“After I sold Dating Direct I went to Tenerife with a friend and was sitting in this bar thinking, ‘This is the life’.
“However, when the market picks up again we will be ready to fly.” Despite his huge success, Darren, who is single, is a home-loving boy, living in a small village a few miles from where he was born.He bought a four-bedroom farmhouse in two-and-a half acres of land fi ve miles from Kidderminster for £250,000 six years ago then set about transforming it into a six-bedroom country mansion full of boys’ toys.Over half of people admitted to shopping in their lunch hour to find an outfit appropriate for a date.Katie Mowe, of Dating Direct.com, said: "With the typical career girl spending longer at the office and heading out straight after work, dolling up pre-date can often be more than a little tricky.“I can see the potential in a run-down property providing it is in the right location,” he says.
Most are now rented out, which is just as well as he spends half his time in Tenerife; not an obvious overseas destination for a stylish multi-millionaire.
IT IS GREAT being Darren Richards; sailing through the credit crunch with £30million in the bank, buying up properties at rock-bottom prices and launching a new online business. The 42-year-old entrepreneur, who made his fortune selling datingdirect.com, admits that the 19 properties he bought since his windfall are now worth a lot less than he paid for them and his new property website has yet to make a profit. He still has a fleet of nine luxury cars, a helicopter, a beautiful six-bedroom country home set in four acres in Worcestershire, three bars in Tenerife, nine further properties in the UK and more pairs of designer jeans than Jeremy Clarkson.
Darren flies so often to Tenerife that he has been awarded a gold card by Monarch Airlines and has enough money to admit that he doesn’t have to work again.
His five-storey, fi ve-bedroom villa with pool, separate three-bedroom apartment and garaging for four cars (he keeps three in Tenerife: a Lincoln Navigator, a 1966 Ford Mustang and a Ford Mustang convertible) is on the outskirts of the fashionable Playa de las Americas and on the market for £1.3million (£1.2m).
Darren paid £1.2million (£1.1m) and then added a separate apartment.
The property is now worth £850,000, without the cars.