Red or Black? producers have removed two contestants from the final stages of episodes which are scheduled to appear on ITV1 over the next few days after investigating their backgrounds in more detail. The show has been at the centre of a publicity storm by awarding Nathan Hageman a million pounds on Saturday, before finding out that he’d been convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
Yet legal experts have suggested that ex-cons who have served prison sentences could have recourse for action if they are booted off television shows on account of previous convictions, providing they’ve been honest upon application and already served prison sentences.
According to The Guardian one person did not reveal when asked that he had a criminal record and he will not appear on the show. A second contestant has also been removed although TV bosses have not confirmed the details surrounding their ejection.
The opening sections of Red or Black? are pre-recorded with the final broadcast going live and ITV have also confirmed that the two contestants from two different shows wouldn’t be replaced, leaving seven people in the final stages, a situation that raises even more questions.
Many are currently pondering just how producers will make sure that four people make it through to the next round and not three – a scenario that could eventually end with no one making it to the roulette wheel. While it seems certain that bosses have considered this eventuality, there are currently no details of their plan available.
Production company Syco and ITV have reportedly been in heated discussions since the story broke at the start of the week with many sources reporting a strong words spoken following Cowell’s apparent attempt to distance himself from the decision to hand over the money to Hageman.
Legal experts have explained that ITV essentially had their hands tied over the decision because the bricklayer declared his criminal record before recording began.
The crisis doesn’t seem to have done the show too much harm – ratings climbed slightly on Monday night following a dip on Sunday.