Jacko and family are moving in

MICHAEL Jackson and his famous family are set to move into a new home in England in the next few weeks, it emerged today.The legendary king of pop is said to be delighted after tying up the move to the five-bedroom house.

MICHAEL Jackson and his famous family are set to move into a new home in England in the next few weeks, it emerged today.

The legendary king of pop is said to be delighted after tying up the move to the five-bedroom house.

The comfortable but unassuming property in Appledore, Devon, will become the UK retreat for the Jackson Five legends from next month.

The owners of the holiday des res have agreed an initial one-month letting arrangement with the superstar's family while they continue to search Devon for the ideal spot on which to build a multi-million-pound pad.

The house has been let to the Jacksons on behalf of two Bristol-based couples by specialist holiday cottages agency, Barnstaple-based North Devon Holiday Homes.

Managing director Matthew Ryan spoke of a "boyish excitement" when he was given the task of relaying the jaw-dropping news of the new tenants to his astonished clients.

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Matthew said: "I was pretty shocked when we were first approached but was convinced it was a bona fide request as I knew the Jacksons were looking to find a home in North Devon.

"We're very proud that a family of that stature, and with such high and exacting requirements, has approached us to represent them."

He added: "Over the years, we have accommodated a broad spectrum of fairly well-known clients, but obviously this is on a different scale entirely."

Mr Ryan - who discussed preparations such as additional window screening with the Jacksons on Monday - said he had an "interesting" conversation with the owners, who had already booked the accommodation for their own use.

"I told them that there was a high profile client looking to let their property and they were good enough to cancel their own holiday before they even knew who it was," he said.

Besides the Appledore deal, the Jacksons are negotiating terms on a secluded piece of land in the Croyde area on which to build a spectacular "glass-style" mansion for permanent use while they're in the UK.

The stunning revelations come just weeks after Tito Jackson's North Devon home hunt was revealed.

Jacko's older brother Tito, 54, spent a week in the region looking at various properties with family friend and martial arts empire owner Matt Fiddes.

Matt spent the weekend in London with Jermaine Jackson and other family members to put the final preparations in place for the Devon move.

"Matt is one of my family's closest friends," said Jermaine.

"We are looking forward to spending time with my brothers and Matt in Barnstaple.

"It's a beautiful place and we can't wait for Tito to set us up a family home there."

Mr Fiddes, who has a home near Barnstaple, said that, since Tito's visit last month, the phone line between North Devon and California had been red hot.

It is understood that he has signed a contract with the Jacksons to get all brothers - including Michael - back in shape and fighting fit for a Jackson Five reunion tour.

"They couldn't buy a house quickly enough and are renting the place in Appledore until they can build their own home, exactly how they want it," said Matt.

The large barn conversion in Appledore has lots of rooms, big gardens, a balcony and first-class views of the Taw and Torridge estuary.

It should suit the iconic family down to the ground - from the state-of-the-art surround-sound ceiling speaker system, to the American flag cushions on the living room sofa.

"The home is set back from the road with its own gate but although it's stunning, it's a fairly normal house really," added Mr Fiddes.

"It's not as private as they are used to, but they have bodyguards - and it's the best they could do at such short notice.

"Tito and his sons are putting the finishing touches to a brand new album and are desperate to get here as they know it's more peaceful than California.

"They know that in North Devon, they can put some serious work into the new material and get it released as soon as possible."

Tito, his girlfriend, actress and model Claudia Lynx, and sons Taj, Taryll and TJ of pop band 3T, are expected to arrive in North Devon on May 5.

It is almost certain that the move will see the world's media focus its attention on Appledore during the next weeks and months, with the prospect of untold superstar visits in the offing.

It is understood that brother Jermaine, sister Janet, and even mum and dad Joseph and Katherine, have already signalled their intention to come and visit.

"We will have to wait and see whether or not Michael turns up," said Mr Fiddes.

"Michael likes surprising people, so he'll probably keep us all guessing up until the last minute!

"He turns 50 this summer and, with a lot of his family in the region, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of him celebrating his birthday in North Devon."

Where the Taw and Torridge rivers meet, the delightful quayside village of Appledore, next to the River Torridge, boasts a great range of shops, pubs, guesthouses and art galleries.

A thriving fishing and trading village since the 14th century, Appledore has been a famous boat-building centre for many years and the shipyard is still active today.

The Quay is very central to life in the village and it is here you will find many activities including fishing trips, crabbing contests on the quay, Morris Dancers, and in summer, a ferry across the river to Instow.

The fishing village has a maze of narrow streets leading to the quay.

A settlement there can be traced back to Saxon times, and Viking raiders lead by Hubba the Dane, were defeated here in the Battle of Bloody Corner circa 878 AD (a plaque to the battle is visible between Appledore and Northam on the Churchill Way corner near the swimming pool.

In Elizabethan times, Appledore along with Bideford, was the largest importer of tobacco, and tales of smugglers and a nautical air can be found around every corner.

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