Well, up to a point. A day off would now find him, we are told, “sitting in my chicken coop with the hens, drinking gin.” When he was leading a, well, let us call it a lively life on the London gay club circuit, even the idea of mud on his (pink) boots would have brought on a panic attack.
“I think there’s nothing drearier than a 56-year-old homosexual hanging around Soho in lycra,” says Clary, winner of Celebrity Big Brother. “Mercifully one grows out of that.”
So what induced him to move to the country, and inexplicably, not to Sussex but the county next door?
“I was led here,” says Clary, who like David Walliams has re-invented himself as a children’s author. “I phoned [comedian] Paul O’Grady and told him I was fed up and he said, ‘Well, Noël Coward’s house is for sale in the next-door village.’ I’d never been to Kent but I was drawn to the house, which was falling down. I love living here now. Everything is heightened when you live in the country. Your sensibilities are stimulated. If you’re going to go for the rustic thing, then you want chickens and ducks and delphiniums.
“I like pottering around my garden.” Is he any good at it, one wonders? “I’m very good at walking around and telling my gardener what to do.”
He grew up in suburban Teddington, south-west London, and despite being fey from an early age, he always loved outdoors: “I was very into animals and nature. Obviously I got distracted for a few years with gay urban life,” he says stroking the ear of one of his dogs, every bit the country squire.
To read more download the April 2016 Issue of Sussex Style for Tablet: