Pressure is mounting on ITV to take back the £1,000,000 prize-money given to Nathan Hageman on the opening night of Red or Black after reports suggested that the bricklayer from Berkshire had previously been jailed for hitting a woman. But are the calls for him to lose his cash a little rich coming from the Murdoch media machine and …Hazel Blears.
Stories began circulating yesterday that the new millionaire had done time got GBH, but it was previously thought that he had served two-and-a-half years for assaulting his ex’s boyfriend. Now The Sun have reported that this was not the case and that he had actually been convicted for assaulting his ex. This revelation is then followed by testimony from others who claim that he has also put his current girlfriend in hospital after a row. We can understand why she might now be unwilling to sp£ak out again$t him, but the paper’s argument that he should be punished once again for his crimes sits uneasily so soon after the phone-hacking scandal. As bad as Mr Hageman’s crime was, the irony of a newspaper in the same organisation as the one that hacked into a murdered teenagers phone for a scoop suggesting he shouldn’t get a second chance is rather jarring.
However The Sun weren’t the only glass house owners to begin lobbing stones at Mr Hageman this morning. MP Hazel Blears (yes that woman who laughed all the way through the expenses scandal and avoided sanction despite allegedly claiming the maximum allowable expenses, to under a pound, for three properties, as well as for stays in hotels, £4,874 on furniture, £899 on a new bed and £913 on a new TV, the second such TV in under a year, and the maximum £400 a month in groceries, before making a £45,000 profit on its sale without paying capital gains tax..) also waded into the debate by demanding he be ‘stripped’ of his prize.
If reports that Hageman has been guilty of domestic violence in the past are true then obviously then the bloke is obviously a rather distasteful character and the notion of him winning £1,000,000 seems exceptionally unfair. Exactly what ITV can do about the situation at this stage is unclear (if anything), but if we must vilify this man, it would be great if we could find someone who themselves has a clean record to do so..