Inside Craig Revel Horwood’s lavish festive mansionvthat he shares with fiancé Jonathan Myring
Just 30 seconds inside Craig Revel Horwood’s home tells you all you need to know about the fabulous Strictly star. Glamorous decadence is the order of the day and the 55-year-old says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s all very theatrical,” he tells us as we marvel at the opulence on display. “And being surrounded by theatrical things is where I feel most at home.”
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Craig lives with fiancé Jonathan Myring in the stunning Hampshire mansion, which comes complete with lavish swimming pool. Normally the place sees lots of action around this time of year, thanks to Craig’s regular stint in panto.
The cast and crew are usually invited round for a huge annual Christmas party, complete with “drag lasagne” – something we’re told Paul Chuckle was very keen to get stuck into one year!
However, due to obvious reasons, all that is on hold. Craig was set to play the Sheriff of Nottingham in panto Robin Hood, but recent Covid restrictions have resulted in the show being postponed.
This year, it’ll be a turkey dinner for two, but clearly that’s not a problem for Craig and Jonathan, who got engaged in April. In fact, lockdown has meant spending more time together than ever, and it’s doing them the world of good!
“It’s actually strengthened our relationship,” says 33-year-old Jonathan, who also tells us the couple are now looking forward to a summer 2022 wedding, to be held in their own private forest! Well, we’d expect nothing less.
Here the pair discuss their divine decor, tell us why they think Anton Du Beke deserves a place
as a Strictly judge, and share their festive plans…
Gentlemen, your house is something else!
Craig: Oh, thank you darling! We love it. It’s just big enough for us two. I was used to living in a much smaller place in London, so being here is a breath of fresh air.
It’s exactly the sort of place we’d imagine you living in…
Craig: Well, having worked in the theatre all my life, I like to be surrounded by theatrical things, it makes me feel at home. And yes, we have a lot of glitterballs in the house, but that’s because people never know what to buy me for Christmas or birthdays, so I always seem to end up with a disco ball! We’ve got quite a collection now.
Who has the final say in decor?
Jonathan: Oh, it’s definitely Craig. Sometimes I have to put my foot down – 20 glitterballs on show at any given time is a bit much. I do secretly enjoy it, but I feel like I live inside a glitterball. Honestly, if you were to crack open a disco ball, it’d be our house.
Do you always go big at Christmas?
Craig: It depends where we are. Last year we were in Manchester and that was quieter. But
if the family comes to us, we’ll go big. We have a lot of nieces and nephews and the presents basically take up the entire living room – and I have a huge living room.
So what about this year? Will you spend it alone?
Craig: It’ll just be the two of us, with a turkey crown and 12 pigs and blankets. We’ll use the big dining room table and talk to pretend guests. But look, we have each other and that’s the most important thing. I was initially going to be doing panto. We’ll be forgoing our annual Christmas cast party.
What will you be missing?
Craig: I normally heat the pool and have a summer barbecue. We’ll feed everyone “drag lasagne” where everyone goes upstairs and gets a frock on. Then there’s drag croquet on the lawn, too. Paul Chuckle donned a wedding dress a couple of years ago.
Jonathan: He loved it!
Let’s talk Strictly – it was certainly different this year! How would you rate it?
Craig: I thought it was fantastic. I thought it opened a lot of creative doors and the finalists were all fantastic. It was a shame the audience missed out on six weeks of episodes because the series had to be shorter, but the show had to go on and it worked!
Did any of the contestants surprise you?
Craig: Bill Bailey! I never ever expected him to get through week three, let alone to the final! What an amazing job he did. It was brilliant for the over 55s who think they can’t do it – he proved you can! Plus I thought Maisie Smith was incredible. And Jamie! Four times in the bottom two and he made the final – anything’s possible. And Ranvir was great, too.
What do you make of those romance rumours between her and Giovanni?
Craig: I don’t know if they’re each other’s type? I know they get on really well, they have a lot of deep and meaningfuls, they talk about life a lot, but from what I know it certainly hasn’t turned into anything more than that. I think they’re genuine friends. They have an understanding and friendship based on mutual trust and respect.
Shirley got some trolling for sending Jamie through to the final over Ranvir…
Craig: Well, so did I. But I don’t worry about it too much. I’ve got such thick skin, I’m like a rhinoceros. But Shirley is new to that sort of backlash. She’s head judge on the biggest show in the country – and, of course, 12 million viewers are going to have opinions. I respect that, so you can’t take it personally. I don’t emotionally react to it because trolls just want a reaction. Shirley’s learning that and she’s learning to cope with it.
And Anton told us recently he’d love to become a judge if a vacancy came up!
Craig: There’s enough space on that desk for a fifth judge – if they made it a couple of inches wider next year – and I’d absolutely love to have Anton! He’s been on the show since the start, he’s experienced the other side of the coin, and we don’t have someone like that on the panel. Bruno we love because he’s the company clown and good fun – and he’s the one who’s been sat next to me on that panel since the start in 2004. We’ve formed a huge bond and a wonderful friendship, so I’d want him to stay. I wouldn’t want to swap out anyone, bring Anton in as the fifth judge!
We thought he did brilliantly when he stepped in for Motsi!
Craig: Exactly! People loved him. And why not? One can only dance for so long. He needs to consider his future at some point, he can’t dance forever. Unless it’s a waltz. He could waltz until he’s dead.
James Jordan said he didn’t think Strictly was up to standard this year. Any thoughts?
Craig: Oh, he would say that. Honestly, we won’t make amends until he stops slagging me off! His comments and scores on Twitter always tally up with mine. He thinks the same as I do and it makes me laugh because he clearly wants my job!
Ooh, James instead of Anton for the fifth judge perhaps?
Craig: Not in a million years. He’s too bitter, he’s too twisted! We’d have a laugh on the panel – I’d put him in his place!
We’d still love to see it. Moving on to your wedding, what’s the latest?
Jonathan: We’re now looking at August 2022 – we’re building our own wedding venue in the forest. So it
gives us time to make it amazing. There’s a 600-year-old chestnut tree in the middle of our woods, we’ve cleared underneath and there’s room to seat 100 people. We’re hoping for lots of lights and lamps to make it like a fairy tale.
So it’s your own land?
Craig: It is. And what else are you going to do with your own woodland other than turn it into
a wedding venue?
True. Will the entire Strictly cast get an invite?
Craig: Not everyone. And we don’t feel any pressure to include everyone either. If you’re not invited, you’re not invited. Get over it.
Jonathan: We can only seat 100 for the wedding breakfast and we have such huge families.
Craig: There are definitely people we will invite, though. Definitely Bruno, Tess and Vernon, as we love them, Darcey Bussell and Shirley will have to be there, goodness knows what she’ll wear.
Jonathan: We want everyone to be as outrageous as possible.
Craig: We’re getting Alexandra Burke to sing. And the first dance will be a Charleston.
Jonathan: I don’t want to dance in front of the Strictly cast! I haven’t danced a day in my life!
Craig: Darling, you’ll be fine! I’ll be choreographing it all – I don’t want anyone else doing it.
How would you sum up your relationship?
Craig: We’re very loving and very independent.
Jonathan: Lockdown, I think, has really strengthened our relationship. Craig is such a sweet human being. He’s a teddy bear – but that’s all hidden!
Craig you’ve done the Celebrity MasterChef Christmas Special, too. How was that?
Craig: I did it before 13 years ago and I was runner-up, so I thought it would be easy – it wasn’t! I put a lot of pressure on myself and I certainly didn’t learn from my mistakes. I love being responsible for the food in our home.
What about you Jonathan, what’s your role?
Craig: He eats it!
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