Britains Rich List: Giving It Away

Thursday 24 April 2008 9:00pm – 10:00pm

In this year of the credit crunch, the Northern Rock crisis and falling house prices, Britain is feeling the pinch.

Despite our economic woes there have never been more millionaires than there are today. To even get onto the Sunday Times Rich List you have to be worth £80 million – that’s ten million more than last year.

As the bank accounts of the rich and famous continue to swell, ITV’s exclusive sneak preview of the Sunday Times league table of the super wealthy reveals some of the winners – and losers.

But as well as a run down of the wealthiest celebs, the highest earning rock stars and the mega rich self-made entrepreneurs, this year’s exclusive sneak preview of the famous list has an added twist.

In Britain’s Rich List Giving it Away Duncan Bannatyne asks Britain’s super-rich if they are giving away as much as they should.

Bannatyne, himself a member of the Rich List, turns the spotlight not just on how the rich spend, but also how they give it away.

“I believe that giving the money you make away is the best reason for making it in the first place and that we rich in Britain don’t do enough yet,” he declares.

“I’m a lucky man. It’s a fantasy life, what we all dream of. But when I’ve done all that, you know, I start to think ‘Is there anything else I want to buy? Really?’ And I’m not alone. It’s a cliché but, it’s true. Do I want to be the richest man in the graveyard?

“This year, I don’t just want to know how Britain’s Rich List makes their cash, or even how they’re spending it. I want to find out if they’re ready to open up to me and open up their purses. And here’s the twist. Are our super wealthy big enough to give their money away?

“I’m going out to meet as many of the Rich List as I can. Not just to find out how they made it and are spending it, but to see if I can persuade them to give more.

“Knowing what I’m like when people have a go at me, I don’t expect it to be easy.”

Using the Rich List as a guide, Bannatyne travels through the philanthropy maze, asking some of the most generous rich-listers what motivates them to give away their cash and revealing how some big givers are booking their places in history.

He begins his quest in the City where over £7 billion worth of bonuses have been paid out this year alone. He meets Michael Spencer, the boss of money brokers ICAP and the richest man in the City whose company’s annual fundraising day raises millions for good causes.

Aside from wealth in the City, Bannatyne explores the wealth of those in Britain’s booming creative industries, including Andrew Lloyd Webber and an outspoken Kelly Osborne.

He also interviews Simon Cowell’s mother who talks about how the entertainment mogul has vowed to leave a great deal of his fortune to charity.

Bannatyne explores the world of the charity auctions and delves in the fortunes of Britain’s young rich listers which includes sports stars like Lewis Hamilton and Michael Owen.

He interviews football barons David Sullivan and John Madejski and takes a look at how stars of business like Sir Alan Sugar, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Sir James Dyson and high street billionaires like Phillip Green and Phil Harris have fared this year.

Bannatyne interviews retail tycoon Sir Tom Hunter, who made £260 million after selling his Sports Division chain of shops and has vowed to give £1 billion of his fortune to projects improving health, education and economic development in Africa.

He also explores the phenomenon of ‘trustafarians’ – young people who inherit vast family fortunes – and agrees with Sir Tom Hunter that giving large sums of money to the children “would be a terrible burden”.

After embarking on his journey Bannatyne feels compelled to set up his own foundation and meets the head of philanthropy at Coutts to find out how to get the ball rolling.

“I am going to set up my own foundation to give away my money and I hope that other rich listers out there will be encouraged to do the same,” he declares.

“And you know, that’ll mean I’m not going to die the richest man in the graveyard.”

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