Spike Milligan’s Bayswater pied-à-terre, where some of Britain’s most beloved television shows and characters were created, has gone on the market for £6.5 million.
The Arts and Crafts-inspired townhouse on Orme Court also served as the headquarters of Associated London Scripts, the UK’s first co-operative for comedy writers, which Milligan founded with fellow television and radio heroes Eric Sykes, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.
The foursome would go on to open up the 5,697 square foot building to a revolving roster of industry talents, offering rooms to other creatives for a ‘peppercorn’ low rent.
As well as a place in broadcasting history, the house has a wealth of period features, from high ceilings and Dutch gables to an ornate wrought iron balcony accessed from the first floor.
It’s here that two Blue Plaques have been affixed to commemorate Milligan and Sykes, who passed away in 2002 and 2012 respectively.
Built in the 1890s by the Orme family as one in a terrace of grand Victorian homes, Orme Court is a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, as well as Bayswater and Queensway tube stations.
It was the illustrious address chosen by author Dan Brown as a base for the Opus Dei institution in his 2003 hit The Da Vinci Code.
Potential buyers will be encouraged by the fact that the property – currently let as offices – could be returned to residential use without the need for a full planning application, with potential for a grand six bedroom home arranged over five floors.
The sale is managed by Carter Jonas and Beauchamp Estates, who suggest that the second floor, where Dr Who villains the Daleks were invented, might become the main bedroom suite, while the lower ground floor has enough space for a cinema room, fitness studio and separate staff flat.
“This famous property would make an outstanding London townhouse on the doorstep of Kensington Gardens, perfect for comedy and Dr Who fans alike,” says Gary Hersham, founding director of Beauchamp Estates.
Milligan and Sykes sold their shares in ALS in 1967 but remained at Orme Court, jointly purchasing the freehold. The former sold his interest in the 1970s.
By that time, its four walls had overseen the creation of The Goon Show, Hancock’s Half Hour, Dr Who and the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, Thunderbirds and Steptoe and Son.
With many of the street’s townhouses long divided into flats, the sale represents a rare opportunity to purchase the freehold of a full five-storey home in one of the capital’s most covetable postcodes.