Jamie Theakston: Through The Keyhole

By on February 1, 2013

Jamie Theakston always wanted to be an architect, but he’ll settle for being a DJ, actor and part-time England goalkeeper.

Behind the Victorian façade of Jamie Theakston’s Chiswick residence is a home that could well belong to a stylist. From the choice of décor and furniture to the artwork hanging on the walls, everything in this place makes a statement through design.

The property is a curious contradiction of contemporary and period style; it’s as though Jamie has trawled antique shops to furnish his property, but used Renzo Piano to design some of the rooms – most notably the ultra-modern extension at the rear of his house.

The results are magnificent. But does Jamie have an enthusiasm for interiors or does he simply know a good stylist?

“Our sofas and armchairs are from Brazil, I love 1960s sofas from Lina Bo Bardi and Sergio Rodrigues,” says Jamie, a DJ for Heart FM. “I’m also a big fan of mid-century furniture – most of the lighting has been sourced for markets in Rome and Naples.”

So we’re dealing with an enthusiast alright and one, it appears, who is always thinking about the next addition to the home. “I’ve currently got my eye on a desk by Aymeric Lefort,” says Jamie, whose house is already home to a stuffed heron called Harriet. “I saw it in a shop in Paris.”

Jamie lives in this double fronted Victorian property with his wife, Sophie, and two sons, Sidney and Kit. They also have a home down in Brighton, which is where Jamie grew up.

“Our house in Sussex couldn’t be any more different,” he says. “It’s an Elizabethan Manor House, no concrete in sight, just plenty of exposed beams and inglenook fireplaces.”

Jamie’s passion for property should come as no surprise; “I always wanted to be an architect when I was at school,” he says. However, there’s no hint of regret. Why would there be? Jamie’s career has seen him tread the boards, present a string of successful TV programmes (Live & Kicking, Glastonbury, The Brits, etc) and host his own radio show. Not to mention play in goal for England, but more of that later.

However, despite his achievements, there is a hint of grief about his move away from acting.

“I miss acting terribly. I was with the National Youth Theatre for several years and have performed in several plays in the West End,” says Jamie, who has been described as a great snogger by fellow actor, Dawn French.

“I was in an episode of Miss Marple recently, which came on the TV while I was in a hotel bar in South Africa – obviously I took the opportunity to tell the female bar tender that I was an extremely famous film-star.”

Away from his day job, Jamie is a big sports fan. He supports Brighton & Hove Albion and has a keen interest in fencing.

“I haven’t fenced for a while, but in the past have trained with the GB fencing team and pentathlon team,” he says. “I fenced both epee and foil to a very average standard – I was inspired by the Three Musketeers with Michael York and Oliver Reed.”

He’s also had a cameo as England goalkeeper, playing in charity matches with old footballing legends and other skilled celebrities.

“When I was a young boy, I saw my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion beaten by Man Utd in the FA Cup Final,” he recalls. “Since that moment, I dreamt of one day playing football at Wembley.”

And thanks to SoccerAid, he got that opportunity.

“It’s the most exciting thing I have ever done,” enthuses Jamie, who recently competed in BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef. “SoccerAid has been going for eight years now and we have played at Wembley and Old Trafford against some of the best players in the world such as Romario, Figo and Zidane. Its Boy’s Own stuff.”

A lesser known fact about Jamie is that he is a big charity ambassador.

“I’m a keen supporter of Oxfam and have been lucky enough to see the important work they do first hand in places like Uganda and Liberia,” explains Jamie.

“I’ve also been supporting UNICEF’s work in North Eastern CAR (Central African Republic) in disarming child soldiers and returning them to their families.”

Through his charity work, career as a presenter and personal holidays, Jamie has seen a lot of the world, bringing some of it back with him to furnish his Chiswick home. However, before I leave Jamie in peace, I ask where he would most like to live if he wasn’t in London.

“I adore Amsterdam,” he says. “I’d love to live in a loft apartment on the canal, popping out on my bike for a beer at The Hoppe.”

Jamie Theakston is a breakfast radio DJ for Heart FM.

 Photo credit:  BBC Shine TV/Emilie Fjola Sandy