EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Covid lockdowns cost Andrew Lloyd Webber £10m thanks to theater closures

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Andrew Lloyd Webber has said he is ready to be arrested as he desperately tries to keep his theaters open in the face of sweeping restrictions during the pandemic.

Now I can reveal the extent of his personal sacrifice.

The impresario’s royalties took a massive £10million hit in the last financial year.

His music royalties have fallen from nearly £13m to less than £3m, according to newly filed accounts from Really Useful Group Investments, the umbrella company in charge of his music empire.

Andrew Lloyd Webber (pictured in August last year), 74, was one of the most vocal critics of the lockdown, expressing fears that theaters could be forced to close permanently as a result

Last year he called on the government to stop

Last year he called on the government to stop ‘penalizing’ live entertainment, arguing: ‘We can open safely. Please, please let us open’

They report ‘royalty costs to Lord Lloyd-Webber’ at £2.74m for the 12 months to June 2021, up from £12.65m paid the previous year. The company’s turnover fell from £48m in 2020 to £12.9m.

A review of business reports: “In 2021 and 2020, the coronavirus pandemic affected every country where Really Useful Group licenses and produces its shows.”

Lord Lloyd-Webber, 74, was one of the most vocal critics of the lockdown, expressing fears that theaters could be forced to close permanently as a result.

Last year he called on the government to stop ‘penalizing’ live entertainment, arguing: ‘We can open safely. Please, please let us open.

And when he worried that the reopening of Cinderella, his reimagining of the fairy tale, would not be allowed, he said: “We will open whether hell or high tides come,” he said. “We’ll say, ‘Come to the theater and arrest us.’ ‘

Lloyd Webber said he was ready to be arrested as he desperately tried to keep his theaters open in the face of sweeping restrictions during the pandemic (file photo of a deserted London)

Lloyd Webber said he was ready to be arrested as he desperately tried to keep his theaters open in the face of sweeping restrictions during the pandemic (file photo of a deserted London)

Currently in Sydney to see Opera Australia’s new production of The Phantom of the Opera, the composer has struck again.

In a TV appearance he said: ‘The whole Covid problem has been ridiculously handled in Britain where it’s been quite chaotic. It’s clear now that if you’ve had your shot you can walk out safe, and we’re all careful. That’s my mantra.

Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte has found a tasty way to help Ukraine.

He started serving Chicken Kyiv at Charlie’s restaurant at his Brown Hotel in Mayfair. It costs £25 with all proceeds going to the British Red Cross.

The restaurant’s famous butler, Jesus Adorno, says the dish is “very much a part of Ukrainian identity”.

Wood is still the ladies’ man!

Ronnie Wood, 74, was joined by Mel, 34, and his theater producer wife, Sally, 44, at a benefit concert at the Roundhouse in north London.

Ronnie Wood, 74, was joined by Mel, 34, and his theater producer wife, Sally, 44, at a benefit concert at the Roundhouse in north London.

Sir Mick Jagger is rarely seen with his girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, but the Rolling Stones singer’s bandmate Ronnie Wood was more than happy to entertain the former ballerina.

The guitarist, 74, was joined by Mel, 34, and his theater producer wife, Sally, 44, at a charity gig at the Roundhouse in north London.

It was unclear why Jagger, 78, couldn’t be there. Maybe he was left babysitting? Her son with Mel, Deveraux, is five years old – 46 years younger than her first child.

Strictly Come Dancing may soon go digital, as fans may be able to purchase their favorite choreography tracks as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a form of digital data ownership.

They could even buy rights to meet the dancers backstage using the new technology, says Strictly pro Neil Jones. “I’m starting a dance project with NFTs,” he tells me.

Carry on, Neil! Getting to know Strictly Pros isn’t always such a good idea: his then-wife Katya was pictured kissing her dance partner on the show, comedian Seann Walsh, in 2018.

Jodie’s selfless help for Ukraine

The boss who has become a commercial model tells me:

Boss-turned-advertising model tells me: ‘We haven’t set a date yet because everything is so up in the air with what’s going on in Ukraine’

Twice-married Jodie Kidd has had a somewhat turbulent love life, so her friends were delighted when she got engaged to former Royal Marine Joseph Bates before Christmas.

