EXCLUSIVE – Revealed: Coronation Street’s Catherine Tyldesley is celebrity at heart of free birthday cake controversy with small bakery – after event management firm asked for freebies in exchange for ‘social media exposure’
- Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley is star in a free birthday cake row
- Rebecca Severs, who owns Three Little Birds Bakery, shared response online
Making two bespoke birthday cakes and 100 accompanying cupcakes would likely take even the most skilled baker a day or more.
So when bakery owner Rebecca Severs was offered the ‘opportunity’ to do just that for a ‘well-known celebrity’, with payment in ‘social media exposure’, she politely declined.
Her Three Little Birds Bakery in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was approached by party planners organising a 40th birthday bash for, the Mail can reveal, former Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley.
The list of requests included a main cake to fit in with the theme of ‘pinks, sparkles and a touch of flamingos’, a separate cake for her husband, photographer Tom Pitfield, who turns 37 on the day of the Manchester bash, and a spread of smaller treats.
In return, the small bakery would be rewarded with ‘in the form of promotion on their [the celeb’s] socials with over 700k followers, as well as promoted in OK Magazine,’ while 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’.
Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley has been revealed as the star involved in a free birthday cake PR controversy with an artisan bakery
Rebecca Severs, from Keighley, has won praise for her response to a company asking for a free birthday cake for the celebrity, revealed to be former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley, in exchange for exposure
READ MORE: BAKER ISSUES FURIOUS RESPONSE TO PR FIRM ASKING FOR 100 FREE CAKES FOR CELEB’S BIRTHDAY BASH
Ms Severs, 37, did not know it was the former Strictly star and mum-of-two she would be providing for but it mattered not.
And in posting her pithy response to social media, she has won herself a new army of fans.
Replying to Leeds-based party planners NVRLND (corr), Ms Severs confirmed she had availability but jokingly said: ‘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.’
The bakery’s Facebook page last 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!’
And speaking to local station Rombald Radio, she said: ‘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.
The email claimed to be from the management company of a ‘well-known celebrity’ who was having a 40th birthday party
Rebecca emailed the company back, explaining that she would be declining the ‘very generous offer’
‘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.’
Last night a different cake baker, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the Mail that they had also been passed on the opportunity to make cakes for the same party planners.
The small business owner confirmed that the request was for Ms Tyldesley’s 40th birthday party.
Best known for playing Eva Price on Weatherfield’s famous cobbles for seven years until 2018, Ms Tyldesley, has starred in BBC sitcom Scarborough and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.
The star is very active on social media which she regularly uses to promote brands, businesses and products.
Many Facebook users heaped praise on Rebecca for the comment, saying it was ‘good’ for the baker
Online, Rebecca is described as leaving her career as an editor in legal publishing after welcoming three daughters before setting up her business
In a statement, Leeds-based event management firm NVRLND said its email had been ‘completely misconstrued’.
Founder Victoria Eames said: ‘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.’
Ms Tyldesley’s agent did not return request for comment and it is unclear if she was aware of the event planner’s requests. Tonight, Mr Pitfield insisted he knew nothing about the cake controversy or if his wife was involved.
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