Former BBC and ITV chairman Michael Grade is reportedly in advanced negotiations to buy four West End theatres from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group (RUG): the 1100-seat New London (currently home to War Horse), the 1200-seat Her Majesty’s (The Phantom of the Opera), the 1230-seat Cambridge (Chicago) and the 1400-seat Palace (Priscilla Queen of the Desert). According to the Sunday Times, Grade and theatrical agent Michael Linnit, who together unsuccessfully made a bid for RUG’s theatres in 2005, have been in exclusive talks about the estimated £50 million deal for the past month. If the deal goes through, it would leave RUG in ownership of just the two “crown jewel” musical houses, the London Palladium and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, both with roughly 2,300 seats.