May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Hollywood star Ricky Gervais is soon to be turfed out of his Hampstead office because the landlord plans to turn the space into luxury flats.
Over the last four years the 51-year-old funnyman has penned hit TV shows and films from his first-floor office off Heath Street, with writing partner Stephen Merchant and long-suffering stooge Karl Pilkington among the regular visitors.
But in March the star of award-winning programmes The Office and Extras will be packing up his belongings for good as his landlord prepares to turn the writing haven into a plush flat.
A spokeswoman for Mr Gervais, who also lives in Hampstead, said: “Ricky is currently in LA and has a very busy schedule, so I’m afraid he won’t be able to comment.”
The actor, who recorded scenes for Channel 4 show Derek at Hampstead Parish Church, sublets the office from Savills.
The estate agent occupies the ground floor and also uses the first-floor office next door to the comedian to hold meetings.
Savills took over the office block when the Ham&High vacated the building and moved to Swiss Cottage in 1989.
Frank Townsend, director of Savills’ Hampstead branch, said: “When we move out of the first floor, which he [Gervais] rents part of from us, he will have no home to go to any more. He will be moving as well.
“He is very, very rarely there. He comes in and out now and again with Stephen Merchant and our Idiot Abroad [Karl Pilkington].”
The firm’s lease on the two-storey building came to an end in March last year, but the company has stayed on thanks to tenancy laws. During that time the owner of the property won planning permission from Camden Council to transform the comedian’s office and Savills’ toilets, kitchen and meeting room into two flats.
Mr Townsend, who has worked in the office for 24 years, has applied to the council to move the facilities from upstairs into the empty ground floor shop next door.
Mr Townsend said: “We cannot find an alternative in Hampstead and we have been looking for a year now. We might, unfortunately, have to move out of Hampstead altogether.”
The council is expected to consider the proposal next month.