Coronation Street stars have raked in £225,000 opening more than 75 Poundland stores across the country
Catherine Tyldesley, Antony Cotton and Jennie McApline are among those who have cashed sizeable cheques after cutting the ribbon to new branches of the budget chain – and on Saturday they were joined by Mikey North who opened a new store in Grimsby.
The actor, who plays Gary Windass, picked up a cheque for £3,000 for doing the honours.
However, it's actors Andrew Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland, and Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully, who appear to be the most sought after stars for the job, having opened a whopping 40 shops between them.
While Poundland also use Emmerdale and Towie favourites for openings, Corrie stars are their go-to choice.
A spokesman for the chain said: "Britain loves Coronation St…but whether it is Corrie or TOWIE, our shoppers love to see who else is getting a bargain in Poundland.”
Personal appearances are a handy extra source of income for cast members who are banned by ITV from promoting products to boost their earnings.
It was exclusively revealed by The Sun Online in February that Corrie stars felt frustrated that they weren't allowed to make money-spinning deals but that ITV were happy to take cash from Coop and Costa to plug their brands on the soap.
The rule has already seen stars like Michelle Keegan and Ryan Thomas quit the soap to increase their earning potential.
Catherine Tyldesley and Shayne Ward have also recently revealed they are off, too.
The agent who deals with Street stars added: “There is real anger over this commercial tie-in. ITV is happy to take millions from commercial firms for product placement and allow the cast to stand around with Costa cups and lug carrier bags around but won’t allow the cast to promote products away from the set.
“That is just double standards. Aside from that the product placement is ridiculous. This no joke. Once you have one or two brands in then it is opening the door for more.
"This will be a like a slow drip and in a few years' time there will be lots more. Mark my words."
ITV rules state that the stars are only allowed to take part in other shows like I’m A Celebrity and Dancing on Ice, and do personal appearances like shop openings.
But the agent revealed that many of the stars have been forced to turn down lucrative approaches from cosmetic firms and fashion brands.
They added: “More will go over this. That is for sure. Why should they be made to plug products for ITV as a character but they are not allowed to do it for themselves in their own names?”
Stars are looking at the example of Michelle, who left in 2014 because she felt Corrie was stifling her earning potential but is now a millionaire.
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