'I choose Bridgerton over DIY': Actor shows off pub renovation
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A former Holby City television star is planning a return to the big time after spending lockdown renovating his Norfolk home.
Jules Knight, 39, who gave up acting and singing in the group Blake to pursue a quieter life starting his own oyster firm is now planning to return to the small screen.
And he revealed he would love to star in a period drama - particularly taking over a lead role in the hit Netflix series Bridgerton.
After deciding to return to acting and singing, Mr Knight, who played Dr Harry Tressler in the Holby City, is now putting his home up for holiday rental for a few weeks a year.
He's spent around a year transforming an old pub after falling in love with the building in a village near Brisley.
"I love the garden, it was a bit overgrown which took me ages to clear but it has wonderful views over the fields. I often stand at the end of my garden watching the owls hunting at night," he said.
"I'm also really proud of my shed, I had always dreamed of owning one and I've spent a long time in it. I made a kitchen table and I've painted so many mirrors. I love finding old furniture and doing it up. I recently bought a console table for £30.
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"I made a decision to take a step back, I'd dedicated my life to singing and acting since I was a chorister aged seven. I put my heart and soul in it.
"I don't know why I thought I could turn my back on it, lockdown has made me realise you have to do what you love, helped clarify what you actually want to do with your life - life is too short to be doing something you don't love.
"I'm getting an agent and going back to acting. I'd love to be in a period drama, something like Bridgerton, I'd definitely take that. Or a gritty cop drama like Line of Duty."
He bought the Old Bell, which dates in part to 1702 with later additions, where he now lives with his beloved black Labrador, Samphire.
While he rents it out for holidays, he plans to stay with his sister, who lives nearby.
Mr Knight grew up in the countryside in Sussex but came to Norfolk for holidays and his late father, who passed away in 2009 from a heart attack, lived in Norfolk for 15 years.
"It was ingrained in me since I was young that one day I would like to buy a big house in the countryside. I've done so much of the work myself, even my mum said she was surprised at my DIY skills."
Inside, the house is a combination of low ceilings, beams and timber frame in the oldest part with later 18th century high ceilings and sash windows. Mr Knight has painted it throughout in Farrow & Ball throughout.
Off the country kitchen with his home-made table complete with hair-pin legs is the living room with its own honesty bar.
Mr Knight doesn't use the formal front door but the hallway still has the original flagstone floor where you can see the marks made by the publican dragging in the barrels.
There's a main bedroom on the ground floor with four more off a split level landing. Mr Knight loves collecting antiques and has around 30 Victorian prints of fruits, birds and flowers which adorn the walls.
"I really love it here - but I'm very excited at going back to acting."
After studying acting at drama school, Mr Knight and three friends formed the band Blake on Facebook in 2007. Just two days later they got a record deal. But he left the band in 2013 to join Holby City.
In that television series he played a doctor who got caught up in a love triangle and his role ended with the character suffering horrific facial injuries in a fall.
He left the show to pursue a solo singing and moved to Norfolk where he worked for a time as a sales manager for Barsham brewery. He also set up the Norfolk Oyster Company, selling Brancaster oysters from a Victorian handcart.