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By Mark Reynolds (31 October, 2003, Daily Mail)
AS one of Hollywood's leading ladies, Cate Blanchett is used to getting what she wants.
So when she set her heart on a 20,000 solid marble bath for her new home on Brighton seafront, she wasn't deterred when the builders told her it was too big to get up the stairs.
A massive crane and more than 12 workmen were promptly summoned to hoist the tub over the roof of the four-storey Georgian property, then manoeuvre it inside through a window at the rear.
The delicate operation took more than an hour, with the men under strict instructions to avoid chipping the Portuguese-made bath, which weighed a quarter of a ton.
'They needed a number of attempts before they could get it in safely,' one onlooker said yesterday.
'It was hilarious. The whole street ground to a halt to watch.' A spokesman for the company which supplied the crane, Southern Cranes Services, added later: 'The bath was massive.
I'd never seen anything like it.
'It was just over a metre deep. You could have a party in it.' One neighbour was less than impressed, however, saying: 'The tub was quite plain really. I don't know if I would want it in my bathroom.
'I would have expected something more ornate.' Australian-born Miss Blanchett 34-year- old star of the films Elizabeth, Charlotte Gray and The Shipping News is spending an estimated 1million renovating the six- bedroom house on a crescent in Brighton's Kemptown district, which she bought for 1.3million last year.
The actress and her husba n d Andrew Upton, who recently announced they were expecting a brother or sister for their two - year- old son Dashiell, see the white stucco property as the perfect retreat from life in London.
It boasts panoramic sea views while all residents of the crescent have keys to its exclusive communal gardens.
This open space is said to have been a favourite with King William IV and Queen Adelaide, and later with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who regularly took the air at the South Coast resort.
Miss Blanchett's property used to be the home of artist James Cauty, a former member of the group KLF.
He was not the only name from the world of pop who was attracted to the area.
Miss Blanchett's new neighbours include Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass.
Sir Paul McCartney also has a home nearby, as do Fatboy Slim star Norman Cook and his wife Zoe Ball, the former Radio 1 DJ.
Will it fit your bathroom?
COST: 20,000. For the same money Miss Blanchett could have purchased more than 200 standard-sized acrylic baths, which retail in the High Street for less than 100.
DIMENSIONS: The bath is more than 3ft deep, 3ft wide and 8ft long.
CAPACITY: It holds three to four people, ideal for Miss Blanchett's young family. It needs 100 gallons of water, taking around 25 minutes to fill.
MATERIAL: Solid marble, weighing a quarter of a ton the same as a full-grown pygmy hippopotamus.
INSTALLATION: It took 12 workmen and a 50-ton capacity telescopic crane a full hour to get it inside.
The crane is more usually used for large scale construction work.
ORIGIN: The bath was specially imported from Portugal.
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