Gethin Jones calls for entries to residential property awards and answers our Q&A. Sharon Dale reports
TV and radio personality Gethin Jones is the celebrity host at this year’s Yorkshire Residential Property Awards 2017 and he’s heralding a call for entries. The categories include recognition for everyone from developers, designers and estate agents to planning and land experts. All the funds raised from the event will go to help disabled, disadvantaged and deserving children in Yorkshire.
The awards are organised by Variety and are sponsored by Bond Dickinson; Yorkshire Post; Kier Living; Walker Morris; Carter Jonas; DS Emotion; Yorkshire Post; Hampshire Trust Bank; Edward Architecture, Quod and French PR. The deadline for entry is September 4 and the process has been simplified to make it quick and easy. The categories are: Best Planning Practice; Best Innovation Project; House Builder of the Year; Best Large Development; Best Small Development; Best Estate Agency; Best Regeneration Project for Housing; Best Design Project; Best Land Agency; Property Personality of the Year and a new category for 2017, One to Watch - a young person who shows great potential. Visit yorkshire residential property awards.co.uk for details.
To see how property figures in Gethin Jones’ life, read our Q&A below:
Gethin, 39, was born in Cardiff, the son of teachers, and studied economics and geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. A talented rugby player, he made his name in 2005 when he became a presenter for “Blue Peter”. Since then he has featured on “Strictly Come Dancing,” Strictly’s “It Takes Two” and the “The One Show”. He co-hosts Heart FM radio’s popular Sunday breakfast show with Caroline Flack.
Q: How and when did you get on to the property ladder? A: I bought a two-bedroom flat in Cardiff in 2003 for £90,000 with a £20,000 deposit my grandfather saved all his life to be able to give me. I was petrified at the price. It was my first experience of a mortgage, I was embarking on a freelance career and I was worried about being able to make the monthly payments.
Q: You invest part of your income in property. What investments have you made and have they been fruitful? A: Property is a small part of my investments. It’s more difficult now because of property prices and tax rules.
I invested in Leaf Hospitality, a hotel management company founded by my friend, Richard Farrar, 10 years ago. The annual return on my investment has been around 12.5 per cent. We manage four hotels. I’m excited about what the future of Leaf can be.
Q: What made you buy your London flat? A: I bought it based on what I do and where I need to be. London just seems the most appropriate central place and it’s West London so I can get home to Cardiff, get to airports, and it’s a short Tube ride to the centre, where I can enjoy the wonderful and varied things London has to offer. Property here is expensive though. Don’t ever go on Rightmove and click “London” and then clock “Cardiff”. It breaks you.
Q: Describe your home and its style. A: It’s an old hospital built in the early 18th century. It has bags of character and it’s set over three floors. It has high ceilings and an amazing iron spiral staircase that leads from the lounge to master bedroom.
Q: What is on your interiors wish list? A: Paint. I’ve just done the bedroom. I enjoy it all until I have to decide on colours. I’m rubbish at it, so that’s when I look to get a helping hand.
Q: What is your favourite piece of furniture and why? A: An old World War 2 chest that my uncle Roger used in the Navy. I guess it would have held all of his belongings for months on end.
Q: Which items could you not live without? A: My new bed.
Q: What and where is your ideal home? A: By the sea, on the beach. The dream home would be stepping out of the house and feeling sand on my bare feet.
Q: Who would you most like to invite to dinner? A: The production team from Strictly’s “It Takes Two”. I made my two bosses Christmas dinner last year as a practice for the real thing. I mean, you’d have to ask them what they thought, but it’s already in the diary again for this year.