Home Entertainment RICHARD EDEN: Annabel Croft reveals she is ready to sell the dream home she built with husband Mel Colman after his heartbreaking and sudden death.

RICHARD EDEN: Annabel Croft reveals she is ready to sell the dream home she built with husband Mel Colman after his heartbreaking and sudden death.

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Mel Colman (left) and Annabel Croft (right) attend the British Ballet Benefit Gala in 2021

Left “completely heartbroken” when her husband – a vigorous 60-year-old man in seemingly impeccable health – died last year just weeks after being diagnosed with colon cancer, she followed the advice of Princess Diana’s great friend, the psychotherapist Julia Samuel, who told him that “dancing is one of the best things to relieve grief.”

Tennis star turned TV presenter Annabel Croft duly signed up for Strictly, partnered with Johannes Radebe, and left the show’s judges in tears when, after a dance, she blew a sky-high kiss to her late husband Mel Coleman.

Although she was denied a place in the final, much to the fury of viewers, Annabel, 57, made it through those darkest months.

And now, I can reveal, she feels strong enough to part ways with the house she and Mel, an America’s Cup and Admiral Cup sailor (and, she says, “a DIY fanatic”) built almost 20 years ago.

“I don’t cry every day anymore,” Annabel says. “Now I’m ready to sell.”

Mel Colman (left) and Annabel Croft (right) attend the British Ballet Benefit Gala in 2021

With six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a conservatory and, of course, an all-weather tennis court, the Surrey home is likely to sell for more than £6 million.

With six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a conservatory and, of course, an all-weather tennis court, the Surrey home is likely to sell for more than £6 million.

With their three young children in mind, the couple bought a dilapidated house in Surrey in 2001, intending to tear it down and build their dream home.

The house had been rented to students who left a tap running and flooded it. In the end, she and Mel built a beautifully proportioned neoclassical house. With six bedrooms, five bathrooms, a conservatory and, of course, an all-weather tennis court, it is likely to sell for more than £6 million.

Annabel hopes to find a smaller venue, close to what she calls her “tennis family” at Wimbledon, where she will commentate on this year’s championships.

She says of her beloved Mel: “(He is) the last person I think about when I go to sleep and the first when I wake up.”

Johannes Radebe and Annabel Croft

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