The 1975's Matty Healy calls LBC to condemn PM's 'vilification' of the arts

25 June 2021, 14:30 | Updated: 25 June 2021, 15:04

By Fiona Jones

Matt Healy, the lead singer of band The 1975, called in to James O'Brien's show to impress the positive impact of the arts on society - something he says the Government are not taking seriously.

It comes after composer and theatre impresario Lord Lloyd Webber and other leading entertainment figures have launched legal action to force ministers to publish details of covid pilot events.

Speaking on LBC to Nick Ferrari, Lord Lloyd Webber said that the theatre industry has been made a "sacrificial lamb" and, due to the PM's actions, he regrets taking the Conservative whip in the House of Lords.

James O'Brien questioned why the Government were not reopening such a lucrative industry, positing that it may be due to the often critical, anti-establishment narrative the arts takes, or a complete lack of understanding of its significance.

Mr Healy felt compelled to ring in to James O'Brien's show to give his own view of the industry which has been described as "decimated."

"I'm on the front line of this because we obviously do this at quite a high level. I've just been trying to understand why it's happening and your point about having a country run by philistines is a fair point.

"One of the things that I'm very aware of, young people especially the young people I'm witness to, are very mobilised by art much more so than they are by politics."

"Whether that's a threat to the Government and the way they see things or whether they don't understand the potency of that because of their experience with art...I just know how people are feeling."

He told James that over the years he has had countless people send him messages to say "your music has helped me through this or that."

"No more so have I had that than during the pandemic," he said, "I think that we can all agree that one of, if not the main thing, that kept people sane throughout this pandemic has been entertainment.

"I know that there are thousands of artists around the world, not just in the UK, who have had thousands of people reach out to them and tell them how important music, art has been to them during this time.

"To see it almost vilified and treated as something that isn't as important...not having Covid does not make a healthy person.

"I'm somebody who knows that it is important because I'm there on the front line. The amount of young people that talk to me on a daily basis and express how important it is for them to have this outlet, it's tragic to see people not treating that with any reverence."

Read more: Lord Lloyd Webber: No 10 doesn't rate culture and I’ve never met the PM