Sleb Safari: Could a Sodastream make or break a house sale?

Michael McIntyre and Tom Hiddleston

IT’S an uber-exciting time in the world of celebrity property sales. Perrie from Little Mix may or may not be moving in with her boyfriend but definitely has put her bungalow on the market. Little Mix + bungalow = confusing.

And Bruce Willis is selling his New York apartment for almost $18m. It comes with six bedrooms and views of Central Park. Sleb Safari took a hammer to its piggy bank just in case but is short of the asking price by $17,999,000.

You know who else is selling their home? Michael McIntyre. He of the floppy hair and funny jokes. Michael’s house is rumoured to be on the market for £4 million so clearly it’s a shack.

His Wiltshire home, Sleb Safari has read, has six bedrooms, a tennis court, swimming pool and a small lake.

Sleb Safari would happily move in. It’s not going to buy the house obv but if Michael needs a house sitter Sleb Safari is ready and willing to work for the Irish News remotely. It will have to insist on a cleaner though. And a tennis coach. And someone to clean the pool. And, since Sleb Safari has hay fever, someone to cut the grass. And they could tend to the flower beds and cut back shrubs while they’re at it. Fine, call that person a gardener if you must. Sleb Safari is not as hung up on titles as you appear to be.

Word on the Wiltshire streets is that Tom Hiddleston, he of good hair and Taylor Swift and The Night Manager fame, was bidding on Michael’s house but the deal fell through because Tom wanted some of the furniture included in the sale.

For a lot of people buying their first house coincided with their parents treating themselves to new furniture and ‘donating’ the old to their adult child. Most of us have had a first home furnished in a mish mash of styles. There are first-time buyer homes the length and breadth of Ireland that boast furniture from the 80s, 90s and naughties…

Sleb Safari is inclined to believe that Tom was not haggling with Michael over a red pleather sofa, beaded curtains, some gingham accent cushions and a Sodastream but wouldn’t it be great if the Sodastream was the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Perhaps Tom is too busy to pop into Ikea and kit out a new house. Perhaps he admired the McIntyre family’s decor so much that he wanted the house exactly as it was when he viewed it. It’s a gamble Tom. For all you know there’s a half eaten slice of toast that’s been down the back of that sofa for so long that pathogens are marching off it in all directions, determined to out-anthrax anthrax.

Sleb Safari would like to see Tom and Michael come to some sort of agreement so that one can move on as he wants to and the other can live in a mansion in Wiltshire as he must want. Come on Michael, throw in a recliner, that painting you picked up at the market in Barcelona and the Sodastream and everyone’s a winner.


Books are meant to be read

WORD to the wise; putting books in your bookcase just got political. For years, nay generations, humankind has been placing books spine facing out so we can see the title at a glance and choose the book we want without hours of trial and error.

Now, however, there’s a movement towards turning books pages out to ensure you have a uniform colour scheme and… ahm, Sleb Safari can’t think of a single good reason why you’d do it.

Design blog Apartment Therapy shared a picture of a beige and white bookcase on Instagram recently with the caption: “Books don't match your decor? Don't fret. The incredibly easy solution? Flip them for a perfectly coordinated look."

Sleb Safari remains unconvinced. Bookcases are places to find adventure and escape, they're not a drab design feature in the corner of the room.


Competition Time

TO MARK RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch Sleb Safari is giving away a selection of goodies to help your attract birds to your garden.

One lucky winner will receive an Elegance nestbox, Irish Birds book by David Cabot, sunflower hearts, peanuts, a nut and nibbles bird feeder and a seed feeder.

The Big Garden Birdwatch runs this weekend, January 27-29 and according to the RSPB charity is the world’s biggest wildlife survey.

For the past 39 years the RSPB has been asking people to spend an hour counting the birds in their garden to help create a snapshot picture of bird numbers across Northern Ireland.

Last year starlings were the most commonly seen birds, followed by house sparrows, chaffinches, blue tits and blackbirds.

You can register to take part by visiting

To enter the competition answer the following: Which distinctive black and white bird with a brightly coloured beak can be seen on Rathlin Island?

Email your answer to and mark your entry 'Sleb Safari/RSPB competition'. Please include your name, address and contact telephone number. The deadline is noon on January 24.

Usual Irish News rules apply.


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