TV Legend Bill Roache is facing bankruptcy for a second time.
The 91-year-old actor – who has played Ken Barlow on ‘Coronation Street’ TV soap since 1960 – is the soap’s highest-paid cast member, earning around £250,000 a year but he’s facing financial ruin after HMRC filed a petition against him in London’s High Court earlier this week.
A spokesperson said they wouldn’t comment on individual cases, but told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “We take a supportive approach to dealing with customers who have tax debts, and do everything we can to help those who engage with us to get out of debt, such as offering instalment plans.”
“We might have an outstanding tax debt, if someone refused to engage with us and pay the tax that is due, then as a last resort we will issue a bankruptcy action and issuing petition for bankruptcy is obviously how we go about that in terms of the correct legal process. That is in order to recover the tax that they owe but as I say, it is the sort of thing we do as a last resort.”
It is unclear about the details of the debt but in 2018, it was revealed the veteran actor faced a huge bill after being one of 288 investors to join a £500 million scheme in the Cayman Islands, putting an undisclosed amount of money into Twofold First Services LLP.
The scheme involved claiming tax relief from the losses of a land-owning business, with a complex arrangement meaning the loss could be used to reduce income tax, but a tribunal later ruled in favour of HMRC, who had argued it was “a tax avoidance arrangement”.
Bill previously faced financial difficulties 24 years ago after suing a newspaper for calling him “boring”. He was awarded £50,000 in damages – the same amount he had turned down in an out-of-court settlement – but was left liable for £120,000 in costs and he went on to sue his legal team for negligence before being declared bankrupt in 1999.
Bill was declared bankrupt 24 years ago after he successfully sued a newspaper for describing him as “boring”. He was awarded £50,000 in damages but it was the same amount he had turned down in an out-of-court settlement before the case, leaving him liable for £120,000 in costs.
A ‘Coronation Street’ representative said: “We’re really sorry to hear of Bill’s financial situation. Bill has an ongoing contract with ‘Coronation Street’ and remains a much-loved member of the cast.”