Right Said Fred lead singer Richard Fairbrass talks to ME & MY MONEY

Right Said Fred star Richard Fairbrass estimates he earned over £10million from the 1991 hit I’m Too Sexy.

The 68-year-old singer also told Donna Ferguson that he and his brother Fred lost the same amount of money trusting people they shouldn’t have.

Richard lives in a £1.3million flat in Windsor, Berkshire, with the other half of the band, his brother Fred.

Right Said Fred’s new single Godsend is available to stream on Spotify and Richard and Fred’s autobiography We’re Still Too Sexy is out this Thursday.

Surprise: Richard Fairbrass didn’t believe the song would be a hit

What did your parents teach you about money?

Be generous with it. My brother Fred and I were spoiled when we were kids. Mom was a frustrated dancer and singer who became a mother and housewife due to World War II destroying her ambitions.

Dad was a salesman for a printing company who traveled around trying to get orders for catalogs and high-end color plate books.

We were quite comfortable financially. My parents had a traditional relationship and when mom wanted to work part-time, I remember dad getting angry. He thought she was insinuating that he wasn’t making enough money. But I think all she wanted was to get out of the house.

I took money for granted when I was a kid because dad paid for everything. I only understood its value as an adult. For example, when he stopped paying for my gas, I got angry.

Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?

Yes, from the late 1970s until around 1990, I was skinny. I waited tables and did some painting and decorating – anything I could think of to make money, while doing gigs and losing money.

The worst time was when I was living in a small furnished two-bedroom apartment with my partner at the time, Stuart.

It was basically a furnished studio – people who lived upstairs above us had to walk through our apartment to get to their front door.

It was so cold in winter that there was ice inside the windows. Stuart had HIV and could not find work due to his illness.

But it was essential for him to keep the flat warm – and on one occasion we had to burn down some fireplace furniture because we couldn’t afford the wood.

When the band was successful, it was a big relief because then I had the money to take care of Stuart a little better. We had been together for 28 years and he was HIV positive for 27 of them. He died in 2010.

Have you ever been paid stupid money?

Yes. Right Said Fred was popular in Germany in the early 2000s and we were making more money than in the 1990s.

Companies have paid us tens of thousands of dollars to play at their Christmas party or whatever. A German company once paid us €45,000 (£38,000) to play for around 35 minutes.

What was the best year of your financial life?

It was 1992 when our first album, Up, came out. It wasn’t my most lucrative year, but it was definitely the time when the money I was earning made the biggest impression on my life. I can’t remember exactly how much I won, but it would have been a high six figure sum.

The most expensive thing you bought for fun?

A used Porsche 928. It was dark blue with a cream leather interior and I bought it in the mid 1990s for around £35,000. It had a really cool sports exhaust, so when I drove through the underpass to Piccadilly in London, it roared like a tiger.

What is your biggest financial mistake?

Trusting people we shouldn’t have trusted and signing bad deals. Our accountant estimates that my brother and I lost between £7m and £10m.

What’s the best financial decision you’ve made?

Write and direct I’m Too Sexy. It cost us around £1200 to record and release. At the time, we didn’t think it would be a hit.

We didn’t even think anyone would like that. But we had nothing to lose and we thought it was fun. If you include royalties, I’d say we’ve made over £10m from this song over the years.

Do you save in a pension?

Yes. When you’re young, you don’t think about retirement. When I was 21, I thought people who were 30 were past that stage. But I’ve been saving in a pension since the minute I got too sexy.

Our accountants were smart enough to tell us to do it.

Do you invest directly in the stock market?

Not outside of my pension. I don’t understand the stock market and I think my life is complicated enough.

Do you own a property?

Yes, my house, a three-bedroom apartment in Windsor, Berkshire. It’s mortgage free. I bought it five years ago for £1.3m and I think its value has probably increased since then, but not by much.

What luxury do you give yourself?

Eat outside. An Ivy restaurant has just opened in Windsor. My brother and I probably go about once every fortnight for a treat and spend £70 or £80 each.

If you were Chancellor, what would you do?

I would remove the VAT. In principle, I think a tax on already taxed money is immoral. I think we are crushing people’s ambition and aspirations by taxing them.

I would also reduce corporation tax and the top rate of income tax – and try to re-educate Britons to understand that their lives belong to them.

They don’t have to rely on the government or anyone else. I would make the money readily available throughout the country so that people could lead their own lives as free from state interference as possible.

I accept that there would be a huge hole in Treasury finances as a result of my policies.

To meet the state’s responsibilities to people with disabilities and others who need care or support, I would raise gas taxes in cities where people don’t need to use cars .

Do you donate money to charity?

Yes. I donate to Alzheimer’s charities because my mother had Alzheimer’s disease – and to the Stroke Association because my partner Stuart had a stroke at the end of his life.

What is your number one financial priority?

To stay healthy and make sure I always have a place to live.

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