At home with the ‘plumber to the stars’ who left school at 15 and flies his private jet between an £8million London penthouse and a £14million villa in Spain (where he likes to twerk on the balcony)
By Natalie Corner For Mailonline 11:53 BST 10 Mar 2017, updated 13:50 BST 10 Mar 2017
- Britain’s richest plumber, Charlie Mullins, 64, tends to houses of celebrities
- He made his millions after launching his firm Pimlico Plumbers in 1979
- Lives an affluent lifestyle, owning properties in London and Marbella
- Comedian and host of Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich, Katherine Ryan, meets with Charlie to talk about his rise to success
A tradesman who left school at 15 and went on to become Britain’s richest plumber flies between luxury homes on a private jet and splurges on luxury cars and champagne.
Charlie Mullins, now 64, flits between an £8million London penthouse and palatial villas in Marbella, Spain, and drives not one but two £350,000 Bentleys.
The plumber turned entrepreneur founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979, which now employs 300 people, counts David Cameron, Richard Branson and Simon Cowell as clients, and is worth around £70million.
The Rod Stewart fan reveals a glimpse at his lavish lifestyle on Channel 4’s How’d You Get So Rich, in which he’s seen twerking on the balcony of a Spanish mansion, and attributing the success of his firm to the fact ‘we’re all good looking guys’.
The series is presented by the comedian Katherine Ryan, who enjoys a spin in Charlie’s Bentley, visits his luxury London home, and pops champagne on board his private jet.
As she digs deep into his psyche – discovering he began tinkering with plumbing at nine years old and that he’s a huge fan of Rod Stewart – she can’t resist mocking his accent.
As the pair lounge in his luxury pad, Katherine deliberately misunderstands Charlie’s Cockney pronunciation as he tells her about working at Rod’s house: ‘I think we do his plumbing,’ he says.
‘We do a lot of famous people’s plumbing, you need to trust anybody that comes in your house, especially a plumber.’
Katherine jokes: ‘I don’t trust anyone that comes in my a***. And you’ve been in a lot of famous a****.’
The producers can be heard laughing in the background as a puzzled Charlie tries to explain he said ‘house’ – but to no avail.
On the show Charlie offers to take Katherine on his private jet to go villa shopping in Marbella – where he already owns two properties.
As they pop champagne on the flight, the mogul explains the reasons behind his success, saying: ‘What makes us different is we’re a top company, we provide the best plumbing services out there.
‘We turn up there the time you want us, we are very transparent, we’re all good looking guys, if we provide something that they want and a good quality service then why won’t you be successful?’
Charlie turns his nose up at an eight million Euro villa that doesn’t quite suit his taste – but the pair make their own entertainment by twerking on the balcony as Katherine raps.
He is sold on a 15.9 million Euro (£13.8m) villa and reassures Katherine that he won’t have to cut back on any of his excesses as a result of the splurge.
‘No we’ll take on more plumbers and do more work out here. I think we can afford it,’ he adds.
Delighted at being in his company Katherine tells Charlie: ‘I think you are the best plumber I have ever met. Charlie is a multi-millionaire everyman.’
How’d You Get So Rich? airs Monday March 13 on Channel 4 at 10pm
THE MAN BEHIND THE MILLIONS: WHO IS CHARLIE MULLINS?
He may be flashing the cash now, but Charlie Mullins came from humble beginnings.
Mullins grew up on a South London council estate and left school at 15 in 1969 with no qualifications, to take up a four-year apprenticeship in plumbing.
Six years later, he started Pimlico Plumbers from a central London basement, which has become such a success he is now worth around £70million.
Past clients have included former Prime Minister David Cameron and the former Chancellor George Osborne.
Its not just through Pimlico Plumbers that Charlie flirts with the world of politics.
The dedicated Remainer was a key backer of the legal challenge to Brexit in November last year, and appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice to appeal against Article 50.
The entrepreneur and Tory donor described Brexit supporters in Government as ‘busybodies’, and claimed any appeal to the Supreme Court would fail, adding: ‘We’re on a winning horse, and a jockey doesn’t get off a winning horse.’
In February this year the entrepreneur made headlines once more after the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal over the employment status of a former worker.
Gary Smith, who worked for the London-based company for six years until 2011, had already won an employment tribunal case after challenging the company’s view that he was self-employed.
The tribunal agreed that Smith was entitled to basic workers’ rights, following a heart attack, after which he was dismissed, even though he’d been technically self-employed.