SO WHERE do you stand on Cakegate then?

If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, then let me enlighten you.

A small bakery in Keighley got a request from a party planner asking for a cake for a ‘well known celebrity’ for their 40th birthday, a smaller cake for her husband and a hundred cupcakes.

Payment would be made in the form of posts on social media (there’s no mention of paying expenses as they later claim).

The owner of the bakery posted her reply to this on Facebook: that her mortgage provider would not take promotion on socials as payment, nor could her staff feed their families with the same.

She never named the actress, but people worked it out. So the ex-Corrie actress then made a responsive snippy video ‘hoping the cake lady received the publicity she craved’ or words to that effect (when you’re in a hole, love, maybe stop digging?).

Social media being what it is, the actress received a vicious backlash which went over the top as it always does.

However, I can totally understand the baker’s chagrin. Small businesses are struggling and need support. If people with hardly any brass can go into a bookshop and pay full price for a book to help keep a shop open, then an actress with plenty in her bank shouldn’t be cadging cakes when she can well afford them.

‘The baker could have just said no’ said some. Indeed she could, but I can totally understand why she was so angry at such barefaced cheek and needed to vent and in no way did she expect that it would catch fire the way it did, for the internet is an untamed beast. Then again, if you hadn’t anticipated such a request might be seen as an insult to a small business in this climate, maybe you’re a bit too dense to run a party-planning company. Or even a tap.

This whole episode is what happens to creatives all the time – musicians, craftspeople, novelists. ‘We’re doing a thing for charity, can you be the guest speaker? We LOVE you and think you’ll bring loads of people to us BUT… we can’t afford to pay you a brass fart, nor can we give you travelling costs because we want as much money as possible to go into the sad whales pot’ (other emotional blackmail charitable causes also available).

So basically we are the ‘draw’ but oddly the only ones not getting paid because the caterers will be getting their bunce, the rented space won’t be free and the supporting bookseller will be making a profit.

The amount of times us creatives and artists are told that ‘we can’t pay you, but we can give you a nice lunch’. Try asking your electrician if he’ll mend your fuse box in exchange for a plate of chicken and chips.

The actress should have coughed up the cash AND given the bakery a shout out – she wouldn’t be in the cack she’s in now if she’d been decent and not grasping and downright rude.

‘Women should not feel guilty about charging for their work and for earning money,’ said the baker because it does seem to happen more to women, I have to say. Meanwhile, her bakery has had more orders than they can cope with since all this blew up and gave her a massive splodge of free PR. I, for one, am blimmin delighted for her.