Belfast Telegraph

Matt Allwright: Watchdog keeps me up at night

The consumer affairs show is returning to BBC One for its 42nd series.

Matt Allwright worries about the show (Ian West/PA)
Matt Allwright worries about the show (Ian West/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Watchdog presenter Matt Allwright “worries terribly” about doing the right thing on the show.

The journalist feels personally responsible for seeking justice on behalf of people who have been conned and ripped off.

Allwright loses sleep because of the pressure of the show, and said the duty to chase the truth and not ratings concerns him.

The presenter said that he is happy to be involved in telling stories where the morality is clear, although he worries about appearing “self-righteous”.

Speaking to the PA news agency he said: “I worry terribly about the programme.

“It keeps me up at night and then it gets me up very early in the morning.

“Mainly hoping that I’m doing the right thing, that we’re not getting gung-ho, or we’re not getting carried away with ourselves and the idea of making television.

“I just worry very much that I’ve got to be doing something that overall is beneficial.”

Allwright will appear on Watchdog when the show returns for its 42nd series.

Am I like a self-righteousness nightmare by doing this?

The presenter has said he is fascinated by the rogue traders who attempt to con people out of their money, and believes some have a “grievance against the world” and that their actions are clearly wrong.

He said: “I sometimes think, ‘Am I an old fuddy-duddy? Am I like a self-righteousness nightmare by doing this?’

“But it just seems so obvious to me that behaving in this way is so damaging to everybody.

“I’ve met the people who’ve been affected by it.

“Most of the time it’s not about money, it’s about a sense of dignity, injustice or fairness. They feel hurt by it.

“When you sit down with somebody you kind of have a different duty towards the story because it’s kind of like a personal contact.”

Despite his worries about failing to see a story through or pin down the rogues ripping people off Allwright takes satisfaction in confronting wrongdoers and comforting their victims by telling the truth.

He said: “Telly, and telly is largely nonsense, it becomes what I wanted to become a journalist for in the first place, which is the sense of satisfaction that in some way, a story you’ve told might have made somebody’s life a bit better.”

Watchdog Live returns to BBC One on Thursday September 12 at 8pm.



From Belfast Telegraph