ITV Coronation Street Bill Roache settles tax dispute with HMRC

William Roache faced a HMRC bill of over £500,000
-Credit: (Image: MCPIX/REX/Shutterstock)

Coronation Street's William Roache, who has portrayed Ken Barlow on the soap for over six decades, has resolved his tax dispute with HMRC at the High Court. The 92 year old actor was given a 12-week deadline in March to settle the matter.

During a brief hearing on Monday, Anam Razvi, representing HMRC, requested the case be dismissed on behalf of the tax authority. Chief Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Nicholas Briggs agreed and dismissed the case, according to court staff.

Although Roache did not attend the London-based specialist Insolvency and Companies Court hearing, he will undoubtedly be relieved by the outcome. It is believed that Roache earns approximately £250,000 annually and is reportedly the highest-paid cast member.

In February, the Mirror reported that he was earning thousands of pounds per week filming shout-outs to fans while facing bankruptcy. The soap icon was listed on two websites offering video messages to thrilled fans for up to £51 each.

He had hundreds of five-star reviews on the Cameo platform. At the time, it was estimated that his earnings were likely significantly higher as typically only about a quarter of customers leave reviews, reports the Mirror.

Back in 2018, The Mirror reported that Roache faced a massive bill after his investment in a £500 million tax avoidance scheme came to light. It was not clear how much he had invested in Twofold First Services LLP, a company based in the Cayman Islands.

On average, one of the 288 investors who took part in the scheme contributed approximately £1.75 million. Documents revealed his involvement began in March 2012.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for Coronation Street expressed their sympathy regarding Bill's financial struggles, stating: "We're really sorry to hear of Bill's financial situation. He has an ongoing contract with Coronation Street and remains a much-loved member of the cast."

Fans will know Bill for his role as Ken Barlow, which he has played on the ITV soap for nearly 64 years, making his debut in its first episode in 1960.

With his impressive tenure, he holds the Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving TV soap star globally and was rewarded with the title of OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list in December 2021 for his contributions to drama and charity.