Sunday, 23 June

Sir Paul McCartney first UK billionaire musician

Entertainment
Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney has become the first UK musician to become a billionaire, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The former Beatle, 81, boosted his wealth by £50m in the past year with touring, the lucrative value of his back catalogue and Beyoncé's cover of the classic track he wrote in 1968, Blackbird, helping him achieve the status.

Gopi Hinduja and his family were crowned the richest people in the UK again, with their wealth hitting £37.2bn, the largest fortune ever recorded by the newspaper.

Sir Elton John, Lord Lloyd-Webber and David and Victoria Beckham were among some of the well-known names on the list, which has minimum wealth entry of £350m.

This year’s list of 350 individuals and families together held a combined wealth of £795.3bn, which the Sunday Times said was a larger sum than Poland's economy.

But Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said this year's list suggested that "Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end".

"Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away," he added.

Mr Watts said that "thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent".

"We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy," he added.

Similar to last year, several well-known names faced "significant financial setbacks", the newspaper said.

Due to a difficult year for Virgin Money and space tourism company Galactic, Sir Richard Branson's wealth fell to £2.4bn - the level it was in 2000.

But Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who bought a 27.7% stake in Manchester United for about £1.25bn in February, suffered "considerable losses" and was among the biggest fallers on 2024's list.

But the Sunday Times said his £6.16bn decline in wealth was largely due to a substantial fall in profits at chemicals giant Ineos Group.

Inventor Sir James Dyson and family, and Andy Currie, who has been a director of Ineos since 1999 also those who saw their wealth drop the most.

But Sir Jim and Sir James remain in the top five richest in the UK.

This year's new entries included Graham King, who the Sunday Times said had amassed a £750 million fortune from holiday parks, inheritance and housing asylum seekers for the government.

Jon and Susie Seaton, a couple who founded education publisher Twinkl at their kitchen table in Sheffield and sold a stake valuing the business at £500m also made the list alongside Euan Blair, Sir Tony Blair's eldest son, who set up £1.4bn apprenticeship tech firm Multiverse.

Sir Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver who is set to move from Mercedes to Ferrari for the 2025 season, was also a newcomer.

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways," Mr Watts said.

"This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aids."

Source: bbc.com