Cannon and Ball star Tommy Cannon goes bankrupt

The star says he has been living 'hand to mouth'

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Norman Collier funeral

Tommy Cannon - half of the double act Cannon and Ball, and star of I'm a Celebrity - has been declared bankrupt after reportedly running up a massive tax bill.

The 78-year-old comedian once owned a Rolls Royce, a beach-front apartment in the Canary Islands and a cabin cruiser. He even bought Fourth Division football club Rochdale. His double act with Bobby Ball attracted audiences of millions during its hey-day in the 80s.

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Now, though, Cannon has admitted he can't pay his £80,000 tax bill, saying he's been living hand to mouth for the last ten years.

"I haven't worked since Christmas. It's all gone off a cliff," he tells the Sun. "It's embarrassing but just one of those things."

Cannon and Ball was cancelled in 1992, and Cannon's career has declined since. Apart from a stint in the jungle on I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in 2005, he's mainly been relying on pantomimes and seaside resorts for work.

He's now been declared bankrupt, under his real name Tommy Derbyshire, in a Birmingham court.

"Show-business changed. You're on the back pedal all the time," he says.

Certainly, fame is fickle, and when the work peters out, stars are often left high and dry.

Earlier this year, TV presented Gail Porter was forced to file for bankruptcy, again because of a massive tax demand.

Even famous soap stars aren't immune, with both the Eastenders actress Martine McCutcheon and Emmerdale actor Will Johnson filing for bankruptcy in the last few years.

Often the richer they've been, the worse the disaster, as tax bills mount up. All four members of the boy band Blue, for example, have gone bankrupt in the last few years, after the band split and their earning plummeted.

It's tempting to think of bankruptcy as a simple way out of your problems, but for most people it's nothing of the sort. You'll be expected to pay something towards to your debts for three years, and to pay a £680 fee.

Your home, car and other possessions may have to be sold, and you'll struggle to get credit. Depending on what you do for a living, you may even be fired.

There's more information from Citizens Advice here.

The famous faces of bankruptcy

The famous faces of bankruptcy