Strictly Come Dancing has returned for a glittering fourteenth season, with a fresh batch of 15 celebrities including politician Ed Balls, Olympic star Greg Rutherford and television presenter Laura Whitmore ready to hit the dance floor and impress the judges. Whilst the stars master the steps, the show’s head seamstress, Esra Gungor is in charge of all the sequins and glitter to make sure they shine. While preparing for Strictly Come Dancing, Esra (30) has recently purchased a new home at Countryside’s St Paul’s Square, Bow, with her partner Ian McNaughton (33), an IT manager and their seven month old son, Finley.  Keen to continue living in the capital, Esra and Ian’s mortgage repayments are now cheaper than their previous rent whilst living in nearby Mile End.

Esra, a freelance costume designer for television, explains: “Before I fell pregnant, we were renting in Mile End, but our rent just became more and more expensive. We worked out that if we bought our own home, our monthly mortgage repayments would be less than our rent, so we started to look around to buy.

“We wanted to remain living in London, but it wasn’t until we came across the Help to Buy scheme that we realised how attainable this was. We had spent months researching different parts of London, only to discover that we couldn’t afford the home we wanted. We started to get a bit disheartened, but that soon changed when we found St Paul’s Square. Without Help to Buy it would not have been possible for us to buy a two bedroom home in London. Whilst renting in Mile End, we were paying £1,500 a month in rent, whereas our monthly mortgage now is significantly cheaper at £960.

“We are really pleased with our new home. Everything is very thoughtfully laid out and storage space has been maximised. The finish on our apartment is of an excellent quality and it really feels like Countryside has thought about what people want and need from a home,” explains Esra.

“We are really lucky as we have a communal garden that will run around the back of the property and once the development is complete there will be lots of green open space. The whole borough has lots of green space and Mile End Park is just over the road, which will be perfect for Finley growing up.”

Esra continues: “There is so much going on in Bow and it really feels like an up and coming London location. Quirky restaurants and shops are popping up and I can see it becoming somewhere edgy like Hackney in the future. East London also has such a great community atmosphere; we have always wanted to bring up our son here.”

Situated within desirable Zone 2, busy city workers like Ian, who is based in Covent Garden, find St Paul’s Square perfectly located just over a mile from Canary Wharf and also within easy access of excellent transport links for commuting in and around London. Mile End underground station is less than a mile away, located on the Central, Hammersmith & City and District lines. Liverpool Street is a short five minute tube journey away, whilst Oxford Circus can be reached in less than 15 minutes.

To find out more information about St Paul’s Square, Bow, visit

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