“Mike Oldfield’s autobiography isn’t exactly a page turner, unless you’re into the minutiae of how Tubular Bells was recorded. But there are a few good stories related to Mike going a bit mad when all the money started coming in.
“At some point in 70s, a customer in a country pub in Gloucestershire was only a little surprised to find a furry head on her lap, since the pub was popular with dog walkers. The screaming started a few moments later when she looked down and realised that the head didn’t belong to a dog; it was actually Clyde, Mike Oldfield’s pet lion, which he’d let off the leash whilst getting pissed in the corner.
“He’d bought it on impulse but, after this incident, he was advised by all and sundry that keeping an apex predator as a house pet wasn’t perhaps the smartest move. So he called up Richard Branson, asking if he wanted a lion. Thinking it was another of Oldfield’s pranks, he said yes.
“Cue further hysterics when a one-year old lion turns up in the reception of Virgin’s London offices…”