Daily Mail

Curtis, king of romcoms, moving out of Notting Hill


HIS hit romantic comedy starring hugh Grant and Julia Roberts helped transform a once run-down corner of West London into a neighbourh­ood of American bankers and Russian oligarchs, with property prices soaring to match those in Mayfair or Belgravia.

But now screenwrit­er Richard Curtis and his girlfriend, the broadcaste­r emma freud, are quitting Notting hill.

‘It’s like the ravens leaving the tower,’ one of their neighbours tells me, somewhat dramatical­ly.

The couple are understood to have put their home, in a particular­ly desirable corner of the area, on the market.

Curtis, 65, declines to comment, but the five-bedroom, end- ofterrace house would be worth more than £20 million. he and emma, 60, are thought to have paid £3.6 million for the property in 1998, the year before his film, Notting hill was released.

It’s not clear why the couple, who have four children, are moving, but they suffered a property disaster earlier this year when their 18th-century holiday home in a Suffolk seaside village was badly damaged by a fire caused by an electrical fault.

The blaze was particular­ly traumatic because their beloved pet cat, Meep, and four kittens were killed.

Curtis’s film came in for criticism recently for failing to reflect the ethnic make-up of the area, which has been at the heart of the West Indian community since the 1950s and home of the Notting hill Carnival. Comedian Omid Djalili claimed ethnic actors were axed and his own role as a cafe owner reduced in order to make the film ‘more white’.

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