Millionaire Steve Coogan faces further fury as it emerges his TV production company furloughed NINE staff – after he also used taxpayer scheme for his gardener and housekeeper
- Seven full-time employees and two temporary staff have been furloughed
- Baby Cow Productions is behind hit shows including Gavin and Stacey
- Coogan, the firm’s founder, owns 25% of company but is its creative director
- On Thursday it emerged he had furloughed his gardener and housekeeper
- They worked at his £4million mansion in West Sussex
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Comedian Steve Coogan has furloughed nine staff at his TV production company, just days after placing his gardener and housekeeper on temporary leave.
Seven full-time employees and two temporary staff at Baby Cow Productions are reportedly being paid by the Government’s coronavirus support scheme, which is funded by the taxpayer.
The company is behind hit shows including Gavin and Stacey and films Stan & Ollie and was founded by Coogan.
Comedian Steve Coogan has furloughed nine staff at his TV production company, just days after placing his gardener and housekeeper on temporary leave
Although the comedian now only owns 25 per cent of Baby Cow after selling a stake to the BBC’s commercial arm, he remains a key figure as commercial director.
It means that both the film production staff and Coogan’s domestic employees are having up to 80 per cent of their salaries paid by the taxpayer.
The Government payouts go to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Baby Cow told The Sun that it ‘had utilised the job retention scheme’ for staff who are working on the upcoming Civil War comedy The Witchfinder.
Coogan, who recently starred as a billionaire fashion mogul in 2019 film ‘Greed’, was accused of hypocrisy after news emerged of him furloughing his gardener and housekeeper.
Seven full-time employees and two temporary staff at Baby Cow Productions, which is behind hit shows including Gavin and Stacey (pictured) are reportedly being paid by the Government’s coronavirus support scheme
What is the government’s furlough scheme?
Since March, the government has been bankrolling millions of furloughed workers’ wages.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Job Retention Scheme pays 80 per cent of an employees income, up to £2,500 a month.
It allows employees who cannot work in the lockdown to stay on a company’s payroll, rather than being laid off
The government has extended the scheme until October, but from August will ask firms to share the costs with the Treasury.
The Commons Treasury committee called his move to furlough personal staff ‘absolutely wrong’ and TV host Piers Morgan branded it ‘stinking hypocrisy’.
Last week the Government’s new ‘Stay Alert’ guidance said that in-house workers could get back to business and socially distance where possible.
A source told The Sun Mr Coogan’s staff did not live at the house and it was not possible for their work to continue.
‘The workers are gutted they can’t make it in because of the coronavirus situation.
‘It was established it wouldn’t be possible to continue working with the social distancing measures in place. So Coogan took advantage of the furlough scheme.’
A grass verge adjoining the drive leading to Coogan’s house looked overgrown and unkempt, and fallen leaves were also scattered along the gravel and were being blown around by the wind on Thursday.
A number of cars were parked beside the mansion, but there was no answer at Coogan’s home.
Neighbours told MailOnline that the entrance to the property is usually looking better than it has been of late.
The news, which was first reported by The Sun , comes after it emerged that Coogan had utilised the furlough scheme for the gardener and housekeeper at his home in West Sussex – which has a swimming pool and a tennis court
One said: ‘I haven’t seen the groundsman or the housekeeper for quite a few days. You can see the drive from gate and its usually much better maintained. I don’t know what’s happened to the staff.’
The Mancunian actor, who has appeared in a string of Hollywood movies, played a billionaire in the 2019 film Greed but has maintained the character is nothing like him.
His apparent decision to furlough staff is legal. He told reporters: ‘This is a non-story.’
Coogan’s representatives were approached for comment.
Coogan, worth an estimated £10million, played a billionaire fashion mogul in 2019 film ‘Greed’, but earlier this year claimed he was nothing like him
Coogan, who recently starred as a billionaire fashion mogul in 2019 film ‘Greed’, was accused of hypocrisy after news emerged of him furloughing his gardener and housekeeper at his home (pictured) in Sussex