ITV has axed footage from this weekends edition of dating series Take Me Out after producers discovered two winners in last weeks show were an escort and a former prostitute. One with a criminal conviction for assault.
ITV yesterday had already called for a review of the procedures production company Thames Television undertake to select contestants after it was revealed male winner 32-year-old Aaron Withers works as a £50-an-hour ‘male escort’. It was also revealed that he failed to inform the production team of a conviction for assaulting a woman and her boyfriend last year.
“We are disappointed that this contestant’s record was not picked up as part of the background checks carried out” an ITV statement said.
Today another revelation in the press over the female winner of last weeks show added further embarrassment to the programme which has been seen as the ‘new’ Blind Date which ran on ITV, produced by London Weekend Television, from 1985 to 2003 and was fronted by singer Cilla Black.
The latest expose reveals that Wen-Jing Mo, who was paired up with Aaron, once worked as a prostitute. 28-year-old Wen worked as a £200-an-hour hooker at the age of 18 the press report.
The, now controversial, pair were sent to Cyprus for a romantic holiday by the programme, however now ITV have decided to cut the footage and the follow up story.
It was also reported yesterday that 90 contestants attended a two day long sex binge at a luxurious mansion in south Wales, in which the ‘sex party’ caused a small fortune in damage to the property.
The latest issues follow the controversy last year when game show Red or Black? failed to carry out effective enough checks on a contestant who had served a prison sentence for assault and who went on to win a £1m jackpot. The programme was also produced by the Fremantle Media owned Production Company.
Thames state that across the application process contestants are asked to declare any convictions. The company also carry out background checks. Take Me Out is presented by comedian, Paddy McGuinness and has an average five million regular viewers and seemingly an incredibly randy load of contestants.