Snookered! Insolvent Strictly Come Dancing star faces the music after breaching bankruptcy terms

IT’S now a racing certainty that if you have fallen into bankruptcy as a result of gambling, the Insolvency Service will enforce tougher penalties.

The latest victim of this crackdown by the Insolvency Service is snooker veteran and former star of Strictly Come Dancing, Willie Thorne.

He now finds himself behind the black ball after the Insolvency Service extended the conditions of a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) by four years after finding he had breached its terms.

The Insolvency Service said the bankrupt TV commentator – known as the “Homer Simpson of snooker” because of his famous bald head – had been caught out after borrowing £18,000 without disclosing he was subject to the order.

The Insolvency Service revealed that, despite his insolvency, he borrowed the cash over a two-year period so that he could gamble on horses.

That initial bankruptcy order was imposed three years ago after racking up debts – blamed on a long-term gambling addiction –  of more than £450,000, which the insolvent Thorne could not pay back.

Insolvency Service bosses have now issued a statement singling out Thorne, and warning others not to lend money to the insolvent ex-Strictly star, who is best remembered for thrilling TV millions with dance partner Erin Boag.

The Insolvency Service said: “Restrictions under bankruptcy, such as borrowing more than £500 without telling the lender you’re bankrupt, or acting as a director of a company without the court’s permission, are usually discharged after 12 months.

“However, between March 2012 and March 2015, William Thorne borrowed more than £450,000 while he was insolvent and without the means to pay back his debts.

“This led to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order being made against William Thorne due to the large sums involved, which resulted in his restrictions being extended for a further six years lasting until July 2022.

“William Thorne’s latest court action, in which he did not appear, was as a result of him borrowing £18,000 in April 2018 without declaring that he was subject to the BRO from 2016.”

Thorne, who is married for former Miss Great Britain Jill Saxby and counts Gary Lineker amongst his friends, will now be subject to the bankruptcy restrictions until April 29, 2026.

Gerard O’Hare, Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service, said: “William Thorne has ignored the terms of his BRO and continued a pattern of borrowing large sums of money. Additional restrictions will further limit his activities and act as a safeguard for any potential future creditors.”

The Insolvency Service is clamping down on individuals who have become bankrupt as a result of “gambling or rash or hazardous speculation”.

It follows latest insolvency figures which spotlighted a 150 per cent increase in the number of BROs which had been filed in relation to gamblers.

And only last month, the Insolvency Service revealed an 11 per cent leap in director disqualifications and took the unusual step of declaring gambling as a growing trigger for enforcement action.

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency specialists and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email

Mary Taylor

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

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