Martine McCutcheon
Martine McCutcheon

Soap favourite and chart-topping pop star Martine McCutcheon has been declared bankrupt.

Perfect Moment singer McCutcheon, 36, has run out of money to meet her obligations despite starring in an Activia yoghurt advertising campaign on television.

She also starred in box office smash Love Actually alongside Hugh Grant and topped the charts in 1999 with her debut album which went to No 1 in five countries.

McCutcheon won a prestigious Olivier stage award in 2002 for her portrayal of Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady.

The former EastEnders actress filed for bankruptcy under her real name Martine Kimberley Sherrie Ponting, at Kingston-Upon-Thames County Court, in January.

McCutcheon joins a long list of former celebrity bankrupts including Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona and TV host Miquita Oliver. Katona went bust owing up to £1m, despite having being firmly in the public eye with a string of reality TV series and an advertising deal with Iceland.

A financial expert told Credit Today, which broke the story, how celebrities can be vulnerable when financial crisis hits.

Mazara insolvency practitioner Ed Thomas said sporadic earnings, agents' claims on money earned and the need to adjust to a new austere lifestyle, can all take their toll.

He said: "Without knowing the background to this matter, one should not point the finger, but generally we are seeing several celebrities failing in their obligation to ensure that their financial affairs are dealt with properly.

"There is no doubt that they pay a lot of money to people who claim to be managing their affairs professionally.

"But ultimately it has to be the responsibility of the individual to make sure their financial affairs are up to date, particularly their income tax affairs," he told Credit Today.

McCutcheon lost her Activia yogurts role to TV stylist Gok Wan. Last year, she wed musician Jack McManus in a ceremony at Lake Como. They live in Surrey.