Coogan furloughs staff at £4m mansion

Both members of staff worked full-time at the Left-wing actor's house in West Sussex – which has a swimming pool and a tennis court – before the virus struck. They were unable to carry out their duties because of social distancing rules so the Alan Partridge star, 54, reportedly took advantage of the Government's furlough scheme to put them on leave. Coogan, worth an estimated £10million, played a billionaire fashion mogul in 2019 film 'Greed', but earlier this year claimed he was nothing like him.  He said: 'I for everything,' and took pop at other actors, claiming he 'didn't get anything for free'. After ordering pubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, gyms and leisure centres across the country to close indefinitely, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the public on March23; outlining strict exercise and shopping limits, ordering all shops other than food stores and pharmacies to close, and implementing a ban on public gatherings of two or more people.FirstSecretary of State Dominic Raab, while deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovered from coronavirus (COVID-19), announced on April 16 that the U.K. lockdownwouldcontinuefor at least another three weeks. On May 10, the government then released preliminary guidelines on how the country is to exit the lockdown while setting out plans foratentativeeasing onsocial restrictions in the coming months. As the U.K. lockdown begins to lift and some groups return to work while following social distancing guidelines, we look at the situation around the country in pictures. (Pictured) Cyclists take a break in the sunshine at Trafalgar Square in London, England after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown, on May 22. A rise in the popularity of baking during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown appears to have caused many major supermarkets across the UK to suffer a shortage of flour in recent weeks. Over 125,000 birthday cards were sent to Captain Tom Moore, who raised over £30 million by walking 100 laps of his 25 metre (82 feet) garden before his 100th birthday, which were organised in the Great Hall of the temporarily-closed Bedford School in Bedford, England on April 28.   NHS workers hold a minute's silence outside the main entrance of Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England on April 28. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could see the U.K. economy shrink by a record 35 percent by June.  A man wears a religious placard on Market Street in Manchester, England on March 25.  Workers sell food and household items to local residents from their ice cream van at a supported housing estate in west Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 1. Soldiers and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London, which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital comprising two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus, on March 30.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with chief medical officer Chris Whitty (L) and Chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance (R) in Downing Street after he had taken part in the government's emergency Cobra meeting in London, England on March 16. 'The furlough scheme is to protect businesses that are suspended and can't operate during the pandemic,' he told The Sun.  'It'd be difficult to see how Steve Coogan's earning potential has been diminished.' 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. Last August he dodged a driving ban for a speeding offence in his Porsche near his East Sussex home after successfully claiming that he could not film the next Alan Partridge series if he could not get behind the wheel. Other celebrities including Jamie Oliver and Dragons Den star Peter Jones have also sought taxpayer assistance for their staff. The government's Job Retention Scheme was unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in March in response to the millions of people out of work because of the lockdown.

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