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EastEnders

Soap stars who went bankrupt – Corrie hunk who turned delivery driver to EastEnders star left skint after I’m A Celeb

Troubled star even bought a gun after becoming suicidal over his debts

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THEY may be on our box most nights, but it doesn’t mean soap stars aren’t immune to money issues.

Earlier this week it was revealed former Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has been declared bankrupt due to an unpaid large tax bill.

Former Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has been declared bankrupt

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Former Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has been declared bankruptCredit: Rex

Beverley Callard as Liz McDonald in Coronation Street, alongside her on-screen son Steve played by Simon Gregson

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Beverley Callard as Liz McDonald in Coronation Street, alongside her on-screen son Steve played by Simon GregsonCredit: Rex

Andrew, 53, who played Frank Foster in the ITV soap and has also starred in The Bill, is reported to have owed “a significant five-figure sum”.

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And he’s not the only soap star to be hit by money troubles – from the Corrie hunk who turned burger delivery driver to an EastEnders star left skint months after winning I’m A Celeb.

Beverley Callard

Corrie stalwart Beverley Callard is known to millions as brassy barmaid Liz McDonald, who she has played on and off since 1989.

After one departure in 2011 – which she later revealed was because she wanted to spend time with her mum, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – she got into financial difficulties.

She said in 2012: “It pushed me into bankruptcy and I guess I’ll be paying for it for years, but regrets? Not one. It was horrific. I’ve worked non-stop since I was 16 and somehow it all seemed it had been for nothing.

“Corrie schedules are full-on. It’s all or nothing and I had to face a choice between the Street or Mum. I love everything about Corrie but there could only be one answer.”

Beverley, 66, later returned to the cobbles but quit for good in 2020, starring on I’m A Celebrity that same year for a reported £125,000 fee.

But three years later, in May, it was revealed her acting firm went bust, with debts of £215,677.

Richard Blackwood

Richard Blackwood has revealed he was left feeling suicidal after filing for bankruptcy in 2003 before getting his role on EastEnders

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Richard Blackwood has revealed he was left feeling suicidal after filing for bankruptcy in 2003 before getting his role on EastEnders

The former MTV star and rapper had a hit in the 1990s with Mamma Who Da Man, but revealed he suffered from depression after work dried up.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, he bought a gun to end his own life before being stopped by his girlfriend at the time.

Speaking in 2015, Richard, now 51, said: “When I was made bankrupt, it was hard because I was one of the first young guys from the MTV era to be deemed to have it all and then to lose it all.

”I don’t drink or smoke. I never have. I’ve never taken a drug in my life. But I was depressed, I was even suicidal.

”It was very real for me back then. Every time I walked out of the house, I was reminded by people that I had failed.”

And the Hollyoaks star said in a 2020 interview: “I had a strap (gun) and I went to pull the trigger and someone with me at the time hit it out of my hand.

“How she stopped me from doing it, is that she picked it up and she goes: ‘I’ll shoot myself at first then you shoot you.’’

“And that’s how she stopped me. That’s the truth. People don’t really know that.”

Richard was riding high in the late 1990s, with his own comedy show and a hit single, Mamma Who Da Man.

He admitted he cried when he was offered the part of Vincent Hubbard in EastEnders in 2015. The actor said: “When I got the role, I went back to my car and I started to cry. I couldn’t believe it. Dominic has changed my life.”

Richard left the hit BBC soap in 2018 and has played Felix Westwood in Hollyoaks since 2020.

Duncan James

Hollyoaks star Duncan James has been candid about his previous money woes

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Hollyoaks star Duncan James has been candid about his previous money woesCredit: Rex Features

He was in one of the biggest boy bands in the early Noughties and after Blue’s hiatus in 2004, Duncan James looked set for solo success.

But his first solo album failed to reach the top 50 in the UK. And he was left “drowning” in debt after investing money in property before the 2008 housing crash.

Duncan, who has admitted to taking antidepressants after Blue split up, was declared bankrupt in 2013, telling The Sun at the time: “In some strange way, it’s actually a relief to have been declared bankrupt. It means I can start again.

“Before I went bankrupt, I had been trying to pay off loans for years and felt as if I was drowning.”

The 45-year-old turned his hand to acting and went on to play Ryan Knight in Hollyoaks from 2016 until the character was killed off two years later. And his finances have been boosted since Blue reformed in 2013, enjoying several TV appearances.

Shane Richie

Shane Richie's fortunes were turned around after he landed the role of Alfie Moon on EastEnders

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Shane Richie’s fortunes were turned around after he landed the role of Alfie Moon on EastEndersCredit: BBC

The actor played loveable rogue Alfie Moon in EastEnders on and off from 2002, with him returning to Walford last year.

But the former bluecoat Pontins holiday camp entertainer revealed he faced bankruptcy after losing almost £700,000 before landing the role and becoming a household name.

He had auditioned for EastEnders three times and was initially rejected, as he admitted: “So I kept coming back but still no no idea what was going on.

“I’m bankrupt because of this film I’d invested in, I’ve got nothing, I’m selling the house, no work. The phone goes and it’s my manager and he goes EastEnders want you.”

And speaking about his return to Walford last year, Shane, 59, said he felt “privileged” to be back.

He said: “It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be asked back to my TV home of Albert Square. I’m looking forward to catching up with some old castmates and meeting some new ones.”

Joe Swash

Former EastEnders Joe Swash has been made bankrupt twice

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Former EastEnders Joe Swash has been made bankrupt twiceCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Joe Swash was at the height of his fame playing loveable Mickey Miller in EastEnders when he faced a rare and life-threatening condition in which you have meningitis and encephalitis at the same time.

