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LBC Views: Lord Lloyd Webber could be potential horror show for Boris Johnson
25 June 2021, 12:54 | Updated: 25 June 2021, 13:01
LBC Presenter Nick Ferrari gives his views on his exclusive interview with veteran composer Lord Lloyd Webber.
The orchestra has concluded the overture - and it's curtains up time. Welcome to Lord (Andrew) Lloyd-Webber's latest production, a potential horror show for Boris Johnson and his back-covering government.
In a coruscating interview with me, the musical genius behind shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera laid into the PM with the appetite of a Lion King!
Shockingly when I asked if he’d had any contact with Boris Johnson Lloyd-Webber said ‘I've never, ever met him… I never met him when he was mayor... It doesn't say a lot.’ Noting we have been in a pandemic, surely the Prime Minister had called, or at least emailed him ‘No. I’ve had no contact with him’ – in fact, the impresario admitted that even the Chancellor hasn’t picked up the phone.
It tells you everything you need to know about his view of the current PM that while the musical genius had warm words for previous Conservative PMs Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron, and in particular Sir John Major, he was icy cold about Johnson.
The composer said that John Major ‘was really supportive’ of the theatre and that Margaret Thatcher had a ‘real interest in the arts’, when I pressed him about the current incumbent – with the caveat that he was not a ‘political animal’ – Lloyd-Webber exclaimed that he couldn’t believe ‘a Tory government would do this to the arts’.
Questioning the government’s decision making, he said that the government had a real opportunity to ‘take the lead in the cultural field’ and ‘claim some ground there’, but that the opportunity had been squandered – ‘I myself would be worried if I was a Tory’. Indeed, making clear he had never been a member of the Conservative Party, he went as far as to say, that with current hindsight, he ‘quite frankly regrets’ ever taking the Tory whip when he was a member of the House of Lords.
Lord Lloyd-Webber is part of the fabric of this country. Traditional Tories in the shire counties made their feelings plain about this administration last week by humiliating the Conservatives at the Chesham and Amersham by-election, and these are the very same voters who - rightly - see Lloyd-Webber as a modern-day Mozart and happily spend their cash to see his shows.
If Boris thinks he can ignore the man behind Phantom, he needs to know he doesn't have a ghost of a chance.