Soap stars’ flop business empires including Enders legend who owed taxman £25K
THEY beam into our living rooms most evenings of the week – but fame wasn’t enough to keep these soap stars’ business ventures afloat.
From doomed restaurants to gin brands that went bust, these telly favourites came a cropper with their side hustles.
Here we take a look at the soap legends who were better off sticking to the day job.
Earlier this year, we revealed Strictly hunk Adam Thomas’ restaurant business The Spinn owed the taxman a whopping £103,263.
According to figures, the total amount owed by the former Emmerdale star’s firm was over £300,000.
The Manchester restaurant had £40,996 in outstanding loans to Santander and also owed partner Scott Graham £41,333.
Adam, 35, who plays Donte Charles in Waterloo Road, is said to have injected £55,654 of his own money into the company, based near Stockport, which he now stands to lose.
Accounts liquidating the firm revealed that only £6,000 in cash from a company account had been realised.
A firm called Gately Bar and Grill Ltd was set up by Adam to handle the restaurant’s finances. The firm was officially put into administration in July.
Adam is dancing with Luba Mushtuk on this series of Strictly, for which he’s expected to earn a flat rate of £25,000, which goes up depending on how far celebs progress in the competition.
Shortly after signing up to play Mick Carter on EastEnders, it was revealed Danny Dyer’s film production company had gone bust with £25,000 owed to the tax office.
The 46-year-old star put Old Mother Media into liquidation in August 2013, with its total debt coming up to £30,000, according to Mirror.
Danny’s company had failed to produce successful films in the lead-up to going bust – Run For Your Life, one of its last was dubbed the worst British film ever made at the time of its release.
Another of his films, Pimp, released in 2010, was a box office disaster and only managed to make a measly £205.
The thriller mockumentary was also critically panned and has a one-star rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt is one of EastEnders’ longest-serving cast members as Ian Beale.
But that was not enough to secure the success of his gin company, Neat Distillery Ltd.
In August 2017, the 55-year-old set up the company with his now ex-wife, but it went bust in February this year with debts of up to £13,370.
This is despite Adam saying in an interview that he had “quite a diverse list of outlets and distribution, from entertainment, bars, fine dining to music clubs”.
Despite going through a “toxic split” Adam and his ex Beverly had joint control of the firm, which had been in debt throughout the time it was in operation.
During its inception, a source close to the star told UK Times: “This is something Adam is really passionate about. He is planning to sell it online, along with merchandise he has lined up with the branding and recipes.”
The website of the company is now defunct and its social media pages have not been updated since 2019.
In June, it was revealed Coronation Street’s Charlie Wilson, 64, who played Jim McDonald, was facing legal action after his posh deli company went bust.
Charlie’s Prestbury farm shop closed down in 2018 and had outstanding debts of £37,000.
A document seen by Mail Online read: “During the period of this report, no further monies have been received in respect of the payment of the costs of Liquidation.
“To date, the sum of £33,160 has been paid in this regard and the balance of £1,340 is being pursued. As a response has not been received from the guarantor, solicitors have been instructed to collect the amount owed.”
According to reports, the company owed a turkey farm, an energy company and some firms in France. The business had equipment assets of £700 with just £24.91 in bank accounts.
Charlie has previously had money issues – in 2001 he had to declare bankruptcy as he owed nearly £200,000 to Inland Revenue.
Last year wasn’t the best for Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas, 48 – he saw two businesses go under, with debts of £92,000.
One of them, Jamie Lomas Associates, appears to be a production company and was set up for “motion picture, television and other theatrical casting activities”.
The other, First Take School of Acting, was launched in June 2018, two years before the country was plunged into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was revealed as owing £73,449, while Jamie Lomas Associates was £18,945 in debt. Neither had assets to cover the amounts owed.
The production firm owed £1,147 to HMRC and £14,986 to NatWest, while First Take owed £35,319 to HMRC and £38,128 to NatWest.
Both companies applied for the government’s furlough scheme, which was given to businesses to help offset the payment of employees’ salaries during the pandemic.
First Take School of Acting claimed as much as £90,000 under the scheme, while Jamie Lomas Associates took £70,000.
Months after Danny Miller, 32, was crowned king of the jungle on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in 2021, it was revealed he’d been forced to liquidate his performing arts company.
According to statements, the Cannon Professional Acting Company was £117,528 in debt. This included £36,991 in unpaid VAT and £1,866 in unpaid PAYE and National Insurance contributions.
It also owed £29,691 in unpaid corporation tax while Barclays was owed £29,931 in a bank overdraft and £18,449 was owed in a bounce-back loan.
The business was set up in 2013 by the actor, who left Emmerdale last year. When business recovery authorities took over, it emerged that it had assets worth £45,300.
Danny was in control of 80 per cent of the company.
Beverley Callard made a name for herself on Coronation Street as Liz McDonald before quitting the year she went on I’m A Celebrity in 2020 – for which she banked a reported £125,000.
But earlier this year it was revealed her personal services company, JMBJ, had been liquidated and owed £215,677.
According to records on Companies House, the firm was £114,124 overdrawn at the time it was shut. This was after Beverley and her husband Jon McEwan took out director’s loans.
A further £51,450 VAT was owed to HMRC. There was also £47,319 in corporation tax and £2,784 owed to two trade creditors.
It was the second time Beverley, 66, had faced financial troubles – in 2012 she was forced to declare bankruptcy after receiving a bill of £60,000.
Beverley was caring for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s, at the time, and her pub business with Jon went under.
At the time she said: “Since the bankruptcy became public people think I’m a showbiz diva who frittered her cash away on expensive dinners and fancy clothes. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
When Charley Webb set up her hand-crafted toy business, Nördi Bäbi, she was over the moon with her “dream” side hustle.
But just three years later the Emmerdale star, who played Debbie Dingle, was forced to shut down the firm due to “other work commitments”.
In a social media post Charley, 35, wrote: “I’ve loved this chapter and the journey it’s taken us on but we just don’t have the time to run it the way we want to. I love everything Scandi so this has been a dream.”
She even drastically slashed the prices of the stock they had in order to clear the products.
Some of the products she flogged under the company included puzzles, push-and-pull toys, musical toys and teethers.
The company’s description read: “Our toys can be treasured and passed through generations for years to come.”
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