The curse of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! claimed another poor victim as the former Radio One DJ Mike Read was declared bankrupt. He’s in illustrious company, joining former winners Kerry Katona, the ex-Atomic Kitten and queen of the freezer section, and ex-Eastender Joe Swash. Admittedly, Read didn’t reach the same heights in the competition as the other two. His case is more comparable with a contestant on I’m a Celebrity US, Stephen Baldwin. This points to a bit of a trend, being that a stint on the ITV “reality” television programme goes hand in hand with financial strife.
Mike Read, the onetime Top of the Pops presenter, has been declared bankrupt twice previously. The first time was in 2008, which was later annulled when he settled his outstanding debt with Horsham Council in West Sussex. The second time was in February this year when an insolvency petition was served for unpaid taxes. So, for the third time, an Insolvency Practitioner has taken charge of Read’s assets. Financial woes are nothing new for the former Radio One DJ, who regularly drew listening audiences of 17million in the 1980s. Having left the BBC in 1991, Read went on to pen Oscar, a musical based on the life of Oscar Wilde. This debuted in the West End in 2004 but was universally panned, closing after opening night at a personal cost of £80,000.
The latest cost to Read looks to be his prized record collection, 120,000 vinyl records with an estimated value of £1million. Many record collectors have deemed the vast collection of LPs to be too important to break up and the auctioneer’s guide price of three quarters of a million pounds is thought to be a highly conservative estimate of the collection’s worth. The Insolvency Practitioner is tasked with selling off your assets if you are petitioned with bankruptcy, regardless of your celebrity status. For most of us though, this would mean selling our home to service our debt, not our record collection. Insolvency is indiscriminate though. Celebrity debt may be big news but bankruptcy is a matter of public record anyway. If you are declared bankrupt, it’ll be published in your local paper; if a celebrity is declared bankrupt, it’s national news.