Package holidays were in their infancy in the Sixties and budget air travel was a distant dream. But Richard Cookson and his late wife, Patricia, splashed out on a trip to Corfu and fell for the undeveloped Ionian island.

Seeing its potential the London couple set up CV Villas in 1972, one of the first firms selling exclusive villa holidays to Britons.

They started by letting properties on Corfu’s prime north-east coast, including their own waterfront home, and the area was soon labelled Kensington-on-Sea, for its affluent fan club. Famous clients included actor Trevor Eve and pop star Bryan Ferry. David Cameron and family have also holidayed locally.