Covered! From breasts to buttocks, the bodies that are worth millions

When Ant and Dec revealed this week they had taken out a mutual insurance policy, they were following the many stars who have safeguarded physical attributes. Jonathan Brown reports
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The Independent Online

Voice Bruce Springsteen

At times he may sound like he has been gargling with debris from the New Jersey turnpike, but Bruce Springsteen has gone to extraordinary lengths to safeguard his voice. In the 1980s when he came to symbolise the pumping heart of blue-collar America with his tales of small-town longing, Springsteen insured his voice for £3.5m. The Boss is not alone in seeking a safety net in the event of vocal collapse. Gravel-voiced Rod Stewart has also insured his throat, and Bob Dylan has taken out cover on his distinctive vocal chords. But it isn't just musicians who insure voices. Actors also safeguard what is probably their most important asset - Marlene Dietrich's insurance policy priced her husky voice at £1m.

Feet Michael Flatley

The Irishman's extraordinary interpretation of the traditional Celtic dance form burst into an unsuspecting world during an intermission for the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The original seven-minute dance was developed into a full-length show before Flatley left amid recriminations. Undeterred he went on to choreograph new productions, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, which toured Europe and the United States and in 2005, an ambitious dance show Celtic Tiger, exploring the history of the Irish people. Now worth an estimated £375m, Flatley has insured his for £25m.

Profile Douglas Fairbanks Snr

The silent film star was said to be one of the first to sign up for a so-called "scar policy", insuring his profile. Arguably the first-ever film superstar - along with Charlie Chaplin, with whom he formed United Artists - he was the highest-paid artist in Hollywood during the 1920s and his marriage to the actress Mary Pickford cemented his popularity with the movie-mad public. After a series of social comedies, he specialised in swashbuckling heroes such as Don Juan, Zorro and Robin Hood. Fairbanks died at the age of 56 following a heart attack and was buried in an elaborate Hellenic-style mausoleum.

Nose Jimmy Durante

Durante's was one of the craggiest and most recognisable faces of the American entertainment industry. And at its centre lay its crowning glory, a voluminous nose. An ever-present butt for his deadpan sense of humour, it gave the actor, musician and comedian a unique selling point when he moved to television from radio. Referring to it as his schnozzle, Durante insured it during the 1950s for a not-to-be-sniffed-at $50,000. "All of us have schnozzles... if not in our faces then in our characters, minds or habits," he said.

Breasts Dolly Parton

She may have one of the finest voices in the history of country and western music, but it is her physical attributes that helped make Dolly Parton one of the most famous women in the world. She also has a sense of humour, joking to one reporter: "I was the first woman to burn my bra - it took the fire department four days to put it out." Parton insured her breasts for a reported $600,000 during the 1970s, During the 1980s she lost weight and in 2002 she had cosmetic surgery to return them to their former glory.

Hands Keith Richards

Until a tumble from a coconut tree earlier this year, there had been those who thought Keith Richards was indestructible. Despite a lifetime of drinking and smoking, and decades of heroin abuse, the guitarist always managed to show up and play, putting together some of the finest performances in the history of rock and roll. Yet along with other musical stars from very different backgrounds, such as the pianists Richard Clayderman and Liberace, Richards felt it necessary to insure his hands for a sum said to be in the region of £1m.

Legs Betty Grable

She was known as the girl with the million-dollar legs. Back in the 1940s, Betty Grable's bosses at 20th Century Fox insured their most bankable star's most instantly recognisable assets with Lloyd's of London for the then vast sum of $1.25m. Whether it was a genuine financial hedge or an early and successful attempt at studio hype is unclear. Grable's marriage and divorce from Jackie Coogan had ignited her career but it was her reinvention as the forces' sweetheart during the Second World War, and in particular the iconic pose pictured here, that sealed her reputation as a sex symbol. By 1947 she was grossing $300,000 a year.

Teeth Ken Dodd

Alongside his wayward hair and rapid-fire joke-telling technique, Ken Dodd has always delighted in another God-given attribute: his buck teeth. The notoriously money-conscious comic, who was famously acquitted of tax evasion during a sensational trial in 1989 when it emerged he kept thousands of pounds stashed under his bed, insured his toothy grin for £4m at the height of his fame. A prolific performer, both live and on television, he is also one of the biggest selling recording artists, with 19 top 40 hits, including "Tears" in 1965.

Taste buds Egon Ronay

The Hungarian-born food critic arrived in Britain in 1946, following the seizure of his father's estates by the Russian army. The first of his famous guides was published in 1957, and sold 30,000 copies, revolutionising Britain's dining-out experience. Ronay's endorsement could singlehandedly boost the fortunes of an establishment that met with his favour. Dependent on his palate for his livelihood, the critic insured his taste buds for £200,000. He sold his restaurant guide empire to the AA in 1985.

Eyes Ben Turpin

For many setting out on a career in showbusiness, being cross-eyed might present something of an obstacle. Not for American comedian Ben Turpin, one of the first stars of the silent film industry. Turpin always regarded his trademark squint as the key to his fame and is credited with becoming the first star to insure a body part when he took out a $25,000 (equivalent to £300,000 in today's money) policy with Lloyd's to cover his eyes returning to normal.

Buttocks Jennifer Lopez

"Don't be fooled by the rocks I got, I'm still Jenny from the block," intoned Latino-Bronx-born Jennifer Lopez in 2002. A Jenny, that is, with a derriere reportedly valued at a distinctly extraordinary $1bn. There are those inside the Lopez camp who insist the star has been misrepresented. (They say it is equally untrue that she is so fixated with her appearance that she demanded 10lbs be shaved off the backside of her Madame Tussaud's waxwork.) Those who admire Lopez's distinctive curves may agree that $1bn is a small price to pay to preserve them. In 2001 it was claimed that J-Lo had sparked a new craze for bottom implants, in which fat was injected in the rear. Those unwilling to undergo plastic surgery can now buy padded underwear.

Partner's body Ant and Dec

In a recent newspaper poll, 70 per cent of respondents admitted they couldn't individually identify Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. It was a lesson not lost on the cheeky-chappie presenters who underlined just how mutually dependent they are when they revealed this week they had taken out a joint insurance policy. The Geordie stars will pocket £2m if either one of them expires during their on-screen partnership. The British Association of Insurers described the policy as a sensible precaution, and one common among business partners who brought "unique and distinctive qualities" to an enterprise. Abbott and Costello had a similar arrangement in case they fell out.

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