Former Coronation Street star Philip Middlemiss has been declared bankrupt, the M.E.N. can reveal.
The actor was judged to be insolvent after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [HMRC] launched a bankruptcy petition against him because of unpaid taxes.
Mr Middlemiss, who played bookie Des Barnes in the soap for eight years, told the M.E.N. he had fallen into financial difficulty after the production of a film he was directing in Africa ground to a halt.
But the actor, who lives in Whitefield, Bury, said he had recently been paid for work he carried out as a leisure and tourism consultant – meaning he could now pay his debts and apply for the bankruptcy order to be annulled.
Mr Middlemiss, 48, said: “They [the HMRC] applied for whatever they said I owed in back taxes. I disputed it and disputed it again.
“I was waiting for money to come in but I didn’t have enough time so they petitioned for bankruptcy. I have petitioned for an annulment and that takes about six weeks to get done.”
Mr Middlemiss said he had gone to Africa more than three years ago to direct a feature-length film, but independent investors pulled out because of the financial crisis.
He said: “It was partly-funded by myself but I didn’t have the money to fund the rest of the film. Filming came to a grinding halt. It was nearly three-quarters of the way along the line.
“It has been a difficult time. Three-and-a-half years is a long time to fund myself without any income. I have had to get money from family and friends.”
Mr Middlemiss said he decided to spend more time in Africa to make documentaries because little original drama was being made in the UK and he was not interested in acting any longer.
He added he had picked up work in Africa doing ‘various things’ – including as a tourism consultant – which had helped him get back on his feet.
Mr Middlemiss, originally from Hartlepool, County Durham, played Des Barnes in Corrie between 1990 and 1998 and went on to star in long-running ITV drama Where the Heart Is between 2000 and 2006.
He was declared bankrupt following a hearing in Bury County Court. He declined to comment on how much he owed to HMRC.
The actor added he owed money to another creditor, who he has now paid, although he also declined to reveal their identity. A spokeswoman for HMRC said they do not comment on individual cases.
Source: Manchester Evening News