What a bunch of stunts!
And I shudder to think of the effect it would have had on Dusty Bin.
Today, it seems, doing time for a violent assault is no bar to appearing on a game show. It’s a positive f*cking ASSET!
Brickie Nathan Hageman won a cool £1million on ITV’s Red Or Black — the latest project to keep Ant and/or Dec off our streets. He served two-and-ahalf years of a five-year sentence for a violent crime.
He was released in 2009, so, we’re not talking ancient history here. It’s hardly “water under the bridge”. His licence period had only just expired when he appeared alongside the grinning Geordie duo.
The makers of this latest abomination say they were fully aware of Hageman’s criminal past.
Of course they f*cking were! OK, it emerged yesterday that he’d hit a woman but told them he’d hit a man.
That makes no difference. He’s a thug. I’M sure I can recall a time when TV quiz show bosses would have been mortified to find that the winner of their star prize had a serious criminal conviction.
Ted Rogers would have been horrified if he’d handed over a 3-2-1 tumble drier (it was never the speedboat) to a man who’d served a five-stretch for ABH.
I can imagine some dopey telly researcher called Porshia or Chlamydia or whatever these soppy tarts call themselves frothing at the clopper to find a real-life “bad boy” in the lineup for the show. Paydirt!
Hageman won his £1million on Saturday night. By Monday morning, his criminal past was on the front pages.
So this was not a case of someone recognising him, calling the papers and hacks digging into his past to confirm his conviction. There wasn’t time, especially at the weekend.
My guess is the PR person from Red Or Black gave the newspapers the full Hageman story on a plate — complete with some carefully-worded quotes from the brute: homeless, booze, drugs, vulnerable two-year-old niece. The full sickbag.
And the result? Front pages for Red Or Black all round. Acres of publicity for the show. Which is the creation of (who else?) Simon Cowell, the master of “all publicity’s good publicity”.
Well, Mr Cowell — and the rest of the cynical shits who work in telly — it’s not “good”. It’s wrong. I know we’re not supposed to say things are wrong in these morallyneutral times, but f*ck it. This is WRONG! A couple of years back there was a shitstorm when some game shows tinkered with phone votes. This is FAR worse.
A violent criminal was allowed to win a million squid on live TV — with the producers smug in the knowledge his brutal past would create column inches for their show.
If Britain’s leading light entertainers can hand a king’s ransom to a violent thug barely out of his prison uniform, without the merest blush of shame, things have come to a pretty pass.
May I suggest a bit of Cockney rhyming slang for those who work in TV?
IN his new calendar, Sir Cliff
Richard poses in leather cowboy chaps. Insert your own
punchline here, folks.
POOR SHOW: Ant and Dec in