- Multi-millionaire Matt Fiddes had tabled a £7.5m bid for the property in 2022
- But the 44-year-old says he remains interested after its relisting for £5.25m
Michael Jackson‘s former bodyguard has said he is still interested in buying a lighthouse described as the ‘saddest home’ ever featured on Grand Designs.
Multi-millionaire Matt Fiddes tabled a £7.5m bid for the property in 2022 but said he had his interest reignited after it was recently relisted for £5.25m on Rightmove.
Chesil Cliff House is located in Croyde in North Devon and was made famous by the hit Channel 4 show, which dubbed it the ‘saddest ever’ project.
Owner Edward Short’s marriage collapsed and he ended up millions in debt in his desperate bid to build and then sell the dream home on the Devon coast.
Matt viewed the property in the past and says he warned owner Mr Short about what would happen if he did not lower the price.
He said: ‘I built my property portfolio in the South West and I know the market, I know how it works.
‘I told Edward face to face and said it wouldn’t sell but you can lead a horse to water and all that.
‘I do feel sorry for the guy as no one wants to see anyone lose everything.’
Chesil Cliff House was originally listed on Knight Frank’s website for £10million and boasts an infinity pool with three acres of land.
The 2019 episode of Channel 4’s Grand Designs followed Mr Short’s terrible luck with the seaside property, which became a ‘nightmare’ and ended his marriage after 12 years and plunging his family into debt.
A deal was almost done on the property in August, but a mystery buyer pulled out at the last minute and it was put back on the market.
Matt, 44, made his millions after opening his martial arts school business with just £100. It was recently valued at £120million, and he now boasts the largest privately-owned property portfolio in Devon.
Over the years he has provided bodyguard services for ‘numerous celebrity clientele including actors, supermodels and singers’ – including work as Michael Jackson’s bodyguard for more than a decade before the pop star’s death in 2009.
‘I am going to enquire into it today, it just had to be available at the right price,’ added Matt.
‘It is an incredible property but it should have been split into two separate properties.
‘I would turn it into 12 apartments as myself and my wife and spoke with Knight Frank and it is perfect for that.
‘We would rent the other house and make thousands.’
Matt, who runs martial arts schools around the globe, used to travel to Croyde as a child for family holidays and now wishes to return.
‘My family saved up to go there and I created my plans for the martial arts school there so I would love to go back there,’ he said.
‘The residents want it abolished and knocked down. I know the leader of the local council and I would like to explain my plans and hope to get their approval.
‘I won’t do it if they don’t want it as the place means a lot to me because of my roots as I took my holidays there.’
Matt, originally from Barnstaple in Devon, had originally taken up martial arts after being bullied at school and went on to achieve a 7th-degree black belt master in tae kwon do as well as black belts in kickboxing and kung fu.
He had been introduced to Michael Jackson by mutual friend Uri Geller.
Matt was also taken on as a personal trainer by model Katie Price in 2019.
Last week his 30-year-old wife, South African-born singer Moniqe Fiddes, was trapped in her £320,000 yellow Ferrari F8 Spider for ‘a few hours’ when their electric gates malfunctioned during Storm Isha.
He previously told how he planned to reign in his lavish Christmas gift spending on his children, after appearing in a TV reality show.
The family took part in 2017 in Channel 5’s Rich House Poor House, which involved families from the richest ten per cent of the UK swapping lives and budgets with a family from the lowest ten per cent for a week.
Matt and his family temporarily exchanged homes with the Leamon family living on a council estate in Southampton.
He said at the time: ‘The kids have taken to the changes really well, I’m so proud of them. They’d rather spend time with me than the latest gadget and that’s important.
‘Listening to Moniqe’s stories growing up less fortunate has helped them to understand. Moniqe is very humble – she loves to shop at Asda and Iceland, she buys clothes for everyone at Primark.
‘Her favourite shop is definitely Poundland. She knows how to sniff out a good bargain and will get a few little stocking fillers for the kids from there.’
But he was forced into extra spending that Christmas after all when Moniqe then gave birth to daughter Mayella on Christmas Eve 2018.