Charlotte Church needs to work for the rest of her life

Charlotte Church says she'll keep working - for the money

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Charlotte Church has revealed that she'll need to work for the rest of her life to maintain her lifestyle.

When Charlotte Church shot to fame at the age of 12, her fortunes seemed entirely secure. She was singing for everyone from the Queen and the US President to the Pope and the money was rolling in. Within five years she was said to have made £25 million, and as her career went from singing sensation to pop star and reality TV star, you would be forgiven for thinking she had it made.

Unfortunately she has revealed this is far from the case - and she'll need to work for the rest of her life to maintain her lifestyle.

The news emerged as part of a documentary she has made for the BBC, which airs tonight. The programme shows that has given up singing, runs a small record label, and is planning to take a degree in physics. Meanwhile, she is working her way through her accumulated fortune.

The Sunday Times rich list has charted her declining fortunes, from £25 million in 2003 to £11 million in 2010 and £8 million in 2013. She told the programme-makers that in reality she had far less than that. She said: "The tax man is looking at my accounts and wondering where I'm hiding all my money."

Clearly she's a long way from money trouble, and has the kind of work ethic that should see her through. However, there are plenty of salutary lessons from others who shot to fame at an early age and then struggled financially later in life.

1. One of the most famous examples was way back in the era of silent films, when Jackie Coogan hit the stage as a baby and went on to become a child film star. It was only when he turned 18 that he discovered his mother had spent every penny of his money. He later ran into financial trouble and had to borrow £1,000 from Charlie Chaplin.

2. Michael Jackson, who joined the Jackson 5 at the age of six, famously died with serious money problems after spending roughly $20 million more than he earned for years.

3. Aaron Carter, a former child pop sensation known for his hit 'I Want Candy', filed for bankruptcy in November last year, listing debts of over $2 million.

4. Gary Coleman, the star of Diff'rent Strokes at the age of 10, filed for bankruptcy in 1999. He had earned $18 million in a decade on TV, but somehow managed to run out.

5. Lindsay Lohan's struggles as she moves on from life as a child star are well-documented, and include a chunk of money woes too. She has never been declared bankrupt, but she has had her accounts frozen by the IRS while she worked to pay her taxes.

The famous faces of bankruptcy

The famous faces of bankruptcy