Britain’s Culture Secretary has embarked on a new battle with UK broadcaster Channel 4, accusing the producers of a reality TV show of filming actors instead of real people.
The Tower Block of Commons The show, filmed in 2010, saw Members of Parliament “leave behind the splendor of Westminster and their comfortable homes for eight days and nights to live in council tower blocks in some of Britain’s most deprived areas “.
Nadine Dorries, then an MP, appeared on the show herself, sharing a flat in west London with sisters Rena and Renisha Spaine. The government’s culture secretary since last year, she told a political committee on Thursday that the show used actors, which the production company and others who appeared on the show strongly deny. episode.
Dorries told MPs: ‘The parents of the boys on this program actually came here to have lunch with me and contacted me to say, in fact, they were in drama school and they weren’t didn’t really live in an apartment, and they weren’t real.
“And even, if you remember, there was a pharmacist or someone I went to see who was preparing food – she was also a paid actress.”
But her former co-star Rena Spaine told Sky News later:
“It was a blatant lie and she knows it. I don’t know where she gets this trash from.
“She was a nightmare, a different person when the camera was rolling. It made me feel disgusting, stop lying about me.
And Labour’s Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton where the show was filmed, said: ‘I was shocked to hear the claim that one of my favorite reality shows had never been manufactured – a serious allegation if that is the case.
“I hope Nadine Dorries has not mischaracterized some of my constituents on the South Acton estate as actors.
“This is one of the most deprived areas in West London, and the daily struggles of people there are very real. If she has misled the committee, the Secretary of State must put that right quickly. .
A Channel 4 spokesperson said: ‘This is the first suggestion we’ve heard that viewers have been misled about Tower Block of Commons contributors.
“We will contact the Secretary of State for further details so that we can fully investigate.”
A spokesperson for Love Productions, who produced the show for Channel 4, said: ‘We do not use actors to impersonate contributors in any of its constructed documentary or factual series.
“Nadine Dorries participated in the realization of Tower of the Commons for Channel 4 alongside other genuine contributors, and we are satisfied that his claims are unfounded.
“However, we take the allegations seriously and will investigate thoroughly. We are also awaiting Nadine Dorries’ response to Channel 4’s request for evidence to back up her claims.
The disagreement follows Dorries’ recent announcement confirming its intention to sell Channel 4, a public broadcaster currently funded by advertising. This decision was strongly criticized in the British television industry.