A HEADLINE magician who performed for the likes of Prince Charles and the Queen was left with no income for nearly a year - and received no Government support.

Romany, or 'Diva of Magic', was part of the three million people left out of the furlough income scheme last year despite falling under the self-employed category.

The 52-year-old, who lives in Bardsea, was expecting 2020 to be her 'best year yet', unaware that the pandemic would take away her dream career and leave her with no income.

In 2018, Romany took time off to write her book, Spun Into Gold: The Secret Life of a Female Magician, and installed three lodgers in her house in Brighton for income.

Although self-employed since 1996, because of the 50-50 rule, Romany was excluded from the SelfEmployed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as she earned more money from her lodgers in 2018–2019 than from her showbiz income.

By March 2020, Romany had no upcoming showbiz events and no lodgers, leaving her with no income.

She said: "I had a year worth of bookings on cruise ships and corporate events, then suddenly Covid happened and in a week everything was cancelled.

"I probably lost around £35k. When I first found out I wouldn't receive any Government support, I was shocked and knew that I had to do something quickly to survive.

"All I knew was I didn’t have any income so my first thought was I have to rent out my house and decided to join my husband in Ulverston.

"They've described us as the three million that 'fell through cracks' but it was a deliberate Government policy.

"They used the 50-50 rule for me which meant I earned more from having lodgers between 2018 and 2019 than showbiz - but by 2020 I didn't have any lodgers, showbiz was my only income.

"It's a really hard edged criteria which meant three million people - which is 10 per cent of the working population - was excluded."

Romany describes herself as 'one of the lucky ones' who was able to rely on savings to survive.

"I'm lucky that I don't have kids and have savings, but that isn't the point," she said.

"We understand that the Government made these rules very quickly, hence why the Excluded campaign was very patient, but now nearly a year on, there has been no support at all.

"It’s an injustice and a national scandal.

"It's like the Government has said right we'll feed two children but let the other one starve - it's not fair.

"There's people in the excluded group who are using foodbanks, struggling to feed themselves - we need the Government to fix this.

"We've been ignored and gaslighted by the Government.

"I understand it's tricky to pay all the small businesses but not to receive any money is just a disgrace."

A HM Treasury spokesman said: “We’ve invested more than £280bn throughout the pandemic to protect millions of jobs and businesses - and extended our self-employed and furlough schemes through to April so that people have certainty that help is in place.

“At the upcoming Budget we’ll outline the next stages of our Plan for Jobs to support businesses and families across the UK. That has been our priority throughout the past year and it will be the priority for the year to come.”

If you are interested in learning more about Romany or purchasing her book, visit: https://www.romanymagic.com/