I'm Moving to LA to Be a Vampire. but Family Life Back Home Won't Survive; (1) CITY HAVEN: The House Is Hidden Away Down a Leafy Path in Kilburn (2) RUSTIC RETREAT: Stephen, Who Shared the House with Lorien Haynes, Right, Says Part of Its Charm Lies in the Fact That It Isn't 'Done' and Will Appeal to Creative Types. the Couple Decorated in a 'Bohemian, Neo-Gothic Style

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Byline: EVE MCGOWAN

Actor Stephen Moyer may not be a household name, but you'll more thanlikely recognise his face. He regularlypopsupintheTV schedules in dramas such as BBC's WakingTheDeadandITV1's Lilies, and is best known for his role as transatlantic lover Michael inChannel 4's NYLON.

We could be about to see a lot more of him, however, as the 37-year-old hasjust won a lead role in a new series for the acclaimed US network HBO,producers of Sex And The City and The Sopranos.

The drama, which is about vampires and appropriately named True Blood, iswritten by Alan Ball of American Beauty and Six Feet Under fame and could beset to launch Stephen into the stratosphere.

But his professional triumph comes at a cost to his personal life. He will livein LA for at least six months a year and must commit to HBO for seven years.The pressure of his prolonged absences has caused the breakdown of hisrelationship with journalist Lorien Haynes, 35.

The couple, who were together for seven years, are now selling the London housewhere they live with their daughter Lilac, five.

'I suppose the reason Lorien and I split is that I've spent too long away fromhome,' says Stephen. 'In the past 18 months, I've been away from home moreoften than not. It's nobody's fault. Nobody has left anybody for anybody else.I'm selling this house with a heavy heart.

'Before True Blood came up, I told my agent I wanted to spend some time at homebut this opportunity was too good to miss. As an actor you have to go where thework is.' Down a leafy path, hidden behind a wooden gate, the three-bedroomCoach House could be in the middle of the countryside. In fact, despite itsrustic decor, which includes original open fireplaces, stable doors and exposedbeams, it's just two minutes' walk from Kilburn Tube.

'People walk in and go, "Oh my God this is amazing." It's a beautiful littleescape, like another world in the middle of London,' says Stephen, who recentlyappeared as a psychic in the one-off BBC drama Empathy.

He has now put the property - which he bought with Lorien six years ago for[pounds sterling]400,000 - on the market for [pounds sterling]875,000 with Paramount Properties.

He will stay with friends in LA while he looks forsomewhereto rent. 'I'll probably buy something out there if the show makes it to seriesthree,' says Stephen, who also has a seven-year-old son, Billy, from a previousrelationship.

He expects someone artistic to buy the Coach House, which was built in 1882,but has had to reduce the asking price by [pounds sterling]75,000 since putting it on themarket in June.

'It's quite unique but I think someone will come along who just falls in lovewith it. If it was in Hampstead, it would be worth [pounds sterling]2million.' Although he hashad several viewings, offers so far have been well below the asking price. Theagent who is selling the property, Robert Lazarus, thinks this could be due tothe awkward arrangement of the second bedroom which leads directly off themaster bedroom. 'That needs a bit of sorting out, but I think it's much morerealistically priced and should sell quickly now we're through the slow summermonths,' he says.

According to Lazarus, prices in Kilburn have risen by between ten and 15 percent in the past year and the Coach House is a relative bargaincomparedwithfamily houses in the nearby Mapesbury conservation area, behind Kilburn Tube,which fetch anything from [pounds sterling]1.3million to [pounds sterling]2.5million.

'Its very unusual but I expect acouple, maybe with a child, possibly working from home, will end up buying it,'says Lazarus. …