As the world’s richest entertainer, Damien Hirst gives his pet dogs seats on private jets, gives his girlfriend designer gear and has even set up a stripper pole on his London pad of £36million.
None of this, however, deterred him from turning to the beleaguered taxpayer during the pandemic.
I can reveal that Hirst, whose fortune is estimated at almost £300m, has claimed over £1.3m in furlough payments from the government.
RICHARD EDEN: I can reveal that Hirst, whose fortune is estimated at nearly £300m, has claimed over £1.3m in furlough payments from the government
Buried in newly filed accounts for his company, Science (UK) Ltd, is the revelation that he claimed £1.31million from the Covid job retention scheme.
Referring to the figure, the accounts state: “Government grants receivable relate to leave requests”.
The artist, 56, famous for preserving dead animals in formaldehyde, made the claim even though his business brought in £18.2million during the pandemic.
Accounts reveal turnover rose by £7m, up from £11.2m in the first months of the crisis.
Figures for 2020 show the company made a pre-tax profit of nearly £3.5m.
Hirst lives with his girlfriend Sophie Cannell, 28 years his junior, and their three French bulldogs, Pablo, Chapo and Blanco, in his 14-bedroom house in Regent’s Park.
His company manufactures works of art which are then sold to its offshore parent company, Science Ltd, based in Jersey.
As the world’s richest entertainer, Damien Hirst gives his pet dogs seats on private jets, gives his girlfriend designer gear and has even set up a stripper pole on his London pad of £36million. Pictured: A visitor to the Brooklyn Museum of Art looks at The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Hirst, part of the Sensation exhibition in New York, 1999
Damien Hirst’s artwork appears at the opening of the Saatchi Gallery at County Hall April 16, 2003 in London
The Turner Prize winner employs a factory of assistants to help create his mass-produced works, and is candid in saying he sees his art as “a brand produced in a factory.”
A note in the accounts of Science (UK) read: “The Covid-19 pandemic has created significant operational and financial pressures on the group and the art market in general.”
Last year it was reported that the company received a £15m business interruption loan from the government’s Covid-19 emergency fund.
The former enfant terrible of British art created a platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds and sold it for the astounding sum of £50million. However, in January I reported that the work, titled For The Love Of God, had never properly sold.
When the Duchess of Cambridge stopped by the set of Downton Abbey, Michelle Dockery observed that she smelled “of the rose”.
But I heard the actress, who plays Lady Mary, was unlikely to be overly perfumed herself, as Dockery, 40, says her dresses gave off an odor.
“Some of these original costumes have been worn by several actors,” she laments. “At the end of the day, they hum. And it’s not your scent, it’s someone else’s. It’s strange.’
Nigella admits ‘bonkers’ pun
Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson caused a stir when she pronounced microwave as “meecro-wah-vay”. Yet this is only the beginning of his pun.
“All families have words that don’t make sense,” says the TV chef. ‘I use “Desecrated Coconut” [instead of desiccated] and if I get a new device, I have to read “the destructions”. If I’m on my way, I’ll say, “I’m in a crust.”
Nigella, 62, is so used to saying made-up phrases at home that she doesn’t know when she’s doing it on screen. “You can end up speaking in a language that’s crazy,” she admits.
Domestic goddess Nigella Lawson caused a stir when she pronounced microwave as “meecro-wah-vay”. Yet this is only the beginning of his pun
Sir Mark Rylance says he agreed to be knighted only so his eccentric views wouldn’t be dismissed so easily. “I had a hard time accepting the knighthood, but I took it because I’m interested in ‘marginal’ things like crop circles and [whether Shakespeare wrote his plays]’, tells the 62-year-old actor to Saga. ‘It seems useful to me if I’m writing about BP or about ecology to sign it ‘Sir Mark Rylance’. They can’t write me off then.
The risky race of Jessie, hope for the Oscars…
Road safety aficionados will notice that Oscar hopeful Jessie Buckley didn’t have a helmet, wore earphones and drove through red lights while out for a ride in London
She may have been nominated for an Oscar, but Jessie Buckley clearly doesn’t consider herself too chic to step on the pedals of a bike just yet.
The 32-year-old star, who is up for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Lost Daughter, hired a bike to ride around London.
But traffic safety aficionados will notice that she has no helmet, wears earphones and rides through red lights – behavior you certainly won’t find recommended in cycling proficiency test manuals. .
Buckley opted for style over safety, donning a blue beanie, sunglasses and rolled up jeans. She barely manages to slip her sports bag into the basket.
Hard-hitting lesson for the oligarch’s boy
DESPITE his extraordinary wealth, Roman Abramovich has clearly crushed some signs of entitlement among his seven children.
A contemporary of his son Arkadiy recalls an incident from their time at Gordonstoun, the Scottish boarding school which Prince Charles, another old bachelor, called “Colditz in kilts”.
“Arky was a heinous scourge but a powerful member of the Junior XV rugby team,” he says. “During a match, a classmate decided he had had enough of Arky’s swear words and loudmouths in the scrum and punched him hard. Arky was taken to the sanitarium, where he was being treated for a minor broken nose.
“The next day the boy went to apologize to Arky, who said his father wanted to talk to him. Arky handed the phone to the somewhat nervous boy. But all Roman said to her was, “Thank you for teaching my son a lesson.” That was the end of the conversation.’
MasterChef: Professionals judge Marcus Wareing has raged over plans to extend his country home after bats were found in the roof. The Michelin-starred restaurateur, 51, wants to demolish and replace a rotting wooden conservatory and add a small family nook, reading room and conservatory. But a bat survey found four species of bats on the £5million property in East Sussex. Planners have given the go-ahead, but if bats are found during construction, builders will need to drop tools and they may need a special license from Natural England.
Masha attacks expats who support Putin
Model Masha Markova Hanson attacked other expat Russians who did not condemn Vladimir Putin.
Markova Hanson, 36, who became a figure in London society after marrying industrialist Lord Hanson’s playboy son Robert in 2010, said those trying to justify Putin’s actions should “go back to live in Russia and “might as well wear the neo-Russian swastika”. sign on your arm — Z’.
She adds: “There is no future for Russia with its current government in power.
“Supporting him is not patriotism, it is barbarism and an absence of any analytical thought.”
Model Masha Markova Hanson attacked other Russian expats who did not condemn Vladimir Putin for the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine