Celebrity Acton: Inspector Lynley, I Presume

Nat Parker prefers Acton to Notting Hill

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Things have been a bit quiet on the celebrity front in Acton over the past few weeks after the excitement over ActonW3.com's Nicolas-Cage-in-Acton-Park scoop.

So we were delighted to read in The Times this weekend about Nat Parker - aka the soon-to-be-killed-off posh Inspector Lynley - who spoke warmly about the suburb he moved to a couple of years ago. He joins a short but exclusive list of thespians who live in Acton.

Nat Parker is the son of Sir Peter Parker, former chairman of British Rail. He was brought up in Notting Hill. According to the Times interview: "That's my manor, really."

Acton was recently reviled in the press by Richard Littlejohn who said couldn't fine a good word to say about it - apart from the fact that it is "where several scenes in Minder were filmed. So you understand we're not talking swanky Kensington."

But the Times journalist who interviewed Parker was obviously charmed by his home, and described Acton as having "a lot going for it, what with its general leafiness, solid Victorian houses and numerous stations."

Parker was attracted by the large garden where he now grows Olive trees and has an "undulating lawn".

He and his interior designer wife Anna started married life in a one-bedroom flat in Notting Hill, then moved to a converted Victorian schoolhouse in Battersea. However the area "wasn't villagey enough" for the Parkers and they then progressed to Acton via Elsham Road on the Holland Park/Shepherd's Bush borders.

But, according to the interview, Parker says Acton feels more like home: “I was pretty nervous about moving here, but within two days I felt more at home than I ever did in any of our other places. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the garden, away from what Dad called the ‘aural bruising’ of London.”

It sounds as though Anna, his wife, has been marvellously creative with a house which she initially felt didn't have the "wow factor". She runs an interior design service - P and P Interiors - which she runs with Tania Payne who lives on the same road and found the house for the Parkers by keeping her ear to the ground.

So the Parkers along with their two children aged 11 and 9 are enjoying the delights of Acton, though perhaps not forever, as Parker says: "Here, I like having to stop for the level crossing at the end of the road. There’s nothing to do but sit and think for five minutes, and it makes me feel I’m in the country. My dream is to wake up and see a field outside with my horse in it.” According to the interviewer, Parker also loves the view over allotments (possibly those recently saved after a developer threatened them) and over his garden from the veranda.

Posh he may be, but Nat Parker loves Acton and it's good to hear about another celebrity to look out for and distract us all momentarily from less salubrious matters.


October 22, 2008