Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley has made a cheeky dig at a baker who claimed her party planners asked for free cakes in return for social media exposure
Ahead of her 40th birthday in September, the actress is reported to have hired a team that made an approach to Rebecca Severs and her Three Little Birds Bakery in Keighley, West Yorkshire.
Unaware of the identity of her would-be client, meanwhile, owner Rebecca said she had politely turned down the "opportunity", to produce two bespoke birthday cakes and a selection of 100 accompanying cupcakes for the big day.
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According to MailOnline, the planners request stipulated that the "main cake" should match the bash's theme of "pinks, sparkles and a touch of flamingos", whilst a second cake was needed for Catherine's husband, Tom Pitfield, who would turn 37 on the day of the party.
The bakery was told in return for the work, it would benefit from "promotion on their [the unnamed celebrity's] socials with over 700k followers, as well as being promoted" in a magazine.
The planners added that the party promised "a guest lists full of celebrities and industry people from TV, film and music, so loads of work would come from it".
After suffering online abuse from trolls, however, Catherine took to Instagram on Wednesday morning (August 2) to set the "Cake Gate" record straight, explaining she would never ask anyone to work for free and was unaware of any emails regarding the matter.
The star also made a sly dig towards the bakery, adding she "hoped the cake lady got the exposure she was craving".
Writing on Instagram, Catherine said the situation had got "out of control" with journalists even knocking on her door as her "young children played in the front room".
"This story has gotten out of control and it’s negatively impacting a lot of wonderful people, so I need to set the record straight," she said.
"I had no idea those emails were being sent. I would never ask anyone to work for free or provide product for free. I’m not working with a magazine on anything.
"NVRLND are an amazing company who I’ve worked with in the past, they raise thousands of pounds for charity and have been completely misrepresented.
"And there will never be a time when journalists knocking on my front door in the evening while my young children are playing in the front room, will ever be OK! Do better!
"I genuinely do hope the bakery have got some exposure and receive lots of new orders! I’ve always supported local and small businesses.
"The abuse I have been receiving online is horrendous so hopefully this will put an end to it. And here’s to turning 40! Love Cath x."
Declining the request has seemingly proven to be a smart move for Rebecca, meanwhile, with her bakery seeing an influx of new followers as result.
Prior to Catherine's statement she issued a response to NVRLND where she explained: "I’m so sorry to hear that your client has fallen on such hard times they can’t afford to pay small businesses 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."
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And later the bakery took to Facebook to reveal it had since been inundated with requests and thanked the public for its support as a result of the episode.
"Hi to all our new followers. We deal in delicious cakes and a generous side of sarcasm when necessary," an update said.
"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."
Rebecca also told local radio: "It’s really important to highlight the issue of small businesses, especially in female-dominant industries, not earning a fair wage for their time and skill, especially in the cost-of-living crisis we are experiencing.
"We are proud of our team who are all highly skilled at cake baking and decorating, and proud to have built a successful business based on correct pricing which means our staff are paid a decent wage and have job stability.
"We wish the same for NVRLND and offer them and their clients our best regards for the future."
In response, NVRLND said its email request to Little Birds Bakery had been "completely misconstrued".
Founder Victoria Eames explained: "NVRLND contacted Three Little Birds Bakery to offer them the opportunity to collaborate with one of our clients to cater for a party.
"As part of the collaboration, our client would cover all of Three Little Birds Bakery’s expenses and costs in exchange for social media content and local and national exposure for their business. To confirm, NVRLND are also retained on the same expenses-only basis.
"We selected Three Little Birds Bakery to collaborate with a view to support a local business and help them grow. Our aim is to connect small local businesses with the opportunity of growth and the possibility of a full diary which is what we have experienced when working on past collaborations. We would never expect any business to be out of pocket and nor would our client.
"Our email communication to Three Little Birds has unfortunately been completely misconstrued. Due to contractual obligations, we are unable to comment on the identity of our client."
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