Coronation Street’s Bill Roache ‘owes the taxman nearly £550,000’, it has been revealed.
The actor, 91, who has played Ken Barlow on the ITV soap since 1960 when he was paid just £70 a week, is now the highest-paid member of the cast, earning around £250k a year.
However, The Sun have published his six-figure debt, just weeks after it was revealed he’s facing bankruptcy for a second time.
Bill initially owed £588,015.18 and entered a 2018 agreement to clear it, but the High Court papers obtained by the publication claim he has only paid £41,666.65.
He had until last month to pay the full amount of £546,348.53, and now faces a High Court battle in March.
Coronation Street ‘s Bill Roache ‘owes the taxman nearly £550,000’, it has been revealed
The actor, 91, who has played Ken Barlow on the ITV soap since 1960 when he was paid just £70 a week, is now the highest-paid member of the cast, earning around £250k a year
Bill’s interest payments come to £14,699, while he also faces late-payment fines of more than £8,000, which are both included in the total.
MailOnline have contacted Bill’s representatives for comment.
It comes after HMRC said it does ‘not comment on individual cases’, but a spokesperson told The Mirror : ‘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 only petition for bankruptcy as a last resort.’
A spokesperson for Coronation Street told the publication: ‘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.’
Papers were lodged against the father-of-five at London’s High Court on Tuesday, and details of the cause of the tax debt remained confidential.
At the end of the nineties Bill ended up bankrupt following a libel battle with The Sun for calling him ‘boring Ken Barlow’.
He won the case but was judged to have wasted court time with the law suit and was awarded only £50,000, the amount the paper had offered him to settle out of court.
He was left with huge legal bills which he compounded with the decision to sue his lawyers over the case, landing him in up to £600,000 of debt.
It was reported in December last year that Bill has signed on to star in Coronation Street for another 12 months, marking his 63rd year on the soap.
The actor, 91, has played Ken Barlow on the ITV soap since it debuted back in 1960 when he was paid £70 a week.
He holds the world record for the longest-serving TV actor in a continuous role and is even listed in the Guinness World Records (pictured on soap with Anne Reid in 1963)
He holds the world record for the longest-serving TV actor in a continuous role and is even listed in the Guinness World Records.
Bill previously said he wanted to still be on the soap at 100 years old.
Last year he told The Mirror: ‘Someone said to me, ‘Look, Bill, you’re in the Guinness Book of Records, you’ve got the MBE, you’ve been in Coronation Street for over 60 years, what else is there?’
‘I said to him, ‘I would like to be the first centenarian who is still cast in an ongoing drama’. That’s my aim, to be 100 and still working on Coronation Street.’
‘While they want me and while I can do it I’ll continue to do it.’
Bill has also said: ‘People will say when are you retiring? Are you going to take a break? But then what happens?
‘Whilst I can do it, and whilst they will have me, I have no intention of retiring. I am so fortunate to work for an organisation that is happy to have me.’
Last December, Bill was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by King Charles for his services to acting following more than 60 years on Corrie.
Bill, who was previously awarded an MBE, revealed the hilarious reaction of King Charles, who playfully asked: ‘Not still working are you?’
Last December, Bill was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by King Charles for his services to acting following more than 60 years on Corrie
In May 2022, Bill revealed he nearly quit the soap to pursue his dream of appearing in Westerns alongside the likes of Clint Eastwood .
He admitted he first aspired to star in films when he launched his career as an actor, telling the Sunday People : ‘When I started out I wanted to be in films, particularly I wanted to be in Westerns.
‘There was a time in the middle of my career, when I was in my 40s, I thought if ever I’m going to get out and do something else, now is the time.
‘But I only thought about it. I never actually did it. I realised I’m really proud of Coronation Street, lucky to be in it.’