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Ex-prisoner to keep gameshow prize

The first £1 million winner of Simon Cowell's gameshow Red Or Black?, who was reportedly jailed for beating up a woman, will keep his prize, it has emerged.

The news came as ITV said it would be tightening background checks on contestants following the controversial win by Nathan Hageman.

The 31-year-old bricklayer was initially reported to have been jailed for attacking his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend, but it has since been revealed that he attacked a woman, thought to be his ex.

There has been pressure on the broadcaster to strip Mr Hageman of his win, but a source close to the show confirmed he will be paid the cash.

In a statement an ITV spokesman said: "ITV and Syco (Cowell's production company) have made thorough enquiries into Nathan Hageman's participation on Red or Black?. Whilst producers were aware that Nathan had served a prison sentence for assault they were not fully aware of facts which have since emerged. As a result of this ITV is reviewing the background checks on all remaining contestants in the show."

A Reading Crown Court spokesman reportedly told The Sun and the Daily Mirror that the victim of the 2006 assault was a woman.. ITV knew about Mr Hageman's five-year jail sentence, of which he served two-and-a-half years, but it is thought that they did not know that the victim was a woman.

Mr Hageman previously told journalists that he attacked a male victim after he started getting threatening calls from a man in Reading.

When the show was launched in May, presenter Ant McPartlin said there would be checks in place to ensure winners were "not going to be criminals".

However, at the same event, Cowell pointed out the show was likely to feature "all types".

Asked how show bosses would make sure there was a worthy winner, McPartlin said: "All the checks will be in place so they're not going to be criminals but when you randomly select people, who knows? And I love the idea that someone from any background could win £1 million. I don't think we should discriminate at all."


From Belfast Telegraph