However when it came our Director, Stephen Riley, rose to the challenge and went to meet Chery Fernandez-Versini at ‘her’ house in Docklands, London.
The strange thing was that when she opened the door she asked him to pass through an airport-style metal detector, which kept beeping until he emptied his pockets, took of his watch and belt and confirmed he didn’t have any piercings.
It seemed a bit strange but I know some celebrities are very concerned about personal security, so I tried to remain professional, and make light of the constant beeping! Says Stephen
As Cheryl showed him around the 2 million-pound mansion her behaviour became more and more erratic.
At one point she kissed me on the head. That’s certainly never happened to me on a valuation before, and I wondered what she had been drinking! He laughs.
As it happens Cheryl had been drinking, because the whole scenario had been set up by Ant and Dec for their Saturday Night Takeaway show. They set up a series of appointments with estate agents and then Cheryl was being ‘controlled’ by them using an earpiece while they sat giggling in another room.
They dared Cheryl to down a glass of champagne with one of the agents (which she later confessed left her feeling rather tipsy). They got her to ask the house what it thought of the agents she was bringing in, then run around the kitchen island celebrating the amount of money her house was worth, as well as kissing them and acting out scenes from X Factor.
We walked into one room to find a table set for two and a violinist in the corner, says Stephen. Cheryl was explaining that she wanted to get to know me as a person before deciding on an agent, but it was so hard to concentrate while eating spaghetti and she was shouting at the violinist.
Stephen confesses he thought something strange was happening but he was very keen to take on the property, a beautiful five-bedroom mansion in one of the most sought-after areas of London. So he kept his head and tried to appear calm and professional, and to give the best advice he could in the circumstances.
As Cheryl’s behaviour swung from being over-familiar to aggressive he was trying to work out the best way to handle his volatile client, when they stepped into the basement ‘gym’ to be met by Ant, Dec and the Saturday Night Takeaway production team.
I had started to suspect I had been set up for something, he says, but when I realised the amount of effort that had gone into the sting I couldn’t be anything but impressed at the work involved, and that Cheryl had been so up for the challenge.
Obviously it was a disappointment to know that we wouldn’t be listing the house on our books, but it was a great experience. I got tickets to the show for me and my wife, and I even got asked for a selfie afterwards.
As a final word on the experience Stephen comments:
If the real owner of the house ever wants to put it up on the market, we are always willing to call out and discuss the value, and you can be assured of our professionalism at all times – whatever the situation we find ourselves in.
See the whole clip of ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Out Of Me Ear!’ on You Tube, we think you will agree that Cheryl was a great sport, and that Stephen came out of it well too…