However, the boss-turned-pub-owner tells me, “We haven’t set a date yet because everything is so up in the air with what’s going on in Ukraine.”

At the opening of the NFT (digital art) Quantus Gallery, in Spitalfields, east London, Kidd, 43, explains that she is busy sorting through the aid: “I have lots of friends who have small businesses that send and organize things.”

Jane Seymour’s boyfriend might have reason to feel insecure. The 71-year-old, four-time married Hollywood star has been dating producer David Green since 2014.

But when asked if he’s “the one,” she replies, “He’s definitely the one for now.” I don’t think David deserves to have number five written next to his name,” she said, before adding, “He’s a wonderful man.

Beeny’s band of brothers

She is the host of real estate programs such as Help! My house is collapsing. But behind the scenes, Sarah Beeny, who has four sons, is busy keeping her own home together.

And to show their gratitude, her boys, aged 12 to 17, wrote a song called Unconditional, expressing their love for their mother.

“Hearing it for the first time was pretty cool,” she tells me. “All dads and moms just want to be appreciated.”

She is the host of real estate programs such as Help!  My house is collapsing.  But behind the scenes, Sarah Beeny (seen in 2016), who has four sons, is busy keeping her own home together

She is the host of real estate programs such as Help! My house is collapsing. But behind the scenes, Sarah Beeny (seen in 2016), who has four sons, is busy keeping her own home together

Her children have formed a band called The Entitled Sons, a wry nod to people who call them that, and are releasing their song today ahead of Mother’s Sunday this weekend.

But Beeny, 50, is still wary of her doe-eyed sons’ gesture. “I’m pretty sure the kids got together and said, ‘OK, what can we do about not doing all the chores mom tells us to do?

“They thought it would bail them out for not emptying the dishwasher.”

Corsets are supposed to make you look slimmer, but Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh says they made her exercise.

“Corsets do the opposite of what your body wants to do,” says the actress, who plays Lady Danbury in the Netflix hit. She says a corset makes your muscles sluggish, adding, “You have to exercise so you don’t take your corset off and bend like jelly.”

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who died aged 84, was a brooch fanatic, maintaining a huge collection and writing a book about them.

She sometimes used the jewelry to send political messages. Suspecting that the Russians were bothering her department, she wore a huge lapel pin to give a visual signal that she was aware of their tricks.

A son, Frankie, for Ferry’s ex

Amanda Sheppard and her fund manager husband, Duncan Westbrook, 43, named their boy Frankie (above)

Amanda Sheppard and her fund manager husband, Duncan Westbrook, 43, named their boy Frankie (above)

Ferry, 76, has four sons from his previous marriage to the late Lucy Helmore, and Amanda (pictured in London in 2015) is 38 years his junior

Ferry, 76, has four sons from his previous marriage to the late Lucy Helmore, and Amanda (pictured in London in 2015) is 38 years his junior

When Bryan Ferry divorced glamorous party planner Amanda Sheppard, the Roxy Music star admitted it was because he didn’t want to have any more kids.

Ferry, 76, has four sons from his previous marriage to the late Lucy Helmore, and Amanda is 38 years his junior. “She wanted a baby and I didn’t,” he explained.

Fortunately, I can reveal that Amanda now has a son of her own. She and her fund manager husband, Duncan Westbrook, 43, named their boy Frankie. They already have a daughter, Ivy.

Meghan’s biographer copes with the loss of her business

Meghan’s cheerleader Omid Scobie seems so obsessed with portraying the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Caribbean tour as a failure that he forgot to keep his own affairs in order.

I can reveal that the author of Finding Freedom (about Prince Harry and his wife) is facing moves to shut down his publishing business, Meyou Ltd, after failing to provide legally required financial information. He faces “mandatory disbarment” because he hasn’t filed an account since 2019.

Failure to provide financial details would result in a fine of £1,500 for accounts overdue by more than six months, according to Companies House. If a company is deregistered, all of its assets can be seized by the government.

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