Former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley has become embroiled in a bizarre row over free birthday cakes.
Tyldesley, who starred in the soap as Eva Price for seven years until 2018, posted on social media as the “cake-gate” saga spiralled amid claims a celebrity wanted 101 cakes for their “camp as tits” 40th birthday party in return for exposure and “heart emojis”.
On Wednesday, Tyldesley hit back at baker Rebecca Severs on Instagram … but let’s roll this back to the start to see how we got here.
How did ‘cake-gate’ begin?
Severs, of the Three Little Birds bakery in Keighley, West Yorkshire, took to Facebook to claim that free cakes had been requested for a “well-known celebrity” by a party planner in exchange for social media and magazine publicity.
At this point, no celebrity was named. But one main cake and 100 cupcakes were needed for a 40th birthday party where the theme was “camp as tits”.
The list of requests included the main cake to fit in with the theme of “pinks, sparkles and a touch of flamingos”.
According to screenshots of the request, it stated: “In return for being a supplier at the event, payment would be in the form of promotion on their socials with over 700k followers, as well as promoted in OK magazine.”
The company making the request, Nvrlnd, a Leeds-based event management agency, would also use the bakery for future events and parties, it said.
But the baker’s response was blunt and dripping with sarcasm. Severs wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear that your client has fallen on such hard times they can’t afford to pay small businesses for their products.
“Unfortunately, as my mortgage provider doesn’t take payment ‘in the form of promotion on their socials’, and my staff can’t feed their kids with exposure on Instagram, I’ll have to decline your very generous offer. Those are my thoughts.”
Who is the celebrity?
On Tuesday, the Daily Mail then revealed that the celeb the party planners were organising the party for is Tyldesley,
Aside from her long-running role in Corrie, the actor partnered Johannes Radebe on Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.
The Mail also revealed that a separate, smaller cake had been requested for her husband, photographer Tom Pitfield, who turns 37 on the day of her Manchester party.
How did she respond?
On Wednesday morning, Tyldesley herself responded in an Instagram post where she tried to express her bafflement as she said she had no idea the emails were sent.
Speaking directly to camera in her car, she said: “Cake gate! What!
“So I had no idea those emails were being sent. I’m not working with the lovely Ok magazine on anything that I’m aware of and Nvrlnd are an amazing company.
“They’ve supplied me with performers in the past. They’re insane and they’ve been completely misrepresented in this matter.”
She went on: “Utterly bizarre. I don’t really know what to say. I mean I hope the cake lady got the exposure she was craving.”
Nvrlnd itself told the Daily Mail its email had been “completely misconstrued”. Its founder, Victoria Eames, said: “We would never expect any business to be out of pocket and nor would our client.”
What has the bakery said?
On Facebook, Severs was met with a wave of support for her hones post. The bakery’s Facebook page on Tuesday night said: “Hi to all our new followers. We deal in delicious cakes and a generous side of sarcasm when necessary.
“We are getting a massive amount of phone calls, emails and messages as a result of the media coverage of the news story that is us refusing to work for heart emojis.
“We are blown away by all your support and so happy to see that so many other people agree that small business shouldn’t be taken advantage of!”