Searches for Daniel Radcliffe first surged in February 2007 when he decided to ditch his wizard’s specs (as well as his kecks) in his West End theatre debut. Radcliffe took the lead role in Equus playing Alan Strang, a young man with a pathological fascination with horses. Radcliffe’s role required him to appear naked onstage and he hit the headlines after the show’s promoters issued some decidedly racy press shots of him and co-star Joanna Christie.
The publication of the Sunday Times Rich List in April confirmed Radcliffe as Britain’s richest teenager. Combining earning from the Harry Potter movies and the money made by his company Gilmore Jacobs, the Sunday Times estimated the then 17-year-old actor’s wealth at a whopping £17 million.
Potter rules the world
The release of movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in July sparked more search success for Radcliffe. He averaged over 5,000 daily queries throughout the month and, along with co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, stormed Hotlist’s daily Top 20 searches chart. Radcliffe also celebrated his 18th birthday in July and, as Potter-mania swept the nation, a waxwork of him was unveiled in Madame Tussauds.
The Order of the Phoenix also helped British film enjoy a bumper year at the box office. The film took £49 million over the summer and helped homegrown movies increase their share of the UK movie market to 27 per cent. According to the UK Film Council, almost 22 million cinema tickets were sold in July – making it the biggest single month for cinema-going since January 1970.
Radcliffe’s most recent assault on Hotlist’s Top 20 Search chart came in September. His first non-Potter big screen outing December Boys was released and he appeared at UK and US premieres with co-star Teresa Palmer. He was then rewarded for his Harry Potter roles by being named Best Actor at the National Movie Awards.