In September 2021 Charlie Mullins sold his company, Pimlico Plumbers, for over one hundred million to the US commercial company Neighborly. In 1979, he launched the company from a basement in south London and it became the capital’s largest independent plumbing business. They charged £120 an hour and was known to have fixed bathrooms belonging to Simon Cowell, Keira Knightly, Dame Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley and David Cameron.
You may recognise Mullins from BBC’s Question Time or Channel 4’s series The Secret Millionaire or How’d You Get So Rich?, where he took comedian Katherine Ryan around Marbella in one of his £300,000 Bentley to villa shop.
But now, along with his singer girlfriend RaRa, Mullins can be seen on the new BBC programme Unbreakable where six celebrity couples compete to prove they’re the perfect partnership, under the watchful eye of host Rob Beckett.
Mullins and RaRa join Entertainment Now from their London penthouse apartment overlooking the River Thames, with views of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral, the London Eye and MI6 headquarters. We chat about their backgrounds and why they wanted to appear on BBC’s new show Unbreakable…
Charlie, you’re the founder of Pimlico Plumbers, the largest independent plumbing company in London. You sold the company in 2021 for over one hundred million. How did this affect your life?
C: It has been an amazing journey. It’s taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice to start from nothing to what I have achieved. I have been lucky enough to meet some incredible people on the way, including King Charles 111 who presented me with my OBE. That is one of many big achievements on my journey but I have also gone through some of the most difficult times in business and in my personal life.
I’m proud of what I built from nothing at Pimlico Plumbers. It was a hugely successful operation, but I’ve only got one life and there’s so much I want to do!
What advice would you give to anyone struggling at school or work?
C: Drive is ultimately going to get you somewhere in life (and common sense). I have always believed in apprenticeships being the way forward for many reasons. If you can start getting paid to learn and qualify, you’re on the right track to making a great living and having the nicer things in life.
RaRa, tell us about how you met Charlie.
R: I met Charlie in Marbella in Spain. I thought he was a Rod Stewart tribute so I had to ask him. I also really liked his crocodile looking shoes!
C: I then booked RaRa for an event I was organising for my staff at Proud Cabaret in London and was hugely impressed with her incredible voice. When I heard she had written and recorded a charity song (‘Glitter’) for a little girl who was battling cancer, my estimation rose higher. I am now supporting her career and we are currently working on the UK release of her debut album and some recording and TV opportunities in LA and Nashville.
Why did you both decide to take part in the show Unbreakable?
C: We are quite spontaneous people and we were offered an opportunity to be part of the show and thought it would be fun and a great challenge. We also wanted to learn more about each other and do something a bit different.
Which aspect of the show did you struggle with the most; the physical, emotional or mental challenges?
R: We would say psyching ourselves up mentally for the bungee jump!
C: And the plumbing wasn’t too clever at the venue we stayed at!
What did you learn about each other?
C: That we are both quite competitive, and the show certainly tested our relationship but ultimately it brought us closer together as a couple. Now we know we are Unbreakable!
What’s next for you both?
C: The horizon is looking great for us with RaRa launching her career as a singer songwriter. I am now Chairman and financial backer of Great British Radio. I have partnered with broadcaster and comedian Mike Osman under one vision: to remove the news bulletins and get Britain smiling again through humour, positivity, interesting topics, celebrity guests and great music.
I have a property portfolio and I have purchased some properties in Spain, Dubai and now I am looking at the Cotswolds. We also have some more great TV opportunities, including talks of our own show on prime time TV which is really exciting. We will also continue to travel which we love doing, maybe a trip back to Nashville where RaRa has recorded some songs from her album!