Red or Black? Should They Take The Money Back!?

Posted on: September 8th, 2011 by Jason 5 Comments

On the recent Wow – More Competition Controversies! blog, one of our users pointed out that all the issues highlighted were truly overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Red or Black? winner Nathan Hageman. Hageman was the first millionaire winner of the new Simon Cowell game show, however it transpires that he was allegedly jailed for beating up a woman (Sky News).

With his past exposed newspapers and politicians clamoured for the prize money to be taken off the winner. The Sun wanted to “Strip TV Brute Nathan Hageman of His Million and by all accounts it did seem that ITV investigated whether they could do such a thing.

However, Hageman gets to keep his money, much to the fury of Simon Cowell according to The Mirror. Hageman allegedly told researchers about his past and based on that they allowed him on to the show. It’s unclear whether he told them the full facts – and it was via that angle that they tried to strip him of his money (The Guardian).

However, legally ITV seem unable to budge. The issue after all is their fault. They allowed the contestant on to the show! The Mirror reports that programme organisers are tightening up their screening processes and have already dropped other contestants. No doubt to avoid further embarrassment.

The closest “similar case” we could think of was when Michael Carroll won £9.7m on the lotto. He picked up his cheque wearing an electronic tag. His win catapulted him into the tabloids – as did his subsequent splashing of the cash. Hageman would be wise to learn from Carroll and keep his head down.

All in all, there are many emotive points surrounding the Hageman case. Should the victim get a share of the money, as seemingly suggested by Cowell? Should former criminals be banned from TV game shows? Should former criminals be allowed to play the lottery? Should former criminals be banned from “winning” anything?

One thing’s for sure – the controversy has kept the game show on the front pages of the newspapers for a week!

What do you think? Leave your comment on the blog…


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  • gracejanet

    i have no problem with him keeping a prize won fairly, he has presumably served his time and is now a free man. how far otherwise could this arguement be taken, if you have speeding points on your licence in past should you not be able to win a car, if you shop lifted as a teenager should you not be able to enter that companies comps, or if you have been fined for not paying your tv li shouldn’t you enter to win tv’s. yes it was a violent crime but surely everyone is entitled to a second chance, otherwise we will isolate a section of society by excluding them from pastimes such as comping, we are letting the media drive this agenda, are they clean enough to be the judges of society?

  • AndyH1

    To be honest I think Simon Cowell is just using the situation to get publicity for his show (just like the Cheryl Cole thing) and to loook good.

    Its up to the show to filter out ‘undesirables’ and they must have know, I don’t think they have a leg to stand on trying to take it away after but trying to do so gives them lots of publicity.

    I hate this sort of drivel show anyhow. No skills involved – at least with quiz shows you might learn something useful.

    Though this man is a horrible man theres worse people out there in the world doing a lot more terrible things (Kim Jong of North Korea, or Syria for example) and we should be focussing on those people rather than this trivia.

  • ClaireBear78

    Lol I like how they say they they checked his background!! Whatever I was on the show all you did was fill out a form with your name address and tel number lol!!!

  • Nostradamus

    I dont understand the contraversy really. You dont need a criminal background check to buy a lottery ticket.

    i dont watch this show though and so havent looked into it, only the comments on here. i just dont see how a criminal record can be relevant to a game show, or talent show, or any other aspect of life other than a job application.

  • sheena444

    It’s irrelevant- just like it was with Michael Carroll. Now the tabloids have been forced to stop hacking into celebs phones temporarily, expect a lot more similar non-stories to make the news. What else do they have to print ? All the genuinely controversial stories have super- injunctions slapped on them, or Max Clifford managing their trajectory.

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