Way back in the distant mists of time, when men were real men, women were real women and even estate agents were respected as serious professionals, the Nation’s first, and perhaps only celebrity agent appeared on the TV and radio. He was the inimitable Roy Brooks, raconteur, wit, chum of the rich and famous, and libidinous centrepiece of the French House with his great friend Jeffrey Bernard.
Roy Brooks was a complicated sort of bloke – an avowed communist and revolutionary, he nonetheless became extremely successful as an estate agent in London’s West End. His success was based on a very unusual secret – he was crudely and often hysterically candid:
For over thirty years Brooks’ articles would appear in the Observer and The Sunday Times to the great amusement of the bourgeoisie and the louche London classes, who would wonder who’s house he was describing. The working classes loved him as he ribbed their ‘betters’ with merciless abandon:
Desmond Wilcox had a story he used in the foreword of a book on Brooks in 1985. Even being Brooks’ personal friend did not protect him from awaking one Sunday to read that the bar in the corner of his own lounge had been described as: “a white painted brick feature for holding exotic drinks. Rather theatrical and in keeping with the pretentious style of the owner”.
Becoming wealthy from the enormous fees thrown at him by London’s upper crust never sat comfortably with Roy however, and he would occasionally be seen loading his Rolls Royce with a 1000 pairs of shoes that he’d drive to Russia, ‘for old times’ sake’.
We may never see his like again…
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