Diary: Adland creatives display a flair for buying houses

Forget Hollywood stars, celebrity authors and tired and emotional It girls, it seems that the real stars of the newspaper property sections are now agency creative directors.

A browse through last Friday's Evening Standard revealed the Hampstead home of John Townshend, the creative director of Rapier, alongside Sir Clive Sinclair's in a feature rather appropriately called "A private view".

Townshend's lovely wife Helen takes us on a tour of the "rambling" four-storey house, bought 18 months ago for a king's ransom and featuring the bonus of wild parakeets outside the Townshends' bedroom window.

"I can get a stunning view of London from Parliament Hill and then be in the West End in just 15 minutes," Helen reveals.

Meanwhile, if anyone is feeling concerned about the future of Nick Hastings, who recently left Euro RSCG, worry not. A recent Sunday Telegraph feature gives details of a £3.3 million home in Notting Hill which is being sold by the former creative director.

However, there's no need for rampant envy among advertising's more modest-dwelling creatives. The reason for Hastings' success was not his massive Euro salary, but his neat little sideline in property development.

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