimming pool. Revisiting the house today is an emotionally moving experience for Nigel as it was here that his second wife Polly fell ill with cancer and after a 4 year struggle with the illness died. Returning to the house reminds Nigel that he far prefers the intimate smaller properties he has lived in.

Nigel at home in Wiltshire today

Finally Nigel welcomes viewers to his idyllic home in Wiltshire, a converted former barn. Here he houses his unusual collection of stuffed fish, parrots and even an antique Caiman crocodile. Nigel remarried in 2004 and says he is very, very lucky to be with George (Georgiana Bronfman).

Celebrity Home Secrets: A So Television / Sunnyside Productions Co-production
Executive Producers: Graham Stuart, Andrea Miller, Jerry Foulkes
Directed and Filmed by: Rebekah Levine