WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS? NO 21 ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Main Claim: The guy's written every uncool bit of music we've ever heard. He's fashioned harmonies and hooks that have a permanent but reluctant niche in the nation's humming repertoire. He's also known for being ... a bit unhandsome.

Appearance: Pantomime toad with stick-on brows. A squat Toby jug or tea pot. Trotting frog to be zapped in a children's video game.

Stop Press: Sir Andrew's become Sir Andrew all over again. He topped the New Year's Honours by becoming a life peer, for his work as a "composer", a citation that has set some of his snooty critics chortling. For years, the classical music establishment has cruelly sneered at his international success, his soft-core arias, his choruses and rollerskates. In the meantime, he's become a multi-millionaire and turned London into the capital of musicals beloved of grannies and coach parties from the provinces. He deserves his peerage.

High Life: Composer Lloyd Webber has homes including a country estate where he hosts an annual opera fest thingee. He owns a superb collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings. In fact, he has very good taste in art. What happened with the music, clothes and girlfriends?

Family Values: M'Lord always has a wife or three on his arm - the music man and his exes are reputed to get on terrifyingly well. For a shortie who looks like he lives on a lily pad, he has a certain strutting bantam- style of sexual confidence (see Dudley Moore and Dr Nick Fisher). He married Sarah Tudor in '71, the more famous Sarah in '84, and horsey personage Madeleine Gurdon in '91. The chipmunk chanteuse Sarah Brightman, she of the pre-Raphaelite curls and blue eyeshadow, was his starriest coupling. All told, Lord Andy has three sons and a daughter.

Royal Seal: Set up the Really Useful Company and hired Edward Windsor, reputedly as a tea boy. Some people felt that this brand of reverse-toady toadying was all a bit yukeroo.

Tiny Tim: Of course, Andrew wrote many of his famous works (Joseph, Evita, Jesus Christ etc) with Tim Rice, the quieter one with OK looks. Lord Andy and Mr Rice were reported to have had a bit of a barny. Hence they turned up lovingly arm-in-arm for the recent Evita premiere.

Fame Prospects: Ugly men with drive - it's a lethal combo. Expect the life peer to father four more infants, get a hair piece and toss off compelling chord changes forever more. He's our very own Benny'n'Bjorn. Lord Andrew, Superstar.

Comments