THE owner of a country house near Uttoxeter featured on a Channel 4 television programme who lost his inspirational father in the summer has been dealt another tragic blow.
Ben Philips, who has transformed the fortunes of the historic Heath House in Tean following its appearance on the programme Country House Rescue, lost his father John in August.
Just three months later Ben’s mother Flavia has also passed away leaving the close knit family and friends of Heath House in shock.
Flavia Philips died suddenly on December 8, days before she was due to attend the venue’s Victorian Christmas event to support her sons Ben and Justin.
Flavia, who was 73-years-old, resided at her home in Worcester and during the last 12 months had suffered several spells of illness including suffering a stroke.
Ben Philips told the Advertiser after his mother’s death: “It was a terrible shock for us when mum died so suddenly as we did not get chance to say goodbye to her.” Spokesman for the family Joyce Plant admitted it has been a ‘terrible year’ for the Philips’ close family.
Speaking on behalf of the Philips family she said: “I hope the general public will understand the tremendous shock this has been for everyone and along with myself respect their wishes for the privacy they need in their grief.
“Flavia was a person who did not like a fuss and was a very unassuming and unpretentious lady, which we all respected her for.” The funeral will be private but Ben added that there will be a memorial service for her in Checkley some time in the New Year.
Heath House’s fortunes have been transformed since it appeared on the Channel 4 show in March 2010, before an updated version was shown just after Mr Philips death in the summer.
Viewers enjoyed the good natured sparrings between the presenter Ruth Watson and the late Mr Philips and saw the progress his son Ben has made in turning the house into a successful business venture.
After his father’s death at the age of 75, Ben said of him: “Dad was a force of nature, a one-off.
“He had a zest for life, a curiosity for the world, embarking on projects with great energy before moving on to the next.
“It could make life exhausting, often exhilarating, but never dull.”