What kind of person Googles someone’s net worth? You know how you type someone’s name into Google and it autofills ‘net worth’? Who the hell is searching for this stuff? What kind of oddball does that?
Me. It’s me. I’m sorry. I don’t know why. It’s my first port of call when someone famous is in the news. Probably part of it’s jealousy – something to do when I’m not counting the crumbs in my pocket – but it also contextualises a person. My net worth is the crumbs in my pocket + the clothes that I’m wearing + an old Samsung telly that was in my flat when I moved in, minus my towering student debt and the tenner I owe my mate Pete. So what we learn from this is that my ljfe’s a mess. That’s useful; we all know where we are. It’s the same with a famous. When they’re in hot water, facing a scandal, I think: do you have enough money to weather this? And when they do something wildly extravagant, I think: how can you possibly afford this?
Ed Sheeran, according to Forbes (and the undoubtedly equally reliable celebritynetworth.com), is worth £110m. I Googled this because I wanted to know how Ed Sheeran could possibly have money to burn on building a pizzeria in his back garden, which was recently reported to be a real thing. The house – or mansion – is worth £1.5m even before he’s stuck a Pizza Hut on it. According to official documents, he asked East Suffolk Council for planning permission to build some decking, an outdoor seating area and a great big ol’ pizza oven and two barbecues on his Grade II listed gaffe. And it’s certainly not the first time Ed Sheeran has pimped out his pad.
Back in April, it was reported that he’d made a bid to build his own private beach outside the house, along with a chapel that he wanted to get married in. Alas, both were turned down by the Council. Ed then attempted to create an enormous “wildlife pond”, but ran into trouble when neighbours complained that it is fact a swimming pool. Outlandish Ed: I salute both your Gatsby levels of excess and Alan Partridge-esque exasperation with planning permission. But there’s another character that moneybags Ed reminds me of: Richie Rich, the billionaire’s young son played by Macauley Culkin in the 1994 children’s classic (which I have just learned only has 24% of Rotten Tomatoes, the inspiration for my next pointless change.org petition).
Richie, like Ed, had endless resources to squander on inane luxuries. Unlike Ed, Richie’s daft follies actually came off. He had his own rollercoaster. He had a ‘kidpault’ in his own back garden, which he used to fire other kids onto a big plastic mat. We do not have total confirmation that all these kids truly wanted to be fired from Richie’s kidapult, but such is the boon of being rich: everyone has to do what you say, and they have to like it. Richie Rich had his own branch of McDonald’s, which sounds like fun, but I happen to know that a morbidly obese, 38-year-old Richie Rich recently attempted to fire himself from the kidapult and instead ruptured the machine, breaking both legs and fracturing his skull in the process.
Richie’s life is ruined, but at least he still his Dad’s money. There is a lesson here, though, for young Ed Sheeran. A pizzeria in the garden sounds like fun, but is it likely to compromise the good times on the kidapult?