Booking fees no joke, says Sarah Millican


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The Independent Culture

The comedian Sarah Millican is refusing to perform at venues operated by Britain's largest theatre operator, the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), because of its high booking fees.

Millican, whose debut DVD became the bestselling of any female comedian in Britain, is due to tour in September next year, but said she had "avoided" the venues owned and run by ATG. The company – which runs the Liverpool Empire, the Edinburgh Playhouse and many others – adds up to £4.90 to the face value of each ticket bought online or over the telephone, with an added transaction fee that can be as high as £4.

Writing on her website, Millican said: "I don't agree with the extra charges ATG put on top of the face value ticket price to you the customer and a number of other restrictions they have in place, so that's why I've avoided their venues this time round."

Helen Enright, chief financial officer and commercial officer for ATG, said it was "concerning" that an artist would take such a step. She told The Stage: "We are always reviewing our charges to make sure they're fair and we are in the process of revisiting all of that."