Rory Bremner buys Borders mansion

HE ADMITS his accent is more Home Counties than Scots, but comedian Rory Bremner is returning to his roots after spending around £1.4 million buying a country mansion in the Scottish Borders.

The Edinburgh-born impressionist is moving with his family from the Cotswolds to nine-bedroomed Crailing House near Jedburgh, Roxburghshire.

Set in 28 acres of land, the house has three reception rooms and four bathrooms.

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Included in the purchase are two lodges and two cottages within a B-listed stable block around a central courtyard with a Palladian frontage.

However, as his new A-listed home is in need of renovation, it will be at least a year until the Bremners and their two young daughters Ava, seven, and five-year-old Lila can move in.

Estate agents Knight Frank describe Crailing House as "regency splendour in a parkland setting" and claim it "retains a wealth of period features, not least the curved wall in the dining room and the geometric stair at the back of the house".

Bremner, 48, has been involved in a number of high-profile arts projects in the Borders. For the past two years, he has hosted the annual Borders Book Festival in Melrose, helping to raise the profile of the event to international status.

He became a patron of the environmental charity Borders Forest Trust last month and next Tuesday will officially open the Borders Textile Towerhouse, the final phase of a 10 million flagship Heart of Hawick regeneration project.

Bremner's wife Tessa comes from the area and she still has family connections there.

Mrs Bremner's father Patrick Campbell-Fraser said: "Both Rory and Tessa love the Borders and, of course, the family is delighted they will be moving here closer to us.

"The house does need quite a bit of work so Rory, Tessa and the children will not be upping sticks from the south right away. I reckon it will take a year before they finally make the move to Crailing House."

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But local politicians may feel wary considering Bremner's reputation for pranks, which have include telephoning Margaret Beckett, the then Foreign Secretary and impersonating then Chancellor Gordon Brown, leading to a string of indiscretions about fellow politicians.

Lib Dem finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis MSP, who lives in Galashiels, joked: "I think that Vince Cable and me will need to agree a secret password for the telephone to stop Bremner getting hold of top secret information."

Earlier this year, Bremner kicked off the new series of the hit BBC1 genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are? where he traced his family history including his father Major Donald Bremner.

His great-grandfather John Ogilvy, from Aberdeen, was an army medical surgeon who saw action in the Crimean War and Ukraine.