Great Scot: And Hot Rod will soon be back in Blighty
Nearly 40 years after fleeing Britain to avoid paying the top tax rate, Rod Stewart is to return home – so his kids can be educated here.
The 69-year-old rock veteran has lived in Los Angeles since 1975 when the wealthy paid 83p in the pound.
But he has announced plans to come back and laid the foundations for his return by splashing out £4.65million on a home in Essex where he, wife Penny Lancaster and their sons Alastair, eight, and three-year-old Aiden can live.
Rod revealed his intentions in a new interview. The dad-of-eight was asked if his childhood home of Archway, North London, still has a place in his heart?
He replied: “Oh yeah. This place is still in my heart. We are planning hopefully on moving back in about 18 months so my kids can grow up here. It’s not definite.
“But this is where me and Penny, this is where we come from.”
Penny also mentioned the move when she spoke at the RNIB Summer Gala in London.
The 43-year-old said: “Rod and I would like to move back permanently. It would be lovely for our kids to go to schools in England.
“We were both educated here. The children would be better off being educated here.”
But Penny said the couple will not be turning their back on the US, where they live in a Beverly Hills mansion.
She added: “Four months of the year the kids are on holiday so we’ll travel to the US.”
But the move will anger critics who say Rod has paid no UK tax for 39 years but now wants to enjoy the benefits of free schools, hospitals and public services.
And the pop star has told how he was carpeted by pal Elton John when he revealed he was quitting for tax reasons.
In his autobiography, he said: “He called me a traitor and put on Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance Marches at a volume so high that we couldn’t talk.”
Rod, who said he spends 90 days a year in Britain, has bought 10-bedroom Durrington House on the edge of Epping Forest. He keeps several new and vintage Ferraris there. The road tax on each is £500 due to high emissions.
The home is not far from Wood House which he already owns. It has a full-size football pitch in the grounds.