What happened to iconic TV & film homes – from Love Actually house to Fresh Prince's mansion
WHEN we're gripped by a brilliant film or TV show, their iconic sets can begin to feel more real than our own living room.
But while many of us will follow stars' careers long after a hit ends, very few know what happens to the famous properties used once filming has wrapped.
Last week, the Big Breakfast house, which launched the careers of stars including Chris Evans and Zoe Ball, slashed its price by a whopping £1.4million.
The six-bedroom mansion, which is located next to a canal and near London’s Olympic Park, in Bow, is now on the market for £4.6million after failing to sell for £6million in October last year
It was known as Lock Keepers’ Cottage while housing the iconic Nineties show, which ran for nearly a decade and aired 2,482 episodes before being axed in March 2002.
The former Big Breakfast set isn’t the only famous pad that has a surprising story to tell – here, we look back at what happened to some of the famous properties after the cameras stopped rolling.
Gavin & Stacey – TV show shrine
It’s been 14 years since the heartwarming BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey hit our TV screens – and fans still long for more series to be made.
The show has such a cult following that 28,000 visitors flocked to The West’s family home in Barry, Wales, to take pictures over a 10-year period.
Glenda Kenyon, who owns the famous pad at 47 Trinity Street, offered up her house to show producers in 2006 after a number of residents were asked if they could film there.
She says the show “really changed my life” and she was “so grateful for all this” – especially because it helped to put her town on the map.
“People come from all over the world to see the set and they are so excited… I have coaches full of people arriving and I enjoy it,” Glenda told Wales Online in 2019.
The modest house, which serves as a shrine to Gavin & Stacey, allows “polite and respectful visitors” to take photos and for fans to knock on the door between 12pm and 7pm.
However, Glenda admits she’s often clueless when it comes to answering fans’ questions about specific episodes because she wasn’t there when they were filming.
Love Actually – Tourists told stay away
This brightly painted house became famous after appearing in Richard Curtis’ 2003 beloved Christmas flick Love Actually.
It was where Andrew Lincoln, who played Mark, used a series of cards to profess his love for Keira Knightley’s character Juliet.
The house, which is a stone’s throw from Portobello Road Market, became a hotspot for fans of the film – all of whom were desperate to get a picture in front of the door.
However, last year, the local council took the unprecedented step of asking visitors not to go there.
They told the MailOnline that they were “stepping in to help protect the resident’s privacy” and urged people to visit “other famous locations in the borough”.
The owner of the house in St Lukes Mews, Notting Hill, said they “had no idea” it was a famous house until an “Instagram craze” saw scores of people arrive outside their home.
“Now I am living under a blanket of selfies, tour guides and a queue of tourists lining up to take photos on weekends,” said the lady, who wished to remain anonymous.
“They even walk into my house if the door is open, thinking it’s some sort of theme park.”
She installed a donation box outside to raise money for local homeless charities in the area in an attempt “to make a good thing out of this intrusive situation”.
Harry Potter – Airbnb jackpot
De Vere House was where James and Lily Potter were viciously murdered by Lord Voldermort – and where Harry became the only wizard to have survived the notorious "killing curse".
Eager fans of J K Rowling’s magical series flocked to the property in Lavenham, Surrey, to take pictures and some even knocked on the door to ask if “Harry was home”.
“It would drive me crazy, it is heaving during summer,” Tori Hale, the owner of a nearby ice cream shop, told The Times.
During the tourist season, a constant stream of fans gather around the home and even during winter taxi drivers take people to "the Harry Potter house”
The six-bedroom grade one listed property, which is made of 15th century timber, was listed for £995,000 when it first came on the market in 2017.
Two years later owners Jane and Anthony Ranzetta, who lived there for 30 years, reduced the price by £45,000 in a bid to sell it so they could downsize.
But, last year, the couple announced they were taking it off the market after receiving an “extraordinary” amount of bookings on Airbnb.
“Guests from all over the world have been making inquiries, and [in] this country as well… we felt that we did not need to sell,” Jane told Bucks Free Press.
Notting Hill – Fans 'couldn't find it'
William Thacker and Spike, played by Hugh Grant and Rhys Ifans, lived at 280 Westbourne Park Road in the 1999 film Notting Hill.
And romcom lovers regularly flock to the home in the bid to get a photo of the famous house where Hugh charmed Hollywood actress Anna Scott, played by Julia Roberts.
The property originally belonged to Richard Curtis, who wrote the screenplay, and later the iconic blue front door sold for £5,750 during a charity auction.
After it was flogged, it was reported that tourists struggled to find the famous house – so the property’s owners painted their door blue.
The Dark Knight Rises – Historic Gotham link
Bruce Wayne used his excessive wealth to fight crime and had his HQ The Batcave beneath a sprawling estate.
Far from being an exclusive gated-off property, the real mansion used in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 Batman film The Dark Knight Rises is a stately home.
Wollaton Hall, in Nottinghamshire, is free to visit and has stunning views of the nearby city as well as a 500-acre deer park.
The Elizabethan manor was chosen by Warner Bros in 2012 as the set for Wayne Manor in the film that starred Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway and others.
There’s also another historical link to the DC world – residents in the nearby village of Gotham feigned madness to stop a royal highway being built back in the 13th century.
At the time, madness was feared to be contagious and that prevented the costly works from happening – the story became known as The Wise Men Of Gotham.
Gotham was adopted as a nickname for Manhattan, in New York, by the 19th Century historian and author Irving Washington, and was also used by DC Comics in the Batman franchise.
Breaking Bad – Owner refuses to sell
Walter White went from rule-abiding chemistry teacher to meth cook and drug lord in the US series Breaking Bad.
The show, which ran from 2008 until 2013, earned a legion of fans and many were keen to visit the character’s family home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Up to 1,000 people a month visited the home, which had been owned by Fran and Louise Padilla since 1973 – despite filming never taking place inside their house.
Only the outside of their now-famous pad, which is worth up to £150,000 ($200,000), was used in the TV show and despite interest from aficionados the owners claimed they would never sell it.
The Padilla family described their home being used as like “winning the lottery” but insisted the undisclosed sum they received for filming “didn’t make us rich”.
Fran told TMZ that visitors don’t bother her and she believes her interior is more nicely decorated than the White family’s home.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch – Became office space
Earlier this month, the mansion that featured in Sabrina The Teenage Witch was put up for sale at £1.46million.
The 19th century dwelling was a private residence before featuring as the home of Sabrina Spellman, played by Melissa Joan Hart, her two quirky aunts and Salem the talking cat.
It was described as needing a considerable face-lift back in 2014, when its owners purchased it from the bank for £251,000 ($335,000).
In recent years, the three-story property, in Freehold, New Jersey, was rented out for office space and cost £7,325 ($9,750) per month, House Beautiful reported.
Those who were interested in the famous pad were able to go to an open house viewing on Halloween and the property was covered in spooky decorations.
Up – Owner refused $1million offer
Disney lovers were enchanted by Up’s heartwarming tale about a young boy scout who went on an adventure with an elderly widower and a talking dog.
In the animated film, the modest house famously took off and soared into the skies thanks to more than 10,000 helium balloons.
But as Isaac Newton once said while explaining gravity: “What goes up must come down” – and for a time it seemed that was the destiny for the real-life house that supposedly inspired the Disney flick.
The company seemed to endorse the theory when Up was released in 2009.
Disney publicists tied a number of multicoloured balloons to the more than 100-year-old property, in Ballard, Seattle, while promoting the film.
In 2015, the Guardian reported it was due to be demolished, eight years after its owner Edith Macefield refused a £750,000 ($1m) offer to sell her £90,000 ($120,000) home to developers.
Komo News reported the home was “staying up” and developers planned to update the property to tie into their large-scale transformation of the area in 2018.
Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air – Private property with gates
Many homes from other iconic films and TV shows still stand today – but some are hidden behind gates that prevent fans from gaining access.
They include the Banks family’s palatial property from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, which is located in Brentwood, Los Angeles.
The two-storey home has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a massive walk-in closet, a pool, a spa, a putting green and a three-car garage.
Due to it being private property visitors need a pass to go inside the grounds – and could be arrested for trespassing if they don’t.
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