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NOVEMBER 11, 2001

Bernie decides against Russian Embassy move

BERNIE ECCLESTONE, now officially Britain's third richest citizen, has apparently been out looking for more shrewd opportunities on the UK property market. He apparently has been looking over the former Russian embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens - otherwise known as London's "millionaires' row" - which is just a mile or so from his lavish business HQ at Princes Gate.

However, it is understood that he was unimpressed with the property which even the estate agents dealing with its sale confessed was "in need of some attention." It is believed that Bernie considered this as something of an understatement. Last year he invested $36m in purchasing the south side of the London square where his family home is situated. The new acquisition was a building which formerly housed Chelsea College, which was acquired by Kings College in 1986.

It is understood that Ecclestone will turn them into luxury flats, perhaps keeping one penthouse for himself and his family.