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Solihull showbiz agent failed to pay stars their wages

A showbiz agent from Solihull has been banned from booking magicians and other acts – after making their cash disappear.

A SHOWBIZ agent from Solihull has been banned from booking magicians and other acts – after making their cash disappear.

Gerald Leslie Hemming, was handed the seven-year order after more than a dozen entertainers, including comic and game show host Tom O’Connor, complained they had not been paid by the 61-year-old for up to six years.

The former Name That Tune host is receiving just £18 a month for a 2005 event for which he is owed £1,300.

And Birmingham-based UB40 tribute act, Rats in the Kitchen, have not received a penny of their £1,000 fee for a performance in Solihull in 2009.

Birmingham tribunal judge Sheila Warren told Hemming: “The prohibition is to protect comedians, magicians and certain other individual performers.”

Mr Hemming was ordered to pay O’Connor for his performance at a corporate bash in the borough after appearing before magistrates in 2009.

But he still failed to pay the cash and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills – formerly the Department of Trade & Industry – asked for a prohibition order to be imposed on him.

Edward Beever, for the department, said the case was unusual because Mr Hemming, who traded as Hemmings Leisure, had been declared bankrupt but was allowed to carry on providing entertainers as it was his own business.

Imposing the ban, Ms Warren said Mr Hemming could still provide acts for agents and exhibitions because they were paid lower fees.

Mr Hemming told the tribunal he had been previously ordered by magistrates to pay off his debts at the rate of £200 per month but the sum had been cut to £50 per month on appeal.

 

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