As he battled back from ill health, he was forced to take a three-month break from the soap in 2005, which had a “massive effect” on his career.

He told The Sun: “When I came back I couldn’t find my feet. New producers came in and brought in new actors and I got lost down the pecking order.”

His character was axed in 2008, before he was crowned King of the Jungle on I’m A Celebrity that same year.

However, Joe was declared bankrupt in 2009 – and then for a second time in 2013.

The 41-year-old explained: “I fell behind on tax and bills and buried my head in the sand which was the worst thing to do. I should have faced up to it.

“The second time it happened I was on TV and I felt embarrassed and wondered how I managed to get myself into the situation. But it can happen to anybody.”

Wil Johnson

Emmerdale actor Wil Johnson was declared broke for a second time in 2014

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Emmerdale actor Wil Johnson was declared broke for a second time in 2014Credit: Rex Features

Actor Wil Johnson reportedly had money troubles before landing the role of Dom Andrews in Emmerdale in 2012. He was declared bankrupt for a second time in 2014.

The dad-of-seven was made broke after being unable to pay his debts. It came after a previous bankruptcy order in 2010.

He exited the soap in the wake of a dramatic storyline involving the death of his character’s daughter Gemma.

Speaking at the time: “I’ve had a wonderful time playing Dom Andrews but, like with most things, you have to know when to leave the building, hopefully on a high hope.”

He most recently appeared on our screens last year in Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon as Vaemond Velaryon.

Michael Le Vell

Actor Michael Le Vell reportedly earns £250,000 for his Corrie role but has suffered money woes

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Actor Michael Le Vell reportedly earns £250,000 for his Corrie role but has suffered money woesCredit: BackGrid

The actor has played mechanic Kevin Webster in Coronation Street for 40 years and reportedly earns £250,000 a year for the role in the ITV soap.

But the star was declared bankrupt in 2018, reportedly after he failed to keep on top of his tax affairs – owing HMRC a six-figure sum.

The Sun previously revealed that the Corrie star had gone bust after paying out £200,000 in legal fees in a trial over child abuse claims in 2013. He was found not guilty but Ministry of Justice rules deem that those who can afford their defence are prevented from receiving tax-funded paybacks after the case.

Official records showed that the order was lifted in January 2019, meaning Michael, 58, could open a new bank account.

Martine McCutcheon

Martine McCutcheon was 18 when she shot to fame on EastEnders but illness saw her suffer financial difficulties

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Martine McCutcheon was 18 when she shot to fame on EastEnders but illness saw her suffer financial difficultiesCredit: Nick Obank – The Sun

The actress became a household name after landing the part of Tiffany Mitchell in EastEnders in the mid 1990s, with 22 million viewers tuning in to see her final scenes in Albert Square in 1998.

Martine, now 47, went on to launch a successful pop career, won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2002 for her role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on London’s West End and starred in hit film Love Actually alongside Hugh Grant in 2003.

But she found herself unable to work after being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome ME and Lyme’s disease – with her even ending up in a wheelchair.

She told The Sun: “That was scary when I was in a wheelchair or couldn’t shower on my own. I was totally reliant on everyone else. It was a very dark place to be.

“The longest I went without leaving the house was a month.

“The low point was when I was lying on the sofa and could not move. I felt suicidal and scared about the future if I was going to stay as I was. I spent day after day for months not being able to move, feeling like I was a burden to everybody.

“I did think it would be better if I just didn’t wake up. I was serious.”

Then, in 2013, the actress was declared bankrupt, and had her £25,000 engagement ring from husband Jack McManus seized by bailiffs.

She said in 2016: “I just thought my health, money, career have all been taken from me, and now even my engagement ring – the one thing that represents what is solid in my life – has gone.”

Ryan Thomas

Soap star Ryan Thomas has battled back from bankruptcy with a string of TV appearances

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Soap star Ryan Thomas has battled back from bankruptcy with a string of TV appearancesCredit: Splash

Actor Ryan Thomas played Jason Grimshaw on Coronation Street for 16 years but was hit with a £40,000 tax bill he couldn’t pay in 2013 after splurging his soap salary on his extravagant lifestyle.

He has said: “I started when I was 16, it was great, I was in the spotlight and given a lot of money from a young age,” Ryan explains during his introduction to the show.

“I loved to treat my friends and didn’t really realise what the concept of money was.”

And he added: “Next thing I know, I get a letter through the post from the tax man.”

Ryan, now 39, admits he was “embarrassed” after being declared bankrupt in 2013. He said: “Having something like bankruptcy all over the media, I found it really embarrassing because you’re in the spotlight there’s no hiding.

“Your private life doesn’t become private any more.”

Ryan, who was roped into handing out burgers for his brother Adam’s restaurant The Spinn in 2021, is now back on track with his finances.

In 2019 it was reported he was set to be a millionaire again after books filed to Companies House show his R. James Thomas Ltd firm showed he had £247,493 in cash.

Eva Pope

Eva Pope has had roles in Corrie and Waterloo Road but wracked up debts and was hit with bankruptcy

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Eva Pope has had roles in Corrie and Waterloo Road but wracked up debts and was hit with bankruptcyCredit: BBC

Actress Eva Pope rose to fame in Coronation Street in 1993 as barmaid Tanya Pooley. But she is best known for playing longest-serving headmistress Rachel Mason in Waterloo Road.

Despite her string of top telly roles, she found herself declared bankrupt in 2007 following a £65,000 tax bill and £25,000 in credit card debts.

Eva, 55, appears to have moved on from her financial woes and has since had roles on Holby City, New Tricks and Silent Witness.

This year, she appeared in an episode of the ITV drama Maternal.

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