Duncan Bannatyne escapes UK lockdown to jet to £3m Portuguese villa

EXCLUSIVE: Duncan Bannatyne escapes extended UK lockdown after furloughing 2,500 staff to jet back to his luxurious £3m villa in Portugal where restrictions will ease on Monday

  • The Dragons’ Den star was in London until two days ago with his wife Nigora
  • Having been in the capital for a month the couple flew to Portugal on private jet
  • A video posted by Nigora on Insta shows Bannatyne relaxing in a swing seat 
  • Bannatyne said restrictions would start to ease in Portugal on Monday 
  • Boris Johnson is expected to announce lockdown in the UK will stay until June 

Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has escaped the lockdown in Britain to jet off to his palatial villa in Portugal with his glamorous wife Nigora.

The 71-year-old multi-millionaire flew on a private jet to his £3 million villa on the Algarve – and urged his Twitter followers to heed Boris Johnson’s advice to ‘stay home and protect the NHS’.

The businessman said he had ‘repatriated’ to Portugal with his family and will be going into 14 days self-quarantine.

However his arrival coincides with the country easing some of the restrictions imposed during a lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the killer virus.

Restrictions are due to be lifted in just three days with Portugal one of the few European countries with a low death and infection rate, while the UK’s lockdown is expected to continue another month.

Writing on Twitter he said: ‘I have repatriated myself & my family back to my home in Portugal after being locked down in London due to bad timing. 

Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has escaped the lockdown in Britain to jet off to his palatial villa in Portugal with his glamorous wife

The 71-year-old multi-millionaire flew on a private jet to his £3 million villa on the Algarve – just hours after urging his Twitter followers to heed Boris Johnson’s advice to ‘stay home and protect the NHS’

The businessman said he had ‘repatriated’ to Portugal with his family and will be going into 14 days self-quarantine. His arrival coincides with the country easing some of the restrictions imposed during a lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the killer virus

Restrictions are due to be lifted on May 2 with Portugal, while the UK’s lockdown is expected to continue another month. The former Dragons Den star has had to close his health clubs and spas and put 2,500 of his 3,000 staff on furlough

‘Luckily I had friends that gave me a place to stay in London but it is good to be home…. Lockdown will start to ease of (sic) this Monday.’

His wife Nigora, 40, posted a video to her Instagram account showing Bannatyne lounging in a wicker swing chair overlooking the pool at the villa in the exclusive resort of Val do Lobo, but deleted it shortly afterwards.

The former Dragons Den star has had to close his health clubs and spas and put 2,500 of his 3,000 staff on furlough.

He topped up their salaries above the 80 per cent government assistance for April, but warned his company would be unable to do this in May or June. 

While in London, he is believed to have been staying with telecoms billionaire John Caudwell during his stay in London. 

During their stay in London, Nigora posted a photo in a near deserted Bond Street in London with the message : ‘Take everyday as a chance to become a better human being.’

She also made a short video where she showed off her hairdressing skills while she cut her husband’s hair.

The 22,000 followers on her instagram page were asked to vote if they approved.

Many other shots featured Nigora working out in her home gym, her posing with a pillow and blanket and the couple venturing out for a coffee. 

While in London, he is believed to have been staying with telecoms billionaire John Caudwell during his stay in London

During their stay in London, Nigora posted a photo in a near deserted Bond Street in London with the message : ‘Take everyday as a chance to become a better human being.’

She also made a short video where she showed off her hairdressing skills while she cut her husband’s hair. The 22,000 followers on her instagram page were asked to vote if they approved


Many other shots featured Nigora working out in her home gym, her posing with a pillow and blanket and the couple venturing out for a coffee

Bannatyne has said he expects the coronavirus to cost his group £30 million. 

His decision to furlough comes after he waded into the controversy involving Virgin tycoon Richard asking the Government for a taxpayer bailout.

In a furious Twitter row, Bannatyne – who has a net worth of £300million – said the billionaire Virgin Group boss should instead go to a bank for help. 

Bannatyne and his wife were married in Portugal in 2017 and in the past they have rented out their Portuguese property due to the amount of time they spend elsewhere.

His visits to the UK are usually for business and to see his family and days before leaving he heaped praise on the NHS after his daughter gave birth at a hospital in Edinburgh.

He has yet to see his new baby granddaughter and likely to be several weeks if the UK imposes a 14 day quarantine rule on anyone arriving in the UK.

While he counts Portugal as his main home he also has a villa in Miami and is a frequent visitor to Monaco. 

Since the financial crisis, Portugal has allowed expats to pay no Portuguese tax on their foreign income for 10 years if they qualified for ‘non-habitual residence’ (NHR) status and live in the country for at least six months a year. 

Emphasising that he will be abiding by the Portuguese rules, Bannatyne wrote on Twitter: We are 100% in quarantine. When you land here they take full details of your quarantine address and you complete a declaration agreeing to self quarantine. To not do that is a serious offence.’ 

Bannatyne and his wife were married in Portugal in 2017 and in the past they have rented out their Portuguese property due to the amount of time they spend elsewhere

His visits to the UK are usually for business and to see his family and days before leaving he heaped praise on the NHS after his daughter gave birth at a hospital in Edinburgh

Bannatyne is a father of six and has three grandchildren.

His Uzbekistan born wife – his third – is active on instagram posting photos from locations around the world posing in designer clothes and sporstwear.

A spokesman for Bannatyne said: ‘Duncan lives in Portugal. He was not at home when the lockdown happened and has repatriated himself at the earliest opportunity.’ 

 